Hardcore Gamer? How Your Internet Speed Could Be Effecting You

PopCult Logo feature image
Spread the love

If you play games online, then you know that your internet speed can usually impact the outcome of the game. If you’re not able to move your character fast enough due to having slow internet speeds, then it could result in being killed, which can end the game. This can be a frustrating situation, especially for avid gamers who could play for prestige or money in some cases. Before you begin playing, you should look into how much bandwidth you do have and how much is required for playing with ease.

Does it Really Matter?

When you look at internet speeds, you’ll see that they are measured in megabits per second (Mbps). This is how fast it takes data to be transferred between sources. A megabyte is the same as eight megabits. As you increase the Mbps, you’ll also increase the speed of downloading and uploading information. This is an important detail for gaming as well as other activities that are performed online, such as streaming videos. You’ll find that most of the games that you play online can sufficiently run with speeds between 3 and 10 Mbps. Most internet companies offer speeds that are much higher than these, so there shouldn’t be a reason your game lags as long as you really have access to these speeds.

As more people begin using the network in your home, the speed is going to decrease. If they are playing games as well, then you’re going to see a significant decrease in speeds as they require similar speeds as you. An example would be if there are four people in your family and everyone is doing something online. Two people are playing games while the other two are watching movies on devices. If you only have speeds that are 10Mbps, then you’re not going to have the best gaming experience because the speed will slow to a point where it could lag as the megabits are divided among everyone in the home.

What Affects the Speed?
While the Mbps information is a starting point in determining how fast your internet connection is, it’s not the only thing that impacts the overall speeds. There are about five factors that could play a role in how fast or slow your speeds are so that you can have the best gaming experience possible.

Downloading
The download speed is usually what you think of when you talk about internet speeds. This is the speed at which you can get information from outside sources to view on your device. The download speed is usually much higher than the upload speed because you’re usually getting more information than you’re sending. While 10 Mbps is recommended, you can get by with a speed of 6 Mbps without a lot of lag while playing your game.

Uploading
When you transfer information from your device to an outside source, it’s called uploading. You’ll usually send information throughout the day, but you’re going to be obtaining more information than you send in most situations. This is why internet providers have such a broad range from download to upload speeds. You can usually play games with 1 Mbps for the upload speed. As more people use the network that’s available, the upload speed will need to be faster.

Latency
This is a factor that can be a bit more important than the download and upload speeds. This is the factor that’s used when you’re trying to reach the host of the network or the speed of how long it would take for information to be sent from your computer or console to the server and back to your device. If there’s a higher latency number, then there’s usually a higher limit on the amount of data that can be sent and received. Higher Mbps usually won’t do anything to fix this issue. You want the latency to be less than 20ms if at all possible as this is the optimal speed for online gaming. Speeds up to 100ms are sufficient for gaming, but you’re going to start seeing more lag as you get closer to 100ms. Anything over 100ms is usually considered poor in terms of gaming speed, and if you have speeds that are over 300ms, then you likely won’t be able to play games at all.

Caps
A factor that you want to keep an eye on is whether or not you have a data cap. If you have satellite internet, then you likely have a cap, and if you go over that limit, then you’re going to need to purchase more data or wait until the original limit is restored. An example would be if you have a cap of 150 GB. While you might have a download speed of around 50 Mbps, if you go over the 150 GB cap, then the provider will typically bring your speed down to a crawl. When you’re looking for an internet provider, you want to find one that doesn’t have data caps as this means that you’ll be able to get online without worrying about how much data you use. Limiting your data is a practice that is sometimes done by companies that say they’re going to provide high speed internet at a price that’s well-below other companies. You’ll have unlimited internet, but you’re likely going to have a data limit as well, making it difficult to do many of the basic things that you need to do online once the cap is reached.

Equipment
After looking at all of the speeds that you have and whether or not you have a data cap, you might continue to wonder why your speed isn’t where it should be while gaming. Your equipment could be the issue. Make sure all of the cords are plugged in correctly and that the equipment is in proper working condition. Instead of using Wi-Fi, try using an Ethernet cord as this can sometimes result in a better connection. You can also test your internet speed with online sites to determine if you’re really getting the speed that’s advertised by your provider.