What is a Good Internet Speed for Gaming
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What is a Good Internet Speed for Gaming? Everything You Should Know

Internet speeds are important for gamers. If your internet speed is too slow, you will notice lag in your game and the game may not load properly. There are many factors that impact how fast your internet connection is, but here are some general guidelines to follow: download speeds of at least 4 Mbps or higher; upload speeds of at least 1Mbps or higher; ping time below 100ms. The best way to see if you have a good enough Internet speed for gaming is to test it out by playing games online with friends!

What is Download Speed?

For gaming and the internet in general, download speed is quite important. It affects streaming and downloading video games as well as other programs and files. The reason we want to stream fast videos (like YouTube) or download and play new games for our favorite consoles is simply because we like that feeling of playing new stuff or trying out something cool. Imagine having an Internet with speeds so slow that you can’t even watch video clips without them stuttering every now and then; not only would it ruin your watching experience, but it would also take forever to load any websites due to all the loading bars popping up.

In other words, download speed is not only important to gamers but also for those who browse the web as well as stream videos. Obviously, there are different types of internet speeds, and for this article we will focus on what a good gaming speed is.

What Is Good Download Speed For Gaming?

For Playstation 4 or 5: 5 Mb/s – 10 Mb/s

Good Download Speed For Gaming

To be honest, any type of connection above 5Mb/s can work on a PS3 or PS4 with no issues. As long as your Internet upload speed is above 1Mpbs, you should have no problem playing online with friends or against people from around the world. In my opinion, I would say that an Internet connection above 5Mb/s would be best. It should give you a very consistent and smooth gameplay experience with your friends or even random people.

For Xbox 360 or One: 1 Mb/s – 5 Mb/s

I’ve used Internet connections as slow as 0.5Mbps before and they pretty much sucked, as it seemed like there was always some sort of delay when playing online games such as Halo 4. Do not use any connection slower than 1 Mbps because it will be horribly laggy for most games, including Halo 3 & Reach (not sure about Advanced Warfare). Do not go any faster though either; an Internet connection above 5Mb/s is unnecessary for Xbox 360 or One online gaming due to all the problems they have with Microsoft servers and matchmaking.

For PC gaming: 10 Mb/s – 25 Mb/s

This is where it starts to get a little complicated and sensitive. The problem with PC games is that everyone’s setup, computer specs and Internet speeds are all different so there isn’t really a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the best Internet speed for your PC. Like Xbox One & 360, this also depends on what games you’re playing online such as Minecraft or League of Legends compared to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare or Halo 3.

When it comes down to it, I would say that any connection above 15Mb/s should be fine for most games out today including multiplayer shooters such as Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Titanfall and Halo 3. I have a 25Mb/s cable Internet connection and for PS4/Xbox One/360 games it works perfectly fine with no lag or disconnections (knocks on wood). It might be different for PC multiplayer shooters like Battlefield 4 since they need the best possible connection to work well; you will probably want at least 25 Mb/s download speed for that game if not 50 Mb/s depending on your computer specs.

For standard gaming: 45 Mb/s – 60 Mb/s

This is where we start getting into the ‘future proofing’ territory. Most gamers would say that Ultra-HD gaming really needs anywhere from 20-50 Mpbs; we are talking about 4K gaming so download speeds will be even higher than that. Currently there isn’t really any game that uses the full bandwidth of your Internet connection, unless you’re playing an MMO or some MOBA with thousands of players online at once. However, just because you might not need it right now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a faster connection if possible. At least 50 Mb/s would be good for future proofing and would make everything much smoother when streaming videos from YouTube, Netflix and Crunchyroll in Ultra HD 4K quality (if that ever becomes a thing).

For high-end gaming: 100 Mb/s – 200 Mb/s

This is going to sound crazy but bear with me here; I think that Internet speeds up to 200 Mb/s could be necessary for some games in the future. If you plan on streaming and playing games at the same time, then a speed above 100Mb/s will be needed; anything below that and your stream quality will suffer (which means your viewers also suffer). A good example of this would be Twitch.tv where some people like to both watch and broadcast their gameplay as they play. They need about 2Mb/s upload speed for their stream; if you don’t have it then expect some laggy gameplay alongside a really bad looking video stream (if it doesn’t buffer constantly). You can pretty much forget about live-streaming any game with an upload bandwidth requirement of less than 3Mb/s; it simply won’t work.

For Ultra-high-end gaming: 200 Mb/s+

Some gamers think that you need at least a connection around the 300Mb/s to get anything close to fluid gameplay. I personally don’t believe this, but then again I’ve only tried League of Legends which has never given me any problem with my Internet speed (above 100 Mb/s). If you’re playing games like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare online though, expect some noticeable lag if your upload bandwidth is below 50Mib/s. Anything above that should be fine though for most games.

What is Upload Speed?

You might have noticed that when you look at your Internet speed it’s usually for Download speeds; most ISPs only tell you how fast you can download data from their servers, not upload. Upload is the opposite of download and it’s what you need if you want to share things online like videos or game clips on YouTube, screenshots on Twitter or Imgur, voice chats on Skype/Mumble/Teamspeak, etc.

Generally speaking, the faster your upload speed is the better since everything else will go faster too (such as transferring files online). If your upload bandwidth is limited then expect slow file transfers, laggy video streams, and worse quality in Voice over IP apps like Skype. You should really try to get a little more than 10% of your download bandwidth for upload, otherwise, you might start noticing some problems.

What Is Good Upload Speed For Gaming

What Is Good Upload Speed For Gaming?

As mentioned above, I believe you need at least 10% of your download speed for good quality voice chat. For streaming video games online you’ll want about 2Mb/s upload speed minimum to ensure a lag-free experience (and anything else that requires uploading). As for general Gaming requirements, it’s hard to say but around 5Mb/s should be plenty if not more than enough. Just remember: the faster your overall Internet connection is, the better performance you will get with any and all activities. If you’re playing an FPS and trying to talk over text chat while streaming; then expect some serious lag if you don’t have a very high upload bandwidth (which means a very high download bandwidth as well). This is why many people are moving towards fiber optic connections that offer symmetrical speeds (same upload and download bandwidths).

FAQs

What about people that live in rural areas?

A: Generally, those that live in rural areas have to deal with slower Internet speeds because of their location. If you’re an avid gamer and your current speed is below 5Mb/s then I would recommend looking into a better plan or trying to find a way to get closer to the city.

What’s the best way to increase my upload speed?

A: There are many things you can do but the easiest would be to call your ISP and see if they can give you a higher bandwidth plan; this will usually cost more per month but it might be worth it if you’re struggling. You could also try using an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi; Wi-Fi can be very slow and unreliable when it comes to uploads. Finally, make sure that your computer isn’t downloading anything in the background (piracy is not included in this answer) as it will take up bandwidth that could be used for gaming or streaming.

What if I’m using a console and I don’t have an Ethernet port?

A: If you’re using a console then you can try using a USB Ethernet adapter; these are relatively cheap and can give you a much better connection than Wi-Fi. Alternatively, you could try using an Xbox One or Playstation 4 Wi-Fi bridge which will give you a wired Ethernet connection without the need for extra cables.

I’m getting good results on my speed tests but when I try to game I still get lag, what gives?

A: This is most likely due to other network traffic on your network (besides gaming). If other people in your house are streaming Netflix, downloading files, or even just browsing the Internet then that can take up bandwidth and leave less for gaming. Try to get all other network traffic off the network when you’re trying to game for the best results.

What about people that have a limited data cap?

A: If you have a limited data cap then you’ll need to be very careful with your usage. Streaming games can use a lot of data, especially if the quality is set to high. You might want to try turning down the quality or playing shorter sessions until your next billing cycle. Alternatively, you could invest in a unlimited data plan from your ISP.

Conclusion

Internet connections with speeds above 100 Mb/s are certainly not overkilled for most gamers. If you’re planning on streaming games online in Ultra HD 4K then go with the faster option, but if you’re just playing games yourself then 100Mb/s is fine (and anything up to 200Mb/s should be totally fine). As long as you get an upload bandwidth of more than 10% of your download speed; or at least 5Mb/s upload speed, you should be pretty safe no matter what game it is that you want to play.

Remember: streaming games require a constant 2-5Mb/s (or even higher) whereas normal gaming can get by with about 1-2% of that. If you’re ever unsure of what Internet speed to get, ask your friends or family what speeds they’re getting and try to match (or beat) that. Whatever you do, don’t go below the minimum requirements or you’ll likely be disappointed with the results.

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