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A gamer’s guide to internet speed


Discover the ideal speed for your gaming habits

Wondering exactly how many Mbps are good for gaming? It depends on various factors. Our calculator will help you determine the download speeds you’ll need, and the guide below describes other factors that could impact your gaming sessions.

If you play a lot online, whether it’s plowing your enemies in League of Legends, getting the victory royale in Fortnite, or just building anything you can imagine in Minecraft, you don’t want the internet slows you down. Slow internet speeds can cause delayed games, or worse, get kicked from a server. The guide below will walk you through some of the more technical considerations like bandwidth, ping, and data caps.

What is good internet speed for games?

Download speeds

When Internet service providers advertise speeds, they are usually talking about download speeds. When you are gaming, download speeds dictate how quickly your PC or console receives information from the game servers. Most gaming setups only need download speeds of around 3 to 6 Mbps function properly, but these are not the only factors.

Any device that connects to your internet – your phone, maybe a laptop or tablet – tax your internet speeds. The more devices there are on your Internet connection, the less likely you are to reach your maximum speeds (which is part of why providers advertise speeds “up” to a certain amount). If you live alone, this also won’t be a problem. But if someone is streaming Netflix in HD while you are gaming, your internet has to transfer more data at the same time, which can result in slower speeds.

The fix? Higher maximum speeds. Our calculator automatically takes into account the various factors that consume bandwidth and estimates the speeds that will help you maintain a smooth and uninterrupted game.

Download speeds

Online play requires more than just receiving information: whenever you tell your game to hit an opponent, shoot a weapon, or some other command, your game should send that information to the game servers. C This is where download speeds come in.

Download speeds for broadband internet tend to be much slower than download speeds, usually single-digit Mbps, because most people download much less data than they download.

Online games are constantly sending information upstream, and console manuals suggest having 0.5 Mbps minimum. But the higher the download speed, the better. Fiber optic internet offers symmetrical upload and download speeds, which means your internet will download information as fast as it can download it. This is why fiber is the best choice for competitive players.

Want to broadcast your rise to become an Overwatch Top 500 player? Streaming gaming involves downloading a lot more information, so you’ll need higher download speeds – in the range of 5 Mbps to 10 Mbps, depending on how good you’re streaming.

Latency and ping

Latency is a delay in sending and receiving information. It is determined by a combination of factors including your internet speed, distance to travel, and your router’s performance.

As Austin Norby, software engineer at Blue Star Software, explains, “There are a lot of technical details that can affect speed, but queues and management overhead will have the biggest impact. When information packets are received by your router, they are not immediately processed. Instead, they are put in a queue. If your router is not powerful enough to clear this queue quickly, you will experience lag in your games:

“Queue time is the time that an information packet spends in the queue to be processed by the router. Once the queue is full, the router will start dropping packets, this which will increase the latency because the information is not received by the client, server or both. “

When routers drop information packets, that information must be transmitted again, which increases latency. Imagine sending a birthday present to a friend: if the package is returned to you, your friend will not receive the gift on time because it has to go through the post twice. This is basically what happens when packets are lost.

Ping is a measure of latency: the time it takes for information to be sent from your system to the game servers and returned, in milliseconds. If you are worried about your ping, you can test it using a online speed test. If it’s consistently above 150ms, your game is probably suffering. We recommend that you upgrade your router and perhaps look for a new ISP.