Gaming is meant to be a creative, relaxing and entertaining experience that allows people to unwind and socialise online. Though without suitable internet for gaming it can quickly become a disappointing and frustrating affair, trying to deal with lag and interrupted connection. To avoid this, we have a recommended broadband speed for gaming that will provide a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Any home that streams to their devices will likely be aware of the frustration associated with buffering and drops in definition quality due to slow internet. For online gamers, this is the same but with added consequences and disappointment, having purchased a console, games and an online subscription, to be let down by long lag times, interrupted connections and simply poor broadband performance.
When playing online the best connection possible makes or breaks a gamer's experience, in-fact 85% of gamers say that downloading games is frustrating, so slow broadband speeds aren't going to help this.
The first step may be to carry out a broadband speed test so you know how your current broadband is performing. To get the best overview of your speeds, it is recommended to carry out speed tests at different times of day as congestion and demand will vary.
Theoretically speaking, you don't need blisteringly fast speeds to be able to play games over broadband, though an absolute minimum download speed of 3Mbps is recommended. However, high-performance gameplay cannot be expected at this speed, as different games require more bandwidth than others to operate smoothly, as designed.
To play without your Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch or PS5 lagging, you will need to aim for speeds of between 15Mbps to 25Mbps for a smooth and responsive gaming experience.
Another factor you should also think about is the ping rate, which is the reaction time of your connection and is mostly affected by physical distances and broadband traffic. Ping is important as it allows your inputs (your actions through a controller) to register faster, and therefore gives you a better reaction and input time in gaming. Players with a bad ping will suffer from more lag in their communication with the online game, though by using an ethernet cable you may see a slight improvment.
A good ping for gaming is less than 150ms and will also mean that your latency will be low too, as the ping is the measurement in milliseconds taken for a signal to reach two devices (the latency). The ping will be displayed on the results page of an internet connection test.
The online multiplayer experience is a significant draw for people to use a games console. Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games have soared in popularity as internet speeds become faster. This has enabled games to continue to develop and progress, like World of Warcraft and Destiny, while sports and FPS games like FIFA and Call of Duty make up a huge portion of online multiplayer gaming.
If you’re gaming offline with friends at home and using the same broadband, you’ll still require a steady internet connection. The more users of broadband, the larger the strain on your internet, so it’s best to choose a fibre broadband package with ultrafast speeds.
The PlayStation and Xbox consoles introduced 4K video games, and with the release of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, the market for 4K video games is expected to grow dramatically. Currently, you need a download speed of around 60Mbps to enjoy 4K video games online. These speeds can be achieved with fibre broadband, though you can also cut your carbon footprint each month by 50Kg with Your Co-op broadband.
On the newest generation consoles, downloading a full game to your console can require as much as 225GB. A figure that could increase with new releases in the future and larger updates. If you’ve got a data limit, downloading games can eat up all of your allowances very quickly, leaving no bandwidth for other users of broadband.
However, with unlimited downloads players can have all the latest games without worrying about using up the usage limit or hampering others from the broadband. Each of our climate-positive broadband packages comes with unlimited downloads, so there’s no need to worry about running out of data.