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A Gamer’s Guide to Broadband

Gaming has never been more popular, with over 60% of adults in the UK stating that they play games in some form. Whether you’re a casual or committed gamer, having access to fast, dependable broadband is essential to ensuring a great gaming experience.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about broadband for gaming, from understanding internet speeds and ping to choosing the right type of connection for your needs. We’ll also cover important factors such as latency, upload speeds, and router placement, to help you optimise your gaming connection.

Key gaming broadband terms you’ll need to know

There are several different broadband and gaming options, and the terminology can often get confusing. So, before we get started, it’s best if we clear up some of the technical terms that you’ll see throughout this guide.

Mbps:

Mbps is an abbreviation for “megabits per second.” It is a unit of measurement for internet bandwidth. In layman’s terms, bandwidth is the rate at which your internet connection downloads data. It is the fastest rate at which data may be downloaded from the internet into your computer or mobile device.

Download Speed:

The number of megabits of data per second required to download files to your device is referred to as download speed. Streaming and downloading games, for example, all require the download of data.

Upload Speed:

Upload speeds are essentially how quickly you can send data from your device to the internet. It is the opposite of download speed and equally as important when it comes to gaming. Upload speeds are typically much slower than download speeds, so don’t worry if you see a discrepancy in your broadband speed test.

Ping:

Ping is a measure of the round-trip time it takes for a signal to travel from one point to another on a network, and then back again. In other words, it’s a way of measuring the latency or delay in a network connection.

Latency:

Latency is a more technical name for lag, which occurs when there are response delays when gaming. The time lag is caused by high latency, which makes gaming significantly less pleasurable. Low latency is ideal since it results in smoother gameplay.

Illustration on the importance of upload and download speeds

What broadband speed do I need for gaming?

Nothing can be more frustrating than choppy gameplay and lag during your online gaming session. Luckily, choosing the right broadband speed for your needs can ensure that your gaming experience is enjoyable from start to finish.

In general, full-fibre broadband is your best option for gaming thanks to its ultra-fast speeds and resistance to signal interference. However, everyone’s preferences are different, so let’s take a look at why broadband speeds are important and what speed suits your gaming habits best.

Why is internet speed important for gamers?

Internet speed is crucial for gamers because it directly affects the quality of their gaming experience. When you play games online, your device needs to send and receive data to and from the game server in real time.

If your internet speed is slow, it can cause delays or lag in this communication, resulting in a poor gaming experience. This can manifest in various ways, such as your character freezing, the game appearing choppy or stuttering, or other players teleporting around the screen. A slow internet speed can also result in disconnections, dropped connections, and even game crashes.

In addition, many modern games require a constant internet connection for various features such as multiplayer mode, social integration, and updates. Therefore, good internet speed is crucial for gamers to have a smooth and seamless gaming experience, and to fully enjoy all the features of modern games.

What’s the minimum broadband speed I need for gaming?

The minimum internet speed you need for gaming will depend on the type of game you are playing, the platform you are using, and the number of players in the game. However, in general, a minimum internet speed of at least 3 Mbps (megabits per second) is recommended for online gaming.

This speed is sufficient for playing basic online games, such as simple puzzle or strategy games, and for single-player games that don’t require a constant internet connection. However, for more demanding games, such as first-person shooters, racing games, or massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), you will need a faster broadband speed to ensure a smooth and lag-free gaming experience.

A couple playing on their Switch

What to look for when choosing a broadband provider?

With so many broadband providers in the market, it can be challenging to determine which one offers the best service, speed, and value for money. When choosing a provider, it’s important to put your needs first and choose a package that provides you with speed, reliability, and more. Here’s what to look for when choosing a broadband provider:

High download speeds:

High download speeds are good for gaming as they allow you to stream and download games from digital stores quickly, which is becoming increasingly popular among gamers. When playing online games high download speeds can also improve your experience by reducing the effect that internet usage from other members of your household has on your connection.

Finally, download speeds have a huge impact on how smoothly your online game runs, so it’s essential that you keep an eye out for high download speeds when choosing your broadband.

High upload speeds:

Upload speeds are essential for online gaming as they determine how quickly your device can send data to the game server. Often, multiplayer modes involve you playing with other gamers around the world. In these cases, your upload speed becomes even more critical as it affects how well your device can synchronise with other players in the game.

Additionally, if you want to stream on platforms such as Twitch, a good upload speed will allow you to provide better content to your watchers, without any frustrating lag.

Group of friends playing online games

How to reduce lag and increase internet speed for gaming

Every gamer will be able to recall a moment when they have been affected by a lag-filled gaming session that has entirely ruined their experience. We know how irritating it can be, so we’ve put together a few tips on how to reduce or eliminate your gaming lag.

Use an ethernet cable:

Using an ethernet cable can reduce gaming lag as it provides a direct and stable connection between your device and the router. This reduces latency, resulting in a more responsive gaming experience. Compared to Wi-Fi, which can be affected by interference and distance, an ethernet connection provides a more consistent and reliable connection for gaming

Move closer to your router:

There are a range of external factors that can contribute to a disrupted connection between your gaming device and your router. Objects like walls, furniture and other electronic devices can cause interference, resulting in an inconsistent internet connection.

Reducing the distance between your device and the router can improve signal strength and reduce the likelihood of interference.

Upgrade your broadband package:

If you have tried both of the methods above and are still experiencing lag issues, then it may be time to upgrade your broadband package. Jurassic Fibre’s ultra-fast fibre broadband packages are ideal for handling even the most intensive gaming needs, ensuring that you enjoy a lag-free gaming experience.

What is the best ping for gaming?

The best ping for gaming is typically considered to be under 50 milliseconds (ms). A lower ping indicates a faster response time and more responsive gaming.

Ping can be affected by several factors, including your internet speed, the game server location, and the number of players in the game. In general, a ping of 50 ms or lower is considered good and should provide a smooth and responsive connection, while a ping above 100 ms can result in noticeable delays and lag.

However, some games may require even lower pings, especially in competitive and fast-paced games, where every millisecond can make a difference. In these cases, players may aim for pings as low as 20-30 ms to gain a competitive edge.

Is it better to use a wired or Wi-Fi connection for gaming?

It is generally better to use a wired connection for gaming as it provides a more stable and reliable connection compared to Wi-Fi. However, if a wired connection is not feasible, Wi-Fi can still be a viable option, especially if you have a strong and stable signal.

Additionally, using a Wi-Fi extender or mesh network can help improve coverage and reduce signal drops.

Does it matter what time of day I play online games?

Yes, the time of day that you play can affect your gaming internet connection, especially if you’re using a shared broadband connection. During peak hours, such as evenings and weekends, more people are likely to be using the internet, which can result in slower speeds and higher latency. This is because the network can become congested with traffic, which can cause delays and buffering.

Overall, it is important to be aware of the time of day and network usage when gaming and to ensure that your broadband speeds are up to scratch for your needs.

Get connected with Jurassic Fibre

Jurassic Fibre’s ultra-fast broadband packages provide everything you need for online gaming and more. With lightning-fast download speeds and a stable fibre-optic connection, our broadband can take your gaming to the next level. Embrace the future of connectivity and upgrade your home to Fibre broadband Barnstaple! It’s a game-changer.

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