When you’re playing games online, you might see a lag between screens or might notice that it takes longer for other people to hear what you say and respond. This could be a sign that your internet speed is too slow for gaming. In many situations, the reason your gaming experience could be slow is because of the latency. Keep in mind that a good connection doesn’t necessarily mean that you have fast internet. You can connect to the internet all day long throughout your home and wait several minutes to navigate from one search screen to another.
The images that you see when you’re playing a game online go through a graphics card in the system that you’re using. The internet serves as a source for delivering the actions that you perform on the keypad of your computer or on a controller. You’re usually going to need a download speed of at least 3 Mbps in order for all of the graphics to appear and for the keystrokes and controls to go through.
If you play with other people online, which most people usually do when they’re gaming, then you’re going to need to consider the upload speed as well. This is the speed that is needed for information to travel from your computer to another device or server. You usually won’t need as high of an upload speed as you would a download speed because you likely won’t process as much information in this manner. An upload speed of about 2 Mbps is usually sufficient for everything that you need to do while gaming. If you notice that your games are lagging while you’re playing or while you’re trying to talk to other players, then you can bump the speeds that you have up a bit. Keep in mind that many internet service providers like Spectrum charge more monthly fees for higher speeds. The average internet speed of a broadband connection is usually 25 Mbps for downloading and 3 Mbps for uploading.
The speed that it takes for a signal to leave your device, get to another server, and then come back to you is known as latency. You’ve probably heard this called a ping rate. You don’t want the latency to get too high when you’re gaming because it could cause the game to lag. The distance that the signal travels can impact the latency. You also want to consider the number of routers that the signal has to travel through. If there are several people playing a game at one time, then it could take a bit longer for the signal to send and come back. The type of material used for the internet connection also plays a factor. Fiber-optic internet cables are usually faster than copper cables and traditional phone lines that are used to carry an internet connection.
Connecting your device with an ethernet cable to the internet source will usually give you a better connection and decrease the lag that you have. You can also reset some of the devices that you have if you notice any lag. Make sure all apps are closed that you don’t need and that there are fewer devices connected as this can use some of the speed that you might need for gaming. Try not to use your device when other people in your home or neighborhood are using the internet as this can clog the lines.