The Best Broadband Speed for Online Gaming

Nov 25 . 6 m

Broadband speed for gaming

The Optimal Speed for Competitive Gaming Online

Long gone are the days of hitting a mate’s place for some friendly competition. Times have changed, and players have upped their game. You can test your gaming skills on a global forum with streaming services like Twitch and compete against the creme de la creme.

For serious gamers, there is nothing more valuable than a stable and fast broadband connection. For most of us, we assume that with a decent broadband connection, we will be able to get what we need to be done, without fault. But, I am sure that you have learned, this is far from the truth! So, do we really need 1Gb broadband for that competitive edge? Or will 100Mb suffice?

In this article, we will break down the truths, the half-truths, and the falsities of online gaming, and how important your broadband speed needs to be for a stellar gaming experience. If you are used to playing solo or have a house full of gaming fanatics, we will explore all the requirements.

The low down on download speed

Lightning-fast broadband speed is becoming the norm, and we consistently upgrade our plans based on what the providers tell us we need. So, the question is, do we need extreme speeds for a bullet fast game performance? This is half true. What is important to remember is that you may not require the top of the market broadband plan, but if you are sharing that connection with a family of 5 or require multi-player streaming power, you will need to consider that.

What is the recommended download speed when it comes to gaming?

Since most broadband companies put the super-fast download speeds front and center on their advertising campaigns, we know that we can download the games quickly and confidently. But what happens when we actually play the games? A strong upload speed is paramount since it enables the game stream to transmit between the other players.

Upload speeds on the Up and Up

With the increased offering for fast download speeds, we are also seeing better upload speeds. The upload speed will transmit the signal from your computer to the server and is essential in competitive gaming. For example, when you upload a photo to Facebook, the upload speed is the time that it takes to load that photo to the social media site. When it comes to gaming, the requirements for upload speeds are much higher since each action requires messages to be sent from your device to the server.

Latency

Now we are getting to the good stuff! The upload and download speeds are valuable, but latency is vital to an uninterrupted game. Latency can be compared to a boomerang that carries a message from your device to the server, and back again. If you experience a lag in your game, it could be a result of the latency. It is usually the result of a poor signal or weak broadband speed, and in the case of latency, faster doesn’t mean better.

Low Latency = Fast Game

Latency is measured in milliseconds (ms), and the higher the number, the longer the response time. You will want to be somewhere around 20ms – 60 ms for optimal response time when playing games like Fortnite or Call of Duty. There are some ways that you can improve your internet speed, including connecting directly to your router, but we will get into it a little later.

The Ping Rate to Keep Your Game Poppin’

As we’ve established, response time is key for a competitive game. So, what is the best Ping rate for gaming? We have done our research, and if you check out what Xbox and Playstation recommend, you will be surprised. They require the following very conservative speeds:

For Online Gaming:
  • Minimum download speed of 3 Mbps(or 3,000 Kbps)
  • A minimum upload speed of 5 Mbps(or 500 Kbps)
  • Ping of less than 150 milliseconds
For Twitch:
  • A minimum upload speed of 6.5 – 8+ Mbps for 1080 resolution

Keep in mind that these are very basic speeds for recreational players. If you are a passionate gamer and play online competitively, you will need more than that to rank. We recommend download speeds around 15 – 25Mbps (megabits per second). If you and your gang are playing simultaneously on the same internet connection, you will need to multiply that by the number of players. For instance, when 3 players are using the same connection, we recommend a download speed of 45-75 Mbps to play without interruption.

With regards to ping speeds, the magic number for a killer game is between 0 and 60 ms. A ping between 60 and 120 ms will keep you competitive, but anything above that is game over.

What Can I Do to Improve my Ping?

There are some ways that you can try to improve your broadband speed:

  • Reboot your router. A restart will help clear up any interference.
  • Plug-in your device with an ethernet cable. This will limit your positioning within the house but will provide you a stable and strong connection, and for serious gamers, this is necessary.
  • Change the position of the router. Keep it elevated on a table or shelf and away from concrete walls, household appliances, wireless keyboards, baby monitors, and/or cordless phones. 
  • If your router has antennas, make sure that they are being used properly, and positioned straight up. You can also try and raise one and place one straight if your home has more than one floor.
  • Upgrade your router. If your router is 4-5 years old, there is a good chance that it is outdated or could be affected by heat damage.
  • Change your wifi password. Ensure that you are using a strong password so that others won’t be able to access your connection.

Choose a Broadband Speed to Take Your Game to the Next Level

With the world of gaming evolving at an alarming speed, we are spending more time on streaming platforms like Twitch than on social media. So, shouldn’t we have a broadband plan to support that usage? Amazingly, we can compete with international players and rank globally, and having a week signal can hold you back.

If you don’t know what your internet speed is and want a detailed breakdown of your broadband, you can take our free speed test right here. Learn about out what can accomplish with your speed, and then compare with our fastest broadband packages. Game on!

WRITTEN BY

Zoe Theofilou