Broadband for gamers

Whether you're an eSports mastermind competing in front of millions of viewers, or just enjoy playing Call of Duty in your bedroom, there's one thing that all keen gamers must have in common - the right broadband

Key points 

Broadband speed for console games

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. If you scale back your requirements, you could potentially save money and still get the gaming experience you've been hankering after. 

Broadband speed for PC games 

eSports are mostly centred around multiplayer games played on a PC. They 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. 

Checklist for gamers

What can affect my broadband speed?

If you want smooth performance, we recommend looking for a broadband package that reduces the following key disruptions:  

Ping / Latency 

Ping is the sworn enemy of online gaming - it's basically the reaction time. Ping (also known as latency) is measured in milliseconds (ms) and anything under 50ms is considered pretty good. When it starts to edge over 100ms, that’s when you’ll begin to notice it during gameplay and not in a good way. 

Most broadband speed checkers will enable you to measure the download and upload speed of your connection, as well as the ping. There’s no set rule for lowering your ping, however, there are different things you can try to raise your reaction speed. 

Traffic management 

Traffic management is responsible for prioritising how your connection is being used. This means that during peak periods of usage, certain traffic will be prioritised over others. Streaming activities are generally given a top priority so that users don’t need to deal with buffering. 

However, this means that other less demanding tasks like file-sharing may become slower and more lethargic in the meantime.

Packet loss 

Packet loss is when your game does that annoying jerky freezing. This is a result of data 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. 

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. 

Investigate whether you have adequate bandwidth and if your router and firewall is up to the 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. 

When troubleshooting problems like this, only change one thing at a time, so you can figure out exactly what’s causing the freezing. 

Content Ratio 

The contention ratio lets you know how many other users in your area are sharing the broadband connection. As a result of this, it can impact the speed significantly when everyone is connected at once. 

This isn’t a significant issue as opposed to the other potential disruptions, as it is now less of a problem then it used to be.