Check your need for speed with our guide to the right internet connections for online gaming
When it comes to gaming online, choosing the right internet connection is essential. Whether you’re eying a Victory Royale in “Fortnite” or fighting it out in “League of Legends”, you want to enjoy your favourite games without lag or buffering.
But what internet speed do you need for smooth gaming? Let’s find out….
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First, understanding Mbps and latency
Before we dive into the specifics of internet speeds, it’s important to understand two key terms: megabits per second (Mbps) and latency.
Mbps measures the rate at which data can be transferred from one point to another. This is typically referred to as “download speed”, when digital data is transferred from the internet to your computer, and “upload speed”, online data is transferred from your computer to the internet..
For example, 100 Mbps means an internet download speed of 100 megabits per second, which is pretty fast. An internet plan might be 100/20, meaning that alongside a download speed of 100Mbps, you’ll get an upload speed of 20Mbps.
Latency (also known as ping rate), on the other hand, measures how long it takes for a packet of data to travel from one point to another. In other words, latency measures how quickly your connection responds when sending out requests or receiving responses from a server.
Ping (or latency) is measured in milliseconds (ms) and high latency is what causes your game to lag, which can make gaming far less enjoyable. Low latency is ideal as it lets you experience smoother gameplay and less frustration.
Download and upload speeds for gaming
Download speed measures how quickly data can be transferred from the gaming server to your device, while upload speeds determine how quickly data can be sent from your computer or console back to the game server.
Upload speed is especially important for online multiplayer games, where a slow upload speed can cause lag and make the game unplayable. Knowing what your upload speed is and how it affects your gaming experience can help you get the most out of your gaming experience.
What is a good ping for gaming?
A good ping rate is incredibly important for online games because it determines how responsive your gameplay is.
A ping rate of 100ms or less is considered acceptable for gaming, but 20ms to 40ms is optimal.
How to reduce latency
If high latency is causing lag when you play games online, avoid using WiFi if you can.
WiFi adds an extra translation step between your gaming devices and your internet connection, creating extra delay in your gameplay.
Other factors that can make WiFi less than ideal for gameplay include:
- radio noise
- fluctuating speeds
- network congestion
- physical distance from the router
To bypass all the wireless chaos, use an Ethernet cable to connect your gaming device to your router. This will help you nix the latencies and speed fluctuations associated with WiFi, and make your connection more responsive.
How fast is fast?
So what is a good internet speed for gaming? Is 100 Mbps fast enough for online gaming? Is 50 Mbps fast enough for online gaming? Is 25 Mbps fast enough for gaming?
Yes, yes and yes. Each of these speeds is fast enough for online gaming.
The limiting factor is the other ways you use the internet or how many other people or devices are using bandwidth at the same time.
An acceptable internet speed for online gaming is typically anything above 25 Mbps.
If you aren’t happy with an average internet speed and want to have the ultimate gaming experience, we recommend speed tiers with download speeds of 50 Mbps and above.
If you have more than five people in the house browsing the web, emailing, gaming, and streaming content (e.g. Netflix) we recommend a plan with speeds of 100 Mbps or above.
How much data does gaming use in an hour?
Ever wondered how much data your favourite game uses? Canstar has done the maths on the data usage of some of the most popular games:
- Fortnite 40 MB – 100MB per hour
- Minecraft 80MB – 200MB per hour
- COD Mobile 35 MB per hour
- Pokémon GO 2MB – 8MB per hour
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Warzone 175MB per hour
- Overwatch 150MB per hour
- Grand Theft Auto: Online 50MB per hour
- League of Legends 30MB – 200MB per hour
- Clash Royale 20 MB per hour
Having an internet plan with unlimited data is ideal, as you won’t need to worry about data usage or going over your limit. All Swoop internet plans, including nbn® and Fixed Wireless broadband, come with unlimited data.
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