No matter what kind of games you play—battle royale, first-person shooters, MMORPGs, or anything in between—a good internet speed for gaming makes your experience more enjoyable. A slow or dropped connection can ruin the fun and cost you the match.
What causes a slow or dropped connection, and what is a good internet speed for gaming to ensure uninterrupted play with consistently high frame rates? Let’s look at some of the most common connection problems and explore fixes that’ll get you back to the action.
Why does my internet keep crashing or cutting out during gameplay?
There are two main factors that can affect your internet speed and the stability of your connection to the game’s servers.
First, there’s the speed coming into your home. The type of internet connection you have defines the maximum speed you can achieve. Second, there’s the load you’re putting on your connection. If you’re running background applications that are transferring data (such as downloads or streaming music services), they’re using some of your available bandwidth. Depending on the maximum bandwidth your connection provides, that might cause problems for your game.
A third factor that can affect your gaming connection is latency. While bandwidth is the amount of data you can transfer per second, latency is the time it takes that data to reach its destination and return to your computer or console. High latency can cause lag even if your bandwidth is sufficient. To ensure smooth gaming, it’s best to have latency under 30 ms, meaning that data’s round-trip journey takes less than 30 milliseconds.
Incoming connection issues: What is fast internet speed for gaming?
The most common connection issues revolve around the maximum speed your connection can achieve and what limits your provider puts on your usage.
Problem 1: Your service isn’t fast enough
The bandwidth you need depends largely on what games you play and how you play them. For example, VR games generally require more bandwidth than non-VR games, so give some thought to what you want to play when evaluating your bandwidth needs.
Still, an internet speed of around 30 Mbps is good enough for many popular games. But just because you pay for a package with speeds “up to” 30 Mbps doesn’t mean you’ll actually achieve those speeds all the time—or ever. If you’re experiencing a slow or unreliable connection, you should review your service plan.
Fiber-optic internet offers some of the highest bandwidth on the market—with speeds as high as 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) or more in some cases—ensuring you’ll have fast enough internet speed for gaming regardless of what games you play. Upload speeds are much higher with fiber since it offers symmetrical speeds, unlike other broadband internet solutions.
On top of that, because fiber transmits data as light (rather than electricity), it’s less prone to outages from weather and electromagnetic interference that can affect other broadband technologies—which means you don’t have to stop gaming if the weather turns ugly.
Solution: You need more speed
Choose the fastest connection type and highest maximum download speed within your budget. If available, fiber internet is good for gaming due to its mix of high upload and download speeds.
Problem 2: Your router is slowing you down
If you’re connecting over WiFi, your router may not support the same speeds as your incoming connection. If that’s the case, you’ll be limited to the router’s communication speed. For example, if you’ve upgraded to 300 megabits per second (Mbps), but your router only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps, you won’t reach the full potential of your new service plan.
That’s not the only way your router affects your speeds, either. In a traditional WiFi router setup, each device communicates directly with the router, which facilitates communication between devices and shares the internet connection to each device as needed. Unfortunately, that can create dead spots and slow device speeds in areas your WiFi signal can’t reach.
A mesh system like 360 WiFi can help. Systems like these use small WiFi pods to extend the range of 5 gigahertz (GHz) WiFi frequency to enhance speeds. They can also adapt to changes in device location and help route data more efficiently for better speeds.
Solution: It’s time to upgrade
Say goodbye to your old router and welcome in a model that’s capable of maximizing your internet speeds. Check your device connections—loose or damaged wires can cause slowdowns. And if all else fails, use an undamaged, securely fitted Ethernet cable to provide internet to your gaming station.
Connection overload issues
If you run a speed test and find your speeds are decent, yet you’re still experiencing lag, you may be putting too much strain on your internet connection.
Problem 1: Connected devices
All the devices you connect to your internet service have to share the total bandwidth available. For example, if you have a good incoming speed of 60 Mbps but someone in your household is streaming a TV show in HD, you might only have 30 Mbps available for gaming.
Solution: Disconnect devices not in use
Disconnect any devices that share your internet connection. Put smartphones on airplane mode or use mobile data while you game. Turn off smart devices in your home and make sure any idle equipment in your home office is turned off or disconnected from the internet.
Problem 2: Image overload
Even if your other devices are powered down, you may be asking more from your internet connection than it can offer. Modern apps and websites display a tremendous amount of data-hungry content like video ads, images, and more—which cut into your gaming bandwidth.
Solution: Block those ads!
If turning off competing devices doesn’t help, close any browser windows you have open and quit other programs on your computer that connect to the internet or display ads. Use ad-blocking software to ensure video and graphic ads don’t display.
Once you have an internet plan with symmetrical speeds that suit your lifestyle, ensure your router and usage habits aren’t competing with your gaming connection. Then, you’re ready for seamless, uninterrupted play at last.
Fiber internet is the boost every gamer needs
The key to lag-free gaming is reliable fiber internet. Quantum Fiber offers some of the fastest fiber-optic internet speeds available today—up to 940 Mbps with 99.9% reliability.* With numbers like that, worrying about lag or connection speed will be the last thing on your mind, no matter what you’re playing! If cost is a concern, we offer competitively priced plans with speeds up to 200 Mbps. That’s more than enough bandwidth to play in 4K resolution while keeping room in the budget for new games!
*Based on network uptime or availability.
Speed may not be available in your area.