June 23, 2024

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Internet Connection & Online Gaming: A Guide

3 min read
internet connection and gaming

Globally, around 40% of people play games online on different platforms like PS4, PS5, Xbox. However, not everyone enjoys the same access to high-speed internet as others. If you’re a fan of first-person shooters or bandwidth-intensive MMORPG games, a second-rate internet connection is not going to cut it.

Whether you’re just starting with online gaming or want to take internet-based gaming to the next level on iOS or Android, you’ll need to rethink your broadband connection or opt for a high speed mobile data like 4G or 5G

Online Gaming and Internet Speeds

Generally speaking, a minimum download speed of 3-4 Mbps is required for multiplayer online titles. At first glance, this seems rather low. In the United States, average internet speeds are an impressive 256 Mbps. What’s more, the US doesn’t even break the global top ten when it comes to average download speeds. Even if you’re paying for a less powerful broadband package, chances are you are dealing with download speeds that are far higher than the minimum requirements for online gaming.

So why exactly are you dealing with constant lags and poor performance? If you live in a busy household that’s packed with people and bandwidth-draining devices, you’ve found the reason. Smart TVs, streaming devices, and anything connected to your home network are going to impact your download speeds.

How Long Does it Take to Download a Game?

If you’re a console gamer, you’ve probably found yourself sitting impatiently as you watch a download progress bar slowly fill up. Don’t assume you’ll be able to enjoy instantaneous downloads just because you’re paying through the teeth for a premium broadband package. A typical console is doing many things at once, not just running the game you’re playing. Whenever it’s connected to the internet, it’ll be downloading software updates, installing patches, and reconfiguring background files. All of this requires bandwidth.

Downloading a game completely can prove particularly time-consuming. Let’s use Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as an example. You’ll need 231 GB free on your console hard drive to download this popular first-person shooter. With a download speed of 25 Mbps, you’re looking at more than 20 hours before the game is ready to play. Even with a 200 Mbps connection, a full download can take between 2-3 hours.

Internet Service Providers and Latency

A tanked-up download speed is one thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be enjoying a smooth gaming experience. Latency, otherwise known as ping, is arguably more important when it comes to predicting how game-friendly your internet connection really is.

Internet speeds are ultimately controlled by service providers. If your internet speeds are throttled, you won’t be able to enjoy prompt downloads or fast loading times. Latency is also something to consider. Even if a game looks like it’s running smoothly, a latency of just 100 milliseconds can lead to considerable lag. This isn’t ideal if you’re playing a game like Counter-Strike that requires snap-second judgments.

Thankfully, online gamers have several affordable options. In the US, Xfinity Internet dominates the broadband market, with more than 17.5 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Verizon has almost 9 million residential customers. Both service providers are good shouts for any gamer looking for reliable connections.

Easy Ways to Boost Your Internet Speeds

Paying a small fortune on a high-speed broadband connection, only to find yourself saddled with second-rate download speeds? There are a few things you can do to improve your gaming experience. Firstly, make sure you’re managing bandwidth. Check which household devices are currently connected to the internet. If some of these appliances don’t need to be constantly hooked up to your wireless router, disable the connection.

If your internet speed is reliable enough, a wireless router shouldn’t really pose any problems. However, die-hard gamers are best advised to invest in a wired connection as a backup. MoCA adapters are relatively inexpensive but can provide you with higher speeds and improve your network performance.

Solved your internet connection troubles? Now’s the time to start enjoying those bullet-fast speeds and start playing. Eager to turn a love of gaming into something more serious? Head to www.1337pro.com/en/csgo to read up on the latest Counter-Strike action and more.

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