How to choose the right internet speed for gaming

by | Dec 14, 2022

A cool young man enjoying internet for gaming.
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Comfortable chair. Check! Plenty of snacks. Check! Online gaming buddies. Ready and waiting! Just one more thing—how’s your internet connection? Is it fast enough to keep you in the zone?

Whether you have a home-built gaming PC or a standard model straight out of the box, you need reliable internet for gaming to be the last one standing when battling it out in Fortnite or League of Legends. And the more competitive your game, the more you need a high-speed broadband internet connection you can count on. Otherwise, it could be game over if you experience issues like lag, mid-game crashing, and long loading screens. So, what’s a good internet speed for gaming, and how do you know when it’s time to upgrade?

How can I tell if my gaming internet isn’t up to speed?

Even if you have an awesome graphics card and a custom PC for the ages, you won’t get far in your favorite new online games with an underperforming internet connection. Here are some common signs it’s time for a service upgrade:

  • Lag: We’re all familiar with lag. In fact, it’s every online gamer’s worst nightmare in a competitive setting. If your graphics card is compatible with your game of choice, there’s a good chance your character is stuck in one place because of lag.
  • Connectivity issues: Is there anything more frustrating than your session dropping in the middle of a match? If you’re losing momentum due to this common network issue, it may be time to investigate other internet options for gaming.
  • Long load times: Load screens can be annoying even during the best of times. But if you’re experiencing long delays between online matches and everything else on your computer is running fine, your internet connection could be the problem.

How do I know if I need high-speed internet for gaming?

A boy with a headset enjoys internet for gaming.

If you’re a serious gamer, WiFi that lags, freezes, or crashes can be beyond frustrating. Get back in the game by exploring other internet options for an optimal gaming experience. When shopping around, be sure to consider the importance of symmetrical speeds.

Symmetrical speed refers to the ability to upload and download at the same rate. If your current service offers much slower upload speeds than download speeds, you’ll likely run into issues with video calls, VoIP, and online gaming. Gaming is interactive, so the data traveling to outside networks needs to be as fast as the information coming in.

Bowser or GLaDOS may not be your greatest archenemy when online gaming—latency is your real nemesis. It’s why your character lags behind the rest in online matches and is especially critical when you’re playing real-time matches in arena games or first-person shooters. Even if your connection is usually smooth,  can bring your optimal gaming experience to a grinding halt. Common causes of high latency include:

  • Your location relative to the server(s) hosting the session may impact latency and ping.
  • Your hardware being insufficient to support the game content and causing lag.
  • Your ISP and their quality of provided service.

For maximum performance, aim for 30 ms latency or below. Let’s look at other factors that can affect latency:

You live in a house full of other gamers

Speed and bandwidth are measured in Megabits per second (Mbps). High-speed fiber internet delivers up to 940 Mbps, but that’s not nearly the top speed for Quantum Fiber. In fact, Quantum Fiber delivers multi-gig speeds of up to 3 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and even up to 8 Gbps in select areas, and our capabilities and offerings are only growing.  Robust power like multi-gig speed is critical if you live in a house filled with other gamers or those who like to stream in 4K. Even with top-notch hardware, if you don’t have a strong internet connection, all your devices will be fighting each other. By increasing your bandwidth, everyone in your household can game, stream, and video chat without lag or lost connections—at the same time!

You’re interested in VR gaming

With so many cool new wearable gaming devices on the horizon, there’s a lot of buzz around virtual reality. But if you invest in one of these gadgets, you may be in for a reality check if high latency turns the experience into a bust. If you’re considering VR,  for optimal performance. With the Metaverse seeing significant strides, you want to be prepared to experience the fully immersive beauty of VR!

You plan on streaming your gaming sessions

Are you an aspiring streamer on a site like Twitch? Your symmetrical speeds are especially critical since you’ll be uploading and downloading data simultaneously. When running multiple applications like Twitch and guest chats alongside your gaming platform of choice, you’ll need high upload speeds and low latency for gaming for peak performance. Otherwise, you could be in for endless buffering and an overall frustrating streaming experience.

How much bandwidth does gaming use if I don’t play large-scale games?

Even if you aren’t into massively multiplayer online first-person shooter games (MMOFPS) that take up tons of bandwidth, you and your housemates can still benefit from a high-speed internet upgrade. Sufficient bandwidth for gaming is essential, but it’s good for so much more. By increasing the bandwidth on your home network, the whole household can game, stream, video chat, back up data, and download files in perfect harmony.

When you upgrade to high-speed fiber internet for gaming, you’ll see a boost in performance across all your network devices—whether you’re the only gamer in the household or battling it out for bandwidth with the whole crew.

Ready to make a move to high-speed fiber internet?

A group of friends gathers to enjoy internet for gaming.

It’s time to get the game rolling. Create the best gaming and overall online experience by upgrading to high-speed fiber internet. Still unsure how much gig speed you need or if your connection is really the problem? Get answers to these questions and all things fiber-related in the Quantum Fiber blog. It covers everything from internet speed for gaming and streaming to security and safety tips.

Content Disclaimer - All content is for informational purposes only, may require user’s additional research, and is provided “as is” without any warranty, condition of any kind (express or implied), or guarantee of outcome or results. Use of this content is at user’s own risk. All third-party company and product or service names referenced in this article are for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement or affiliation with Quantum Fiber. If Quantum Fiber products and offerings are referenced in the content, they are accurate as of the date of issue. Quantum Fiber services are not available everywhere. Quantum Fiber service usually means 100% fiber-optic network to your location but, in limited circumstances, Quantum Fiber may need to deploy alternative technologies coupled with a non-fiber connection from a certain point (usually the curb) to your location in order to provide the advertised download speeds. ©2024 Q Fiber, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Quantum, Quantum Fiber and Quantum Fiber Internet are trademarks of Quantum Wireless LLC and used under license to Q Fiber, LLC.

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