The most obvious online feature is multiplayer to connect with your friends, but even single-player games benefit from being online – downloadable quests and in-game patches for example.
What is the best broadband for gaming?
Your broadband doesn’t have to be particularly fast to play games. But you need decent speeds – ideally from fiber optic broadband – to enjoy game titles, updates, and instant streaming of HD movies.
You also need unlimited downloads to avoid worrying about a lot of data.
Fortunately, there are a few vendors who can provide the kind of package players need:
- Virgin Media is one of the fastest broadband providers in the UK. Some packages or bundles advertise average speeds of up to 362MB – for many gamers, this is the obvious choice. On the other hand, it is not the cheapest and is not available as widely as other providers. You will need to use a zip code checker to see if you can get it.
- Speak speak Fiber optic broadband is more affordable and offers average speeds of up to 63MB, depending on the plan. The provider also offers one of the cheapest TV packages on the market, so if you want a YouView box as well, this is a great option.
- Ultra-fast BT fiber Packages (formerly known as BT Infinity) have speeds that should be suitable for all types of gamers. If you choose BT, make sure you get an unlimited plan, as the cheaper ones come with just 20GB of downloads per month, which is nowhere near enough for modern gaming.
- Sharper specializes in simple and affordable packages. You won’t get a lot of extras compared to other providers, but you can get unlimited fiber plans and top-notch customer service.
- Sky the broadband is truly unlimited which means you can download as much as you want without worrying about being cut off. Fiber is the best bet if you can get it, and there are usually some deals that include TV as well.
Why do i need broadband for gaming?
Without a reasonably fast connection, you’ll have to wait longer to download the games, miss out on all the extra content the new games have to offer, and won’t be able to play and connect with your friends.
Let’s see in more detail …
- Online games – There are few gaming experiences as exciting, satisfying and fun as playing with others online. While you don’t technically need a particularly fast connection for most games, the faster the speed, the better the experience.
- Single player game – Developers are constantly modifying their games, fixing bugs and other issues that arise after a game is released. These fixes are called fixes or updates and are usually downloaded automatically if you are online. Sometimes a patch is a few MB, but sometimes they can be huge – the Xbox One Borderlands Handsome Collection update, for example, was a super 16 GB stonking!
- Buy new games – More and more people are downloading their games digitally rather than buying boxed copies in a store. Big hit games can be over 50 GB, and even smaller digital-only games get pretty big.
- Indie games – Some of the most interesting titles now come from independent developers. Games like Gone Home, Fez, The Binding of Isaac, and Goat Simulator, for example – all fascinating and memorable games, and all primarily available through download.
- Downloadable Content (DLC) – Many games get additional DLC after release (or in some cases, even before release). From additional multiplayer maps for series like Call of Duty and Halo to full expansion packs, these can greatly improve the game you play, or scratch an itch if you want more.
- Cinema, television and music – You can watch catch-up TV services like BBC iPlayer and All 4, rent movies and TV shows, stream movies through Netflix and NOW TV, access Sky channels and box sets (if you have Sky TV), watch the streams of other people playing games, listen to music through services like Spotify (on PS4), browse the web and much more. All of this requires a decent internet connection, and without one you’re only scratching the surface of what your machine can do.
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast should my Internet connection be for online gaming?
Generally, the faster your connection, the better the chances of having smooth online play, although technically you only need around 5MB speed to play most games on the Internet. console or PC.
That said, the games themselves and the updates needed to play online are often huge downloads and if you have a slow broadband connection you’ll be spending a lot of time waiting to play instead of actually doing it.
Can I play games online using mobile broadband?
Most mobile carriers sell mobile broadband dongles that you can plug into a computer to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. Alternatively, some handsets, such as the iPhone, can also be used to create a point. wireless access via 4G or 3G.
But while 4G connections are technically capable of handling online gaming, most mobile plans come with hard data limits. This data will go quickly when you start playing, so it’s best to stick with a home broadband connection when you can.
We advise you to move away entirely from 3G connections for games. They look like they need to be able to, but fast shooters are likely to experience some delays.