The worst thing that can happen during an intense gaming session is internet lag. An interruption during the winning or losing moment can ruin your entire gaming experience. That’s why seasoned gamers research all the relevant elements like latency, download speed, upload speed, data caps, and others before they subscribe to an internet plan.
Furthermore, you don’t want to get frustrated during a gaming session due to lags and speed throttling due to non-payment of your monthly bill. So, make sure you take advantage of a variety of convenient payment options introduced by ISPs. For instance, if you are not a phone person, you don’t have to call Spectrum bill pay phone number to pay your dues. Instead, you can pay online on their website or via their app.
This blog post will talk about the features you should see in an internet plan for gaming. Based on them, some research beforehand would pay off before you subscribe to an internet plan specifically for gaming.
What Should Be the Downloading Speeds?
If you are under the impression that you essentially need gig speeds for gaming, then let’s break this myth. This is not true! You need a minimum of 75 Mbps to enjoy a smooth gaming experience. This speed is enough to support any intense online game along with other connected devices such as smartphones, tablets, and so on. If other users are watching YouTube videos, or streaming a show on Netflix, or scrolling social media, then all the simultaneous online activities need a decent bandwidth.
Therefore, even if you see the FCC recommendation of a measly 3-4 Mbps for gaming, don’t go for it. You do need faster download speeds to have a lag-free gaming experience. Especially if you have other family members or roommates who are consuming the bandwidth. Even a 40 Mbps internet isn’t good enough. So, whether you subscribe to AT&T, Spectrum, Cox, or Xfinity, go for a speed tier of a minimum of 75 Mbps.
What Should Be the Uploading Speeds?
Uploading speeds are not as important as downloading speeds when it comes to gaming. However, if multiple users are using the internet for different online activities, then aim for a minimum of 5-10 Mbps.
If you are playing a game that involves live-streaming such as Twitch, you need at least 3-6 Mbps of uploading speeds. However, seasoned gamers recommend 10 Mbps or more uploading speeds for gaming. Some ISPs such as Xfinity offer streamlined uploading and downloading speeds.
What about Latency?
Latency is also known as ping, lag, and ms. In gaming, latency plays a significant role. It is the measure of the time your system takes to send and receive data from the game server. High latency will cause lags and will ruin your gaming experience.
Therefore, aim for as low as 50 ms latency or even lower. The lower the better! Typically, a DSL connection has a latency of 24-42 ms. While a cable connection has 15-27 ms latency. Lastly, a fiber connection offers a minimum latency of 10-15 ms. So, based on the connection type you are choosing for your internet plan, you can have a clear idea of how much latency you will experience.
No Data Cap
The last thing you want to worry about during gaming is speed throttling and worrying about hitting your data cap. Therefore, go for an internet plan that comes with unlimited data. Many ISPs such as Spectrum, Xfinity, and others offer no data volume restrictions.
However, if you still have to choose an internet plan that essentially comes with a data cap, go for at least 1 TB. This would be enough for your gaming ventures along with other online activities.
All the aforementioned features of data cap, upload speeds, download speeds, and latency would be irrelevant if your gaming equipment is not optimized to handle the games you want to play. Take advantage of the tips listed below to improve your gaming setup, including upgrades to hardware like consoles or GPUs.
If you are a pro gamer, make sure you use an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is great but it’s shared. An Ethernet cable is a dedicated, wired connection with lower losses. This will offer more stable speeds and the lowest possible latency on your internet plan.
In case you have to use Wi-Fi, then make sure that your router is positioned close to your gaming equipment to ensure strong signal strength. Furthermore, avoid furniture, walls, and other hard things between the gaming rig/console and your router.
Another thing that you should consider is to update the firmware on your router and modem. This will essentially alleviate many performance issues that your equipment could have. Having the upgraded software will boost your internet speeds and WiFi performance. Lastly, use network prioritization and QoS (Quality of Service) options on your router. If your router has those options, consider prioritizing your gaming console’s internet traffic over other devices in the house.