FENIXBRAVU(a noob) often has a glaring question ask -“What is a good internet speed for gaming?- He has just started gaming and taking baby steps learning the nuances of playing massive multiplayer online games. The techniques and style of gameplay displayed by him are very different, unique, and fun to watch. But, most of the time, FENIXBRAVU is killed or taken down by the enemy. He was sure of not being present behind the obvious corner. And at times he is kicked out by the server admin for reasons he can’t seem to understand.
Almost all the people from the gaming community must have faced the mentioned scenarios in their life while playing online games. It might be a recurring problem for some. Nevertheless, people who are passionate about gaming continue to play.
Let’s for a change focus on the core issue!
A Problem for Many!
The answer to the question of optimal internet speed for gaming is somewhat complicated and comes attached with a lot of excess baggage. One can read many posts, watch countless videos, or try to tweak their modem and ISP settings to extract the maximum number of bits available to them. Only in rare instances, the DIY process works, resulting in frustrating scenarios. Positive results are not always guaranteed.
Most of the players, who started online gaming in the early 2000’s felt biased because of lagging issues related to internet speed. It was the time of dial-up connection. With changes in technology, first came DSL, and then came the FTTH. Both these connections were an improvement over the earlier versions. Apart from providing high-speed data transfer at a reliable speed, downloading and uploading media, and streaming became almost like a walk in the park. However the problem and the paradox “what is a good internet speed for gaming” still lingers.
Good internet speed for gaming depends mainly on the following things:
3) Distance between the server and End User
# Bandwidth: It is the sum total of bits that travel to and fro between the Service Provider and End-user. Just consider a scenario and think about how many cars can travel on the road simultaneously. The wider the road, the more vehicles can travel. Although interrelated, there is a difference between Network speed and Network bandwidth. The former refers to the speed at which data is transferred from the client-server to the user’s terminal. If multiple terminals use the same connection to play, stream or download, then there would be a decrease in the speed, which then leads to congestion in the data traffic. Therefore it would be ideal to disconnect other devices that might be using the same network before starting to play. People tend to assume, a higher bandwidth would mean a faster connection which is true but it’s not the case always. Here the second factor comes into play.
# Latency/Ping: Ping is calculated in the ms (mili-seconds). It is the round about time taken to receive a packet of information sent from the user to the system. It basically refers to the delay in sending and receiving information. This delay in receiving information is usually the main reason for slow response time in online games. The higher the ping, the poorer the response time, and the player is not able to register his actions in the game server. (Hence FENIXBRAVU is killed or taken down by enemy not present before). Although there are many factors affecting ping in a network, it is usually the number of hurdles and file size faced by the connection to send and receive the data that determines the latency. The more the number of bridged connections, routers, or ports over the connection, the ping will increase. As it causes the information packets to drop and be retransmitted again, thus leading to a drop in the quality of service of the network , which then causes negative impact on the gameplay.
# Distance between server and End-user: If the packets of information have to travel over a long distance, The Qos is drastically reduced. It is because of simple physics. The more the distance, the time taken to travel that distance would be higher. If a player from the EU region tries to play in servers located in the Asia region, his ping would be higher than the players from the Asian region. This problem of huge distance can only be solved by co-location of the game servers. But it depends on the server companies and their cost-benefit analysis. For example, an independent game title developer will not have that much finance to host multiple servers at a different location. So, even if the game is excellent, other players who are not situated at a larger distance won’t be able to have a great experience.
Any Solution to the problem- Depends on many elements
For FENIXBRUVA to have a great gameplay experience, as well as to show off his skill and answer to his question of “ What is the good internet speed for gaming”, he has to take into consideration the distance from his house to the ISP and the type of connection he provides( FTTH>DSL>Dialup Connection). He has to take into consideration the region that he is playing in and the availability of the server in his region.
To sum it up, a player has to take into consideration the services provided by the ISP, Game server location, and Distance. Also, a wired connection to the device is always more preferable to WIFI (With the advent of 5G, Wi-Fi might not be a problem). He also has to make sure that there are not many hops, bridges, or gateways from the ISP to the player’s device. A player can also use a dedicated VPN connection and software (paid service) to have a dedicated connection to the gaming servers. Till the improvement of more sophisticated technology, he can pray to the almighty above and hope that he doesn’t have to encounter any such lagging!