When you are gaming on a PC or console device such as PS4 or Xbox, you want to be sure your internet connection is fast enough to keep up with other players and allows you to stay competitive.
But in addition to download speed, you also need to have good upload speed, low latency and ping to get the best gaming experience.
So is 400 Mbps good for gaming? When it comes to raw download speed, anything above 25 Mbps is good for both PC and console gaming. Speeds above 100 Mbps are considered fast and are great for multiple gaming consoles running at the same time.
Download Speeds and Gaming
While download speed isn’t the only thing you need to consider when looking for a new internet service, it is one of the more important considerations.
On average, to enjoy most online games, you will only need 3 Mbps download speed. More is always better, however, and will help especially when downloading and installing the game for the first time.
Upload speed is normally similar to your download speed with most internet service providers, but if you are unsure be sure to ask your provider.
For standard online games, you only need an upload speed of 1 to 3 Mbps for a good relay between your computer and the gaming servers.
If you plan to stream your games to an online streaming platform, you may want to consider a higher upload speed such as 5 Mbps or even more.
This will ensure you have enough upload power for communicating with the game server as well as the streaming platform you are sending your gameplay to.
Most broadband connections have at least 25 Mbps download speed and can have around 10 Mbps upload speed as their basic package.
This is more than fast enough for MMORPG gaming as well as streaming on either a PC or console device.
In addition, if you are using a broadband connection having multiple gamers in the same household is easy.
The speeds in even a basic internet package should be high enough for multiple people to play their online games together – however it may start to struggle with more than one person streaming.
Other Factors Impacting Internet Connections
Gaming on a PC or console device is not just limited to your internet download speed, however. In fact, the download speed is only crucial when getting the game installed and doesn’t matter as much when you are actually playing.
Internet service providers will advertise their download speed, but don’t typically cover other aspects of their service which are equally important.
Most console games suggest a 3 Mbps download speed and a 1 Mbps upload speed. This is especially true for both Xbox and PS4 games.
If you have a 400 Mbps download speed, chances are good you have more than 1 Mbps upload speed. But if you are unsure, you can always contact your internet service provider and ask.
In addition to download and upload speed you also have to take into consideration other factors when it comes to getting the best gaming experience. These include:
This is the measurement of time it takes for your computer to communicate with the game servers.
Your latency is measured in milliseconds and should be as low as possible.
If your latency is more than 100ms, you may notice lag or delays in input during battles or other crucial moments within your games.
This will determine your latency, and should also be a very low number.
If you have high ping, you may be able to improve this by playing on game servers closer to your physical location.
Ping is usually high if a North American player is playing on a European server, for example.
This is a term for when information that is being sent from the gaming servers gets lost or delayed in getting to your computer.
Packet loss is common during large scale MMO battles, or when you are pushing your internet connection to its max by streaming your games.
When you notice your game is not responding at the same time you press a button on your keyboard, mouse or controller, this is considered lag.
Lag can mean the end of a competitive gaming session, as well as put a damper on casual gaming too.
High latency and ping can equal lag, as can a slow internet connection or high percentage of package loss.
Different Types of Internet Connections
There are a variety of ways you can get internet into your home, but not all will be suitable for online gaming.
Some connections naturally provide a higher speed, while others are much slower and can be unreliable.
Deciding which connection is best for you will depend on your gaming intentions, your physical location in the world, and your budget.
Not all internet services are available in all areas, and in some rural locations you may be limited to satellite internet only, for example.
In most cities, you should have a plethora of internet service providers and can easily shop around to find the best one.
These are extremely common for most people to have in their pockets.
It’s not uncommon for most mobile phones to have some kind of data that allows online browsing and some gameplay.
However using your mobile phone as a hotspot for gaming is not a good choice due to the lower speeds and much higher cost.
Sometimes this is the only option for very remote areas, but can be extremely slow and unreliable.
Satellite internet requires an antenna to communicate with orbiting satellites which can increase latency and ping by incredible amounts making most shooter games unplayable.
One of the fastest types of internet connection, anyone with fiber connection should have zero problems with online gaming or streaming.
In fact, you can usually have multiple gaming consoles and computers online at the same time with limited or non-existent lag and latency issues.
This service can be rather variable depending on who provides it.
Normally it can provide a very stable connection with decent speeds, but it can also suffer from a wide range of issues that cause downtime including poor connections, nearby construction, and more.
Digital Subscriber Line or DSL is generally viewed as a high speed connection that runs through the standard telephone line.
While most DSL providers advertise speeds of 100 Mbps or more, subscribers rarely get those speeds at home and will instead be limited by hardware and local infrastructure.
Wired or Wireless
Having a wired internet means you need to keep your console device or computer near your source of internet, such as a router.
Wireless connection will allow you to move your device throughout your house and still maintain connection.
A wireless connection does give you freedom of movement, and a single connection can work for multiple devices in multiple rooms of your home. However, obstructions such as brick walls, doors, floors and other electrical devices can hamper the wireless connection.
With a wired connection, you eliminate the problems associated with physical obstructions, but will instead be limited by the length of the physical cable that connects to your computer or console device.
However, this in and of itself can improve your latency and ping giving you a much better gaming experience.
Wireless connections can sometimes be improved by purchasing boosters.
These are more powerful routers or extenders that help your connection make it around or through obstructions such as walls, fireplaces or other physical things.
In some cases, having a booster near your computer or console device is all it takes to get that last little pull of internet connection into your gaming room.
Whenever possible, always try to game with a wired connection. Even if your internet service is provided by a wireless connection, you will have a router somewhere in your home that “collects” the internet.
Connecting an ethernet cable to the router and then to your computer can improve a wireless connection. It won’t be an actual wired connection like DSL or fiber optic, but having the wire from the router to your PC will definitely put an end to obstruction issues within your home.
Whether you are using a wired connection or a wireless connection, a download speed of 400 Mbps is more than fast enough for gaming on a PC or console.
However, always keep in mind that download speed is not the only consideration. Upload speed is equally important, as is latency, ping, and packet loss.
Various types of internet service can also provide better or worse connections depending on the service provider.
Never be afraid to shop around for the best internet connection, especially if you plan on streaming your gameplay or if there will be multiple gamers in the same house playing on their devices at the same time.