Regardless of the genre of games you play, having a stable internet connection is essential. If there is not enough speed available or your connection fluctuates, there is no way you can enjoy good gameplay.
Using this guide will enable you to make the right choice. Ensuring that lag never holds you back, regardless of the level at which you play.
Choose the right type of internet connection
Depending on where you live, your internet connection will typically be delivered via home landline cables, dedicated copper phone lines (DSL), T1 or T3 lines, OC (Optical Carrier) lines, dedicated cable networks, or fibre optic cables. Out of those options, fibre broadband is the best for gaming. The connection is stable and rarely goes down. But more importantly, the speeds you get are blisteringly fast.
How fast depends on the type of package that you buy. Which one is right for you is dependent on the type of games you play and how other members of your household are using the broadband connection.
In some areas, where there is not sufficient infrastructure, you may have to use satellite, mobile, or a local network WiMAX connection. If you should find yourself in this situation, usually WiMAX is the best choice. It does not have the lag and latency issues that a satellite connection does and is more reliable and less expensive than most mobile internet is.
When it comes to gaming speed matters. If your connection is too slow you will always be behind the gameplay.
There are three types of speed that gamers need to be aware of. They are upload, download, and ping rates. It is not enough to get two out of the three right, you need all 3 types of speed to be able to enjoy fast, responsive, and smooth gaming.
When it comes to upload speed, for most gamers 2MBs is about right. It will be enough to enable you to play most FBS and MOBO games.
But, if you want to get involved in the lucrative Esport industry you are going to want to be able to live stream your play to Twitch. To be able to do that it is important to have enough upload speed. How much you need for this activity depends on many factors, which are all explained in detail here. But, usually, around 6.3Mbs is enough to stream and ensure that there is still sufficient bandwidth left for you to be able to play the game well.
Download speeds that enable you to keep up with the gameplay
If the download speed is too slow the gaming environment will not render properly. That means you will not be able to see what other players are doing until it is too late to do anything about it.
For most MOBA games 6Mbps will be enough. But for faster-paced, more complex games like Doom Eternal, you will need 30MBps. Again, contracting a little more than you need does no harm.
Low ping rates for smooth gameplay
Out of all the speed considerations, the ping rate is probably the most important. If your ping rates are too high the gameplay will be stuttery. There will be lag and jitter issues. How low it needs to be is dependent on the types of games that you play. You can enjoy something like Apex Legends even if you have a ping rate of 130ms, but if you want to play Doom it will need to be 30ms or below.
Connect directly to your gaming PC
Whenever possible, set things up so that your gaming PC is connected directly to the broadband router via a cable. Doing this ensures that none of the signal strength is lost.
Choose an ethernet connection whenever possible
If possible, connect your other gaming devices via an ethernet cable rather than relying on Wi-Fi. Provided you buy a high-quality cable that can carry up to 10Mbs of data it will easily outperform any Wi-Fi router. Even the latest Wi-Fi 5/6 systems can only manage 7Mbs and only if the conditions in your home are right. Use our ethernet cable buying guide to help you to make the right choice.
A wired connection is usually far more stable than a Wi-Fi signal. That means less latency and jitter.
Future-proof your connection
When choosing which ISP to use, bear in mind that things move fast in the gaming world. Gameplay continues to get richer and more exciting. But to be able to enjoy most of the new titles to the full, you need a fast and stable connection. So, usually, tying yourself into a long-term contract is rarely a good idea. It might save you money, but it is no good if the speeds you signed up for are too slow to enable you to play the new releases.
Which broadband provider you use is just as important as the type of hardware you choose. So, take your time when choosing one and be prepared to invest a little extra money to get the best possible connection.