Guide to broadband for gamers
- Broadband speed is important for gamers, but other factors including ping and packet loss also contribute to the experience
- A high level of ping could be the reason behind unresponsiveness in your game
- Check your internet package for traffic management which prioritises certain traffic during busy periods
Online gaming is a cultural phenomenon, with big stars of the eSports world raking in million-dollar prize pots for winning grand tournaments that attract competitors from around the world.
Broadband speed for console games
Having a speedy connection is something that most internet users won't compromise on, but you don't necessarily need the fastest package available on the market to get the online experience you're after.
Some console games rely on you downloading the game, which means that your internet speed will only affect how long it takes for your game to be ready to play.
In fact, you may be surprised to know that the minimum speed for playing an Xbox Live game is a paltry 3Mbps. So, that pricey 36Mbps package you've been eyeing up may indeed be too much bang for your buck.
If you scale back your requirements, you could save a few quid and still get the gaming experience you've been hankering after.
Broadband speed for PC games
eSports are mostly centred around multi-player strategy games played on a PC.
Checklist for gamers
- Adequate broadband speed for the game you want to play
- Low level of ping
- Low amount of packet loss
- Check your terms and conditions for mention of traffic management
- Ethernet cable in case you need to plug your struggling device into the router
So it may require more of a broadband boost than your average console game, but you still won't need more than around 5mbps to play games like League of Legends.
Packet loss is something that you don't want to affect your gaming in a negative way, because if it does you'll find yourself battling through unresponsiveness, unexpected freezing and constant stuttering. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Packet loss is when your game does that really annoying jerky freezing because data is being lost on the journey to and from the server. It's impossible to eradicate it completely, but when it gets out of hand it may have you throwing your device at the wall in frustration.
Investigate whether you have adequate bandwidth and if your router and firewall is up to job of keeping up with your gaming. It could also be due to software issues or faulty cables, so have a dig around to see where the issue is coming from.
In the immortal words of Louis Armstrong, 'It don't mean a thing if it's got too much ping.' Something like that anyway…
Ping is the sworn enemy of online gaming - it's basically the reaction time, ie the time it takes for you to press a button and see the resulting action happen on your screen.