Modern video games are mostly played over the Internet. Competing live against other players from all over the world, calling up statistics or getting the latest feature immediately – often the right connection makes all the difference. We reveal what is important to make online gaming fun and whether 400 MBps is good for gaming.
Why do online games not always run smoothly?
If there are delays or long loading processes, this is usually due to the Internet connection. This is because a permanent exchange with a game server takes place so that the video game can be played with all its functions. More and more so-called cloud gaming offers are coming onto the market. Here, the games run in data centers, and players only stream a video image of them to their homes. The modern, high-quality graphics or updates, save states and statistics are stored on servers and are retrieved from there during gaming. This connection should remain stable to enable the best gaming quality.
Bandwidth: Is 400 Mbps Good For Gaming?
A connection with 16 Mbps would be sufficient for gaming. But because installations, updates and downloads consume huge amounts of data, a higher download speed of 50 Mbps is best. Then there is enough bandwidth available at the decisive moment and possible disruptive factors do not reduce the video game performance: For example, if installations are running in parallel while playing or a second person wants to access the Internet connection. Generally, 400 Mbps is good for gaming.
The upload is important for online gaming
The upload of an Internet connection is of great importance for online live games. The upload speed indicates how fast data can be uploaded or sent over an Internet line. If the upload rate is too low, for example, the upload of content will take significantly longer and the game will suffer from image and sound disturbances. We recommend an upload speed of at least 15 Mbps. If you want to use several applications at the same time, it’s better to go for more upload speed.
DSL or Cable for Gaming?
With DSL technology, unfortunately, the maximum speed does not automatically arrive at home. The bandwidth achieved depends, among other things, on the distance to the nearest distribution box. With cable Internet, on the other hand, the Internet speed fluctuates depending on the load. This means that if an apartment building or a shared flat shares a cable connection, the bandwidth is also distributed among the users in the event of simultaneous access.
Latency is crucial for Gaming
If the latency is higher than desired, there are better options than the obvious switch to a supposedly faster Internet rate – because latency and bandwidth have nothing to do with each other in the first place. However, how the data is transmitted over the last few meters from the router to the end device plays a much bigger role. A WLAN solution is popular with many consumers – it reduces cable clutter and is particularly practical if the PC or console is located in a different room from the router. Modern WLAN routers are even suitable for bandwidth-intensive applications like movie streaming – but a direct cable connection to the router is better for gaming. This is because wireless networks are more susceptible to external interference, which hardly affects the bandwidth noticeably, but can lead to irregular and potentially higher latency. Especially in competitive multiplayer games like Counterstrike or League of Legends, fast response times are crucial.
Most providers can ensure a latency of less than 50 ms almost permanently. For online games, a ping of less than 25 ms is considered optimal and with 25 to 50 ms good. Above 100 ms, lags can occur in the running game.
Good network hardware is important
There are several products that can provide faster data traffic as well as less signal interference and more efficient reception. Among other things, more optimal results can be achieved with better-equipped network devices than with budget solutions. Replacing an aging router or installing a dedicated, high-performance network card in a computer can pay dividends. For gaming notebooks, it is advisable to check the network properties in advance to avoid having to purchase additional hardware like a WLAN stick.
An Ethernet switch is a device that establishes a wired network connection between several devices. For this purpose, the switch has several ports to which other network devices can be connected via a patch cable. An Ethernet switch with additional, intelligent functionality such as VLAN support, port trunking or bandwidth management is also called a managed switch. An Ethernet switch without this functionality is occasionally also explicitly referred to as an unmanaged switch. Basically, an unmanaged switch, is perfectly adequate for normal use in the home network. An switch can significantly improve your gaming experience.
Four tips: Stabilize the Internet while Gaming
- As few other devices as possible should access the Internet connection besides the computer or console. Otherwise, download speed and latency can fluctuate. Especially if large amounts of data are being downloaded or video films are being streamed over the Internet at the same time.
- If a WLAN router is used for the Internet connection, it should be located as close as possible to the computer and shielding objects or electrical devices in the immediate vicinity should be avoided.
- An Ethernet cable could solve these problems, as a direct connection to the router eliminates interference. If the connection is still unstable, its speed should be tested and possibly a larger bandwidth should be booked with the provider.
- If it is possible to choose a game server for the online game, the one with the smallest distance to your computer should be used. If possible, players in USA should use American servers, since connections to Asia or Europe result in long latency times.
Although speed is not the most important factor for an online gaming experience, it is essential for a smooth and fluid gaming experience. 400 Mbps is fast enough for gaming! You will probably also find that a wired Internet connection is much better and faster than a wireless Wi-Fi connection.
If you experience stuttering images or long loading times on the computer despite an optimal Internet connection, the performance of the device itself might be exhausted. In most cases, it is then sufficient to reduce the light and shadow effects of the online game, for example, and thus reduce the workload for the PC or notebook.