We can all recall a time not so long ago when gaming had nothing to do with your internet speed. Going back just a decade or so reveals the sphere of offline gaming whether it was on a console or PC. Although some of them did support online multiplayer platforms even back then, the majority of gaming was essentially done offline.
Today the world of gaming has changed drastically; most of the multiplayer games are online and players come together to play from all around the world. This has made games more interactive and also requires a larger space on your hard drive. To accommodate this vast network of players to come together and play, gaming companies have brought their platforms online. What was first just a matter of getting the right hardware to support the game you’d want to play, now has added another component in addition to the equipment; internet speed.
High-speed internet is easily accessible in most locations these days through several providers covering the majority of the country. For example, Spectrum offers high-speed internet through 44 states at reasonable rates and offers reliable service. However, one would think that that is all you need to smoothly play your favorite video game, but there are things you need to know and understand before you can have the best online gaming experience.
There are different consoles and games out there and they all have different requirements but the three important things you need to look out for are download speed, upload speed, and latency. Contrary to popular belief that only fiber-optic internet is suitable for gaming any high-speed internet will work fine as long as some requirements discussed below are met. Gaming should be something you enjoy without stressing about the hole it is burning in your pocket.
As the term suggests, download speed is the speed at which information travels from the server to your gaming platform (console or PC). Let us take the example of YouTube. When you go and visit the site to watch a certain video you are downloading information from the server to your device, the speed of this transfer of information between the server and your device is your download-speed. To achieve the smoothest gaming experience, you should ensure a download speed of 3 Mbps.
On the other end is the upload speed. It is the speed at which information is transferred from your gaming device to the server. Now, let’s go back to the YouTube example. Only this time instead of watching a video, you are uploading one for others to stream and enjoy. When you upload the video, you are sending information from your device to the server and the speed of this transfer is your upload-speed. To accomplish this in the quickest way possible, ensure that you have a good upload-speed measuring around 1 Mbps.
Although the aspects we have discussed so far are important for getting the most out of your gaming experience, there is another thing that influences how well your game performs. This is called latency/ping. Latency or ping is measured in milliseconds and it tells you about the speed at which your device is communicating with the server. The lower this number is, the better and smoother gaming experience you will get. Ideally, your latency should be around 20 ms and you should always make sure that it is below 150 ms, or else you will experience a lot of lag in-game time and visible interruptions. Even if you have a fast internet connection, you can still face interruptions in your gameplay due to the server’s latency.
If you are the kind of person who hosts gaming sessions at your home and are wondering what kind of internet speed you would require so that everyone can have a good gaming experience, you have come to the right place. A rule you should always follow to ensure that everyone gets appropriate bandwidth under a single connection is to take the number of players and multiply it by the interest speed requirement of your gaming devices. For instance, if your game requires a download speed of 3 Mbps and you have 4 players, you would need at least 12 Mbps of download speed for all four players to play smoothly.
So for you to enjoy and maintain a smooth gaming experience, you have to keep an eye out for the three things we have discussed above. Ensure you have a download speed that is not less than 3 Mbps, and upload speed measuring a minimum of 1 Mbps. To put everything in perspective make sure that your ping is not more than 150 ms.
Most consoles require a minimum download speed of 3 Mbps and upload speed of 1 Mbps with a latency of 150 ms. Although for PC gamers this is a little different since they require a download speed of about 3-6 Mbps and a ping of 100 ms.
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Now that you all understand the basics of achieving a smooth online gaming experience, we wish you the best of luck in your gaming endeavors and hope that you play in a disciplined and responsible manner while saving that money for something like a car or a house or maybe a college degree.