Check your need for speed with this guide to the right internet speed for online gaming
If you play video games, you know that having a good internet connection is vital. But what constitutes a “good” internet speed for gaming?
Let’s break down the factors that go into deciding which speed is best for gaming and how much a good plan will cost.
Different games require different speeds
When choosing an internet plan for gaming, it’s important to first consider what types of games you typically play.
Some online games require very minimal download and upload speeds, while others require much more bandwidth.
- For example, a game like Fortnite requires at least 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds.
- On the other hand, a game like Overwatch requires at least 4 Mbps download speed and 2 Mbps upload speed.
In addition to the game itself, think about how many people will be playing simultaneously on your connection; this will affect your required internet speed as well.
If you are playing with multiple gamers in the same household, then more bandwidth will be needed for everyone to enjoy a smooth online gaming experience without interruption or delay.
What about latency?
Another factor to consider when choosing an internet connection is latency or “ping” rate. This measures how long it takes data to travel from your device to its destination and back again. Lower ping rates mean less lag time between your input and what appears on-screen so the lower your ping rate the better.
The ideal ping rate for most online games is 20 ms (milliseconds).
However, some games require even lower ping rates to perform optimally.
For example, first-person shooter games usually require a ping rate below 100ms.
So, what is a good internet speed for gaming?
According to Swoop, a good internet speed for gaming is anything 25 Mbps and above.
This means that popular internet speed tiers including 100 Mbps and 50 Mbps are also fast enough for gaming.
Swoop does clarify however, that if you have more than five people in the house browsing the web, emailing, gaming, and streaming content (e.g. Netflix) they recommend a plan with speeds of 100 Mbps or above.
Upload speeds also play an important role in gaming as they determine how quickly you can send data from your device to other players or servers in an online game.
Since many games rely on real-time communication between players, being able to send data quickly is essential for a good gaming experience.
For most online games, 1 Mbps upload speed should be sufficient but some may require higher upload speeds if they involve large file transfers or multiple players in one session.
Test your internet speed
Once you have decided on an internet plan that meets your gaming needs, it is important to test your actual speeds regularly to ensure that they meet those expectations.
To do this accurately, make sure that you are testing during peak usage hours – when there are multiple devices connected in different locations around the home and when other activities such as streaming video services are also being used (since these can slow down gaming performance).
If after testing your connection you find that your internet speeds are lower than expected or not meeting your requirements consistently, then it may be time to upgrade your plan or switch providers entirely if necessary.
You can take a DIY internet speed test here.
Does that answer your question to “what is a good internet speed for gaming?”
All in all, understanding what type of internet speed is required for smooth online gaming is key when choosing an internet plan; otherwise frustration could ensue during gameplay due to lag or buffering issues.
Make sure that you select a plan based on both what type of games you typically play and how many people will be using the connection at once, thus ensuring that everyone can enjoy a high-quality online gaming experience each time they log on.
Anything 25 Mbps and above should be fine.
Marshall Thurlow is Director and Founder of Orion Marketing Pty Ltd. He is a digital marketer with expertise in SEO, website design, content marketing and project management. With over 15 years of experience spanning government, not-for-profit and the private sector, he is well equipped to lead teams to success. He is a big proponent of environmental sustainability, critical thinking and progressive issues.