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Internet Requirements for Gaming in 2021

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One of the largest frustrations of online gamers is an inconsistent internet connection. Lag spikes caused by other people streaming HD video or downloading movies or music can be avoided by having a fast connection that supports multiple users. This article will explore the required internet speeds for the most common types of online games.

What is Good Internet Speed for Gaming?

Most video game console manufacturers like Xbox and Playstation recommend at least 3 Mbps of download speed and 0.5 Mbps to 1 Mbps of upload speed. 

Each gaming platform and type of game is a little different. But you’ll generally meet the minimum requirements for online gaming with these internet speeds:

  • Download speed: 3 Mbps
  • Upload speed: 1 Mbps
  • Ping rate: Less than 70 ms

While internet providers generally specify speed in the details of the plan this is only an estimate. There are several ways to test and optimize your connection which will be covered in this post. As we live in a highly connected world, the number of devices you have connected to your network will also impact your gaming experience.

Choosing a higher internet speed tier gives you the ability to transmit more data, which offers greater leeway so it is less likely that other network constraints will impact your gaming. To have the ultimate gaming experience, we recommend speed tiers with download speeds of 300 Mbps and above.

Keep in mind that these numbers are for a single-player only, and they are minimum requirements. For better online gaming performance, we recommend download speeds closer to 15–25 Mbps per player. (Faster internet speeds will also speed up game downloads and load times).

Best Internet Speed for Gaming

The best internet speed for gaming is anything over a 100 Mbps download speed with a 3 Mbps upload. This would ensure your connection is capable of downloading background processes such as updates and is more capable of supporting multiple devices. This means if you’re sharing a connection with friends or family your gaming won’t be affected by how others in the home use the internet. The recent emergence of 4k streaming has also pushed up the threshold of internet speed requirements for the average gamer who shares a connection. Fiber-optic internet is the best option for speed consistency and is great for handling multiple users.

What Internet Speed Do You Need?

For the gamer on a fixed connection, the minimum internet requirement to play mainstream games is a 30 Mbps download speed with a 1 Mbps upload. If you are interested in streaming your gameplay you can read our full article on Twitch internet requirements

Internet Requirements for a Multiple Person Connection

For multiple players using the same internet connection, multiply the requirement by the number of players who would be online at the same time. For example, if you have three players in your home, you’ll need an internet connection with at least 9 Mbps of download bandwidth. Be sure to check the specific requirements for your gaming system below before making your calculations.

Internet Requirements by Game Type

Game TypeDownloadUploadPing
FPS30 Mbps1 Mbps15 ms
MMO5 Mbps1 Mbps150 ms
RTS3 Mbps1 Mbps150 ms
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    First Person Shooters (FPS)

    Games like Call of Duty, Fortnite or Valorant require quick internet and low ping to keep up with the fast-paced action. According to game developers the ideal internet requirements for FPS gaming are:

    Recommended for: Call of Duty, Fortnite, Valorant, Overwatch, Escape from Tarkov 

    • Download Speed: 30 Mbps
    • Upload Speed: 1 Mbps
    • Ping rate: 15 ms

    Ping Requirements for FPS

    In the competitive Call of Duty scene, 20 ping is considered good and anything over 70 ms is considered unplayable. While low ping might not be achievable for all casual players it is highly recommended to test your internet speed and stability prior to doing ranked matches.

    Unlike other online game types, internet speed is critical to reflex-driven games in the FPS genre. A lower ping is going to give a large advantage.   

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    Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs)

    Massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, Black Desert Online, and Guild Wars require a consistent connection to take part in raids and PVP. Compared to other game types MMOs arent quite as bad for slower connections with high ping not as punishing as it is in FPS. That being said if you enjoy player vs player content a faster connection is hugely beneficial. 

    Recommended for: World of Warcraft, Black Desert Online, Guild Wars, Final Fantasy XIV, Elder Scrolls Online 

    • Download Speed: 5 Mbps
    • Upload Speed: 1 Mbps
    • Ping rate: 150 ms

    While a 3 Mbps download speed is possible, we suggest a 5 Mbps just to make group content and dungeons smoother. There is nothing worse than putting additional pressure on a group due to poor internet speeds.

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    Real-time Strategy Games (RTS)

    Real-time strategy games have been hugely popular since the late ’90s. Originally played over LAN connection more recent games now allow for competitive online play. While a fast internet connection isn’t needed for most, highly competitive play with a lot of unit-macro is required for players pushing to reach the highest ranks. 

    Recommended for: StarCraft 2, Age of Empires, Warcraft 3, Company of Heroes

    • Download Speed: 3 Mbps
    • Upload Speed: 1 Mbps
    • Ping rate: 150 ms

How To Improve Your Internet Connection for Gaming

If your internet provider states that you should be getting better speeds than you are there are a number of ways you can troubleshoot internet connection issues.

  1. Turn off unnecessary background processes
  2. Reset your modem router. 
  3. Switch to a fixed connection instead of wireless
  4. Update software regularly
  5. Configure your router to the best setting
  6. Check and replace cabling
  7. Scan for Viruses 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s My Ping Rate?

The quickest way to check your ping is to use a speed test site like Meter.net or Speedtest by Ookla. Both sites are free to use and can also be used to diagnose potential internet issues.


Why is My Computer Lagging Playing Games?

The most common issue that causes lag while playing games is an internet connection. This is easy to test by running a scan through Meter.net or Speedtest by Ookala. If you are running through a wi-fi connection consider switching to a cabled connection. If there are no problems detected the fault likely lies with your PC. Use Task Manager to check CPU performance and consider hardware upgrades or replacements if required.

About the Author

Chris

Chris is a digital marketer with a strong background in small business and influencer branding. He applies his knowledge of content and promotional strategies to design actionable advice for new and intermediate streamers. When he’s not busy crunching analytics, he can be found in the salt pits of League of Legends.

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