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What Are Good Wifi Speeds for Gaming?

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Whether you’re new to gaming or you are thinking of getting started with games, finding the best WiFi service is a top priority to avoid slower speeds and disruptions. Ensuring your WiFi speed is suitable for gaming can help to make your gaming experience as seamless and as enjoyable as possible. 

Why do WiFi speeds matter for gaming?

Playing a single-player game that does not require internet access is simple and straightforward. However, when you want to connect to the internet to play games with friends, you will need a wireless internet connection at a speed that is appropriate for gaming. Gaming requires more bandwidth and attention than most activities online, such as browsing social media or checking your email.

Due to the requirement to play games with others, a better WiFi speed is essential to avoid interruptions, lagging, or high ping.

What is bandwidth?

Bandwidth is essentially the amount of information and data that can be transferred using one single connection at a time. While bandwidth is less of an issue today when it comes to obtaining a wireless internet service that is right for you, it is still a fundamental element involved in surfing the web. 

Bandwidth used while browsing the internet will add up if you are using multiple devices to stream or download content simultaneously. The best option to avoid issues with wireless internet bandwidth is to search for a WiFi plan that does not cap or limit bandwidth usage monthly. 

What is ping?

Angry girl gamer holding her screen.

Playing multiplayer games online will require plenty of RAM as well as bandwidth, depending on the game(s) you play and the number of players you are playing with at any given time. A user’s ping is essentially the delay time between the connection of a user’s computer to the game servers they are currently using. If you are playing a game but you have a high ping, you can expect more delays than usual, which can result in a lack of performance and/or abilities while in-game.

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Typically, an optimal ping is anywhere below 15ms. However, the average ping of a gamer online with high-speed internet and a wireless connection that is suitable for gaming can range between 15 and 45ms. In some instances, a ping between 45 and 100ms can also work well, depending on the game(s) you are playing online.

However, once your ping begins to climb over 100ms, you will more than likely encounter issues such as lagging or the inability to keep up with current happenings in real-time. Any ping over 200 or 250ms will not likely be playable unless you choose to play the game while you are offline only.

What WiFi speeds are ideal for gaming? 

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Before choosing a wireless internet plan that is right for you, consider how many others are living in your household and will be using the internet connection at any given time. It is important to note that most internet plans today are sold based on the download speed as well as the upload speed it offers.

Standard internet services today typically begin with a download speed of 3 Mbps (megabytes per second) with an upload speed of 0.5-1Mbps. With a standard internet connection, you can expect a ping rate of less than 150 ms, which may or may not be suitable for the type of games you play online. 

A recommended choice for wireless internet for those who enjoy gaming online will typically include a download speed of at least 15-25 Mbps with an upload speed of 5Mbps. This recommended wireless internet speed will typically result in a ping rate of less than 50 ms, which is acceptable for most high-end games available on the market today, even when playing online and in a multiplayer mode. 

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Are there different tiers of WiFi speeds?

Yes, not all WiFi services and speed packages are the same. Some WiFi packages are designed for those who enjoy simple browsing and do not require ongoing streaming and/or gaming support. Standard wireless internet packages may only promote download speeds up to 3-5Mbps, which is typical, but will not guarantee a great ping rate if you attempt to play a game online.

How do I know what WiFi speed I need? 

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In order to determine the speed of the internet you require, you will need to consider the type of internet usage you and your household will need each month. If you are living alone and only streaming or playing on one device at a time, seeking out a standard wireless internet connection without premium connections may do the trick. However, if you are living with multiple people in your home and/or you wish to stream on numerous devices while playing top-tier games, you will need at least one connection that delivers a download speed of 15-25Mbps. 

Which games require the best WiFi speeds?

The type of game you wish to play online will also play a role in how your current wireless connection performs. Not all game types perform similarly online, as some games require more RAM, memory, and ultimately, a better internet connection for optimal performance. Some of the most popular game genres and their recommended download speeds are listed below:

  • MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Games): Recommended download speed: Greater than 3.5Mbps with an upload speed greater than 0.5Mbps. 
  • RPG (Role-Playing Game): Recommended download speed: Greater than 1.5Mbps with an upload speed greater than 1Mbps. 
  • Strategy Games:  Recommended download speed: Greater than 3Mbps with an upload speed greater than 0.5Mbps.
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What are some tips to improve my WiFi speed for gaming purposes?

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If you want to improve your wireless internet connection and/or speed without upgrading your current package, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use a secured connection to prevent others from also using the bandwidth you are allotted, which can ultimately slow your connection down.
  • Move your console or PC closer to your wireless router or modem to help improve the wireless signal you receive while playing online.
  • If possible, use a wired Ethernet connection for optimal speeds when it comes to both downloading as well as uploading information.
  • Stop streaming using other devices and only play your game using one preferred device. Using numerous computers, televisions, and even tablet devices or smartphones online can contribute to the overall amount of bandwidth that is being used online at any given time.
  • Adjust game settings whenever possible, as some games also provide different modes to reduce ping rate while optimizing streaming performance, depending on your game of choice and your current internet connection. 

How can I fix my current wireless internet connection?

If you are having difficulties with your current internet connection, you may need to complete the following steps before upgrading your current plan:

  • Reset your internet router or modem. Complete a hard reset while unplugging any and all cords that are currently plugged into the router. Allow at least 60-120 seconds for a complete reset to take place. This may help to improve the internet signal you are receiving using your modem or router.
  • Eliminate excessive streaming services and/or devices from hogging the bandwidth you have available while playing your preferred games, regardless of the console or device you are using.
  • Use an internet speed checker online to determine whether or not your internet service provider is delivering the upload and download speeds you are supposed to be receiving. You can use standard internet speed tests to gain valuable insight into the overall performance of your WiFi connection. 
  • Call your current ISP, or Internet Service Provider to inquire about the current internet plans and packages that are available. If you are using a standard or average internet plan, you may upgrade to a better plan for improved gaming and streaming experiences. 
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Sources:

Nordvpn.com – What is a good internet speed for gaming?

Gamedesigning.org – Internet Speed For Gaming: Speed Recommendations, Reducing Lag and Ping

Esports.net – WHAT IS PING IN GAMING? – UNDERSTAND PING TO GET BETTER AT ONLINE PLAY