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What is a good internet speed for gaming? How many Mbps is enough?

What’s the best internet connection speed for gaming on PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch? Find out how to improve your internet speed with these 8 tips.

What is a good internet speed for gaming? How many Mbps is enough?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What is a good internet speed for gaming?

Internet speed of 10-25 Mbps download and 5-10 Mbps upload suits most online gaming needs. The recommended internet speed for gaming depends on several factors, including the type of game, the platform, and the number of players involved.

However, if you’re a serious gamer or streamer, you may want to invest in higher speeds to ensure the best possible gaming experience. Remember — these figures apply to the gaming community.

The minimum internet connection speed for gaming:

  • Download speed – 3 Mbps
  • Upload speed – 0.5-1 Mbps
  • Ping rate – Less than 150 ms

The recommended internet connection speed for gaming:

  • Download speed – 15-25 Mbps
  • Upload speed – 5 Mbps
  • Ping rate – Less than 50 ms

Download speed, upload speed, and ping rate explained

The smoothness of your online gaming depends on your internet bandwidth, which indicates the maximum amount of data you can download and upload at a given time. Put simply — bandwidth measures how much data your internet connection can handle.

Bandwidth is calculated in Mbps (megabits per second). Mbps is self-explanatory — it shows how many megabits per second you can download or upload.

The ping rate, or latency, is measured in ms (milliseconds). It shows how long it takes a data packet to travel from its source (for example, your console) to the destination (game server) and back again (your console).

In other words, the ping rate shows how quickly your action appears on the screen. If your ping rate is 27 milliseconds, it takes 27 milliseconds for your character to shoot in-game after you press the left mouse button. Consider learning how to ping an IP address to check if your connection is running smoothly.

So if you’ve got an important match on League of Legends or need to be running smoothly for a battle royale in Fortnite or PUBG Lite, lower ping is desirable.

So bandwidth is the amount of data sent per second, while the ping rate is the amount of time that information travels.

When your ping is very high, most online games will register other players’ moves first. That means you might suffer a headshot before getting a chance to react.

When it comes to ping rate, the rule of thumb is:

  • Less than 50 ms is very good.
  • Less than 100 ms is average.
  • 150ms is the threshold at which lag problems start.
  • Above 150 ms is a definite lag.

What is a good connection speed for different gaming devices?

The speed you need for playing depends on your device and the minimum system requirements. For example, a good internet connection for PS4/PS5 might not be enough for a PC. The following are some of the minimum Mbps download speed recommendations for popular consoles:

  • Xbox One – 3 Mbps
  • PlayStation 5 – 5 Mbps
  • Nintendo Switch – 3 Mbps
  • PC Gaming – 3 to 6 Mbps

Other factors that impact your online gaming experience

As much internet speed determines your gaming experience, other factors may affect your gaming too. Here are some:

  • Network congestion. Network congestion is when network nodes and links are overloaded with traffic. It slows your internet connectivity and causes latency, affecting your smooth gaming experience.
  • Device performance. Outdated hardware or insufficient computer or gaming console technical limitations may affect your gaming adventure.
  • Server location. The location of your server may significantly affect your interactive gameplay. The closer the server, the less ping during gaming.
  • Wi-Fi interference. Connect your gaming device directly to your router with an Ethernet cable to prevent Wi-Fi interference from causing signal drops and connection issues.
  • Game type. Your gaming experience highly depends on the game you play. Fast-paced action games with high speed movement mechanics may require more resources than strategic or puzzle games.
  • Cybercrime. Gamers are alluring targets for cybercriminals because they seldom employ basic cybersecurity measures. Hackers take over gamer accounts, spy on private chats, reuse login details to break into other accounts or sell their details on the dark web.
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The best internet connections for gaming online

High speeds, low latency, and stable connectivity are a recipe for a seamless gaming experience. The following are some of the best types of internet connections for gaming:

  • Fiber optic. Fiber optic offers speeds up to 1 Gbps, which makes it the fastest internet on the market. It provides low latency and uninterrupted connectivity – perfect for a seamless gaming experience.
  • Cable. Cable internet is one of the most popular choices for gaming – it is widely available and offers high speeds. However, it might be affected by network congestion, which usually causes higher latency than fiber optic.
  • DSL connection. A good option for gamers on a budget and offers decent speeds and coverage. However, it provides slower internet speeds than cable or fiber optic and may have higher latency than other types of internet connections.
  • Satellite internet. Satellite internet is a good option if you live in a remote area where other types of internet are not an option. However, its lower speeds may decrease your gaming adventures.
  • Fixed wireless. Even though it offers good speeds and low latency, the fixed wireless connection uses radio waves to provide connection, which may be affected by weather conditions or signal interference.

Besides choosing the best type of internet connection for your gaming needs, consider the internet service provider (ISP). Look for ISPs with a good reputation and reliable connectivity with low latency and high speeds to determine a top quality gaming experience.

How much speed do you need for different game types?

For online multiplayer games, you need at least 3 Mbps download speed and 1 Mbps upload speed. However, if multiple players use the same connection, it is better to ensure higher speeds for a gaming session. Games like first-person shooters may require more resources than, for example, strategy games. Check the game’s system requirements to ensure the best interactive gameplay experiences.

8 tips to improve your online gaming connection

  1. Use a wired connection. An ethernet cable usually provides a faster and more reliable connection. Here’s how to set up a wired home network.
  2. Move your console closer to the router. Or buy Wi-Fi extenders, which boost your signal.
  3. Secure your Wi-Fi. Someone may be piggybacking on your Wi-Fi and slowing down your home network.
  4. Free up your bandwidth. Some apps, web pages, or services could be hogging up all the bandwidth. Close them when you’re gaming.
  5. Reset your router. Occasional resets will keep it running at optimal performance.
  6. Adjust game settings. Pretty visuals take up more bandwidth. Dial down your graphics a bit if the game isn’t running smoothly. Less graphically strenuous games like Minecraft and Roblox should not run into this issue.
  7. Upgrade your internet connection. You can take a variety of paths: get a faster internet plan, buy a newer router, or upgrade to fiber optic internet. It might be worth upgrading your internet if you’re using a service like Origin that relies on staying connected online 24/7.
  8. Use a VPN. Usually, a premium VPN for gaming will marginally decrease your internet speed. However, your internet provider may reduce your connection based on your online activity — potentially including gaming sessions. This is called bandwidth throttling. A VPN can prevent an activity-based bandwidth throttling by hiding your online activity from your ISP, so they can’t intentionally slow you down. You can also set up a VPN on your router and secure the traffic of all your home devices. Also use NordVPN’s Meshnet for online gaming.
8 tips to improve online gaming connection

Online security starts with a click.

Stay safe with the world’s leading VPN