What is a good internet speed for gaming?

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Last updated: 06/30/2020
What is a good internet speed for gaming?

Why does internet speed matter in gaming?

When it comes to gaming, then lag or a glitchy response may be your biggest opponent. This especially applies to games that rely on real-time movement between players. When you are mid-game, then the slightest interruption can end hours of dedicated gaming performance. 

For example, if your actions suddenly start buffering while you’re in the centre of a fast-paced battle, then once your connection has caught up to speed, you may find that you have not only been badly hit, but the game has also progressed without you. 

So, if you are on the hunt for a reliable and supportive internet connection for your gaming -style, then you’ll want to keep speed (download and upload speed) and ping rate in mind. These are the factors that contribute to game lag the most.

Download Speed vs. Upload Speed

You have probably noticed that internet service providers put a lot of emphasis on download speed when they advertise their deals. However, if you’re a gamer, then upload speed is just as important – it can also contribute to the quality of your gaming experience.

What Is the Difference Between Download Speed and Upload Speed?

Download speed measures how much time it will take for data to travel from your server to your gaming device. 

Upload speed, on the other hand, refers to how much time it will take for data to travel from your gaming device to the server. 

What about ping rate?

Ping rate, often referred to as latency, should also be considered if you want to set yourself up with a lag-free connection. 

What is “ping rate”?

Ping rate is the speed at which your device communicates with the internet server. This speed-type is measured in milliseconds (ms).  The higher a ping rate is, the slower your connection will be (even if you have a fast download and upload speed). 

Ideally, you want a latency average of 20 ms – although, you can game smoothly with ping rates of 50 to 100 ms as well. 

What is a good internet speed for gaming?

While all gaming platforms and types of games differ, the following can be used as a general guideline for the minimum internet speed requirements for online gaming: 

  • 3Mbps – download speed
  • 1Mbps – upload speed
  • Less than 150 MS – ping rate

Make a note that these specifications are for a single player only. If you plan on hosting multiple players at a time, then download speeds closer to 15–25Mbps per player are going to give you better results. Alternatively, you can also multiply the number of players using the same internet connection by the minimum download speed requirement. So, if you have 4 players at home, you’ll multiply 4 by 3 to reach a suggested minimum download speed of 12Mbps. 

We’ve also included a list of minimum internet speeds you’ll need for:

XBox One 

  • Required minimum download speed - 3Mbps
  • Required minimum upload speed - 0.5Mbps
  • Maximum allowable ping rate - 150 ms

PlayStation 4 

  • Required minimum download speed - Estimated 3Mbps
  • Required minimum upload speed - Estimated 1Mbps
  • Maximum allowable ping rate - Estimated 150 ms

Nintendo Switch 

  • Required minimum download speed - 3Mbps
  • Required minimum upload speed - 1Mbps
  • Maximum allowable ping rate - Estimated 150 ms


  • Required minimum download speed – 3-6Mbps
  • Required minimum upload speed - 0.75-1Mbps
  • Maximum allowable ping rate – 100-150 ms

What can I do if my internet speed is too slow?

If you are tired of losing your games due to frozen screens and spotty actions, then there are ways you can improve your internet and latency speeds. Try one or more of these hacks:

  • Use a Wired Connection: Instead of connecting to the WiFi (which is far more suspectable to interruptions), you can increase your network performance by directly connecting your console to your modem using a quality Ethernet cord.
  • Game as Close to the Router as You Can: If a wired connection isn’t going to be possible (perhaps you’re gaming on a tablet or a smartphone) then you need close, unobstructed access to your router. This will help you to get the best signal range. 
  • Reset and Restart: Modems and routers perform better when they are frequently reset. If you find a once-reliable connection is suddenly lagging, then a good restart may be all you need to optimise your internet speed. 
  • Make Sure Nothing Else Is Hogging Your Bandwidth: Check to see if there are any other devices in your home that are also connected to the same network. If someone has downloads or software updates running, then this can hamper your internet speed.  
  • Upgrade Your Internet Plan: Sometimes, your internet connection is doing all it can. So, if you’ve tried all our suggested hacks but your games still buffer when the action gets heated, then the only solution is to upgrade your connection. A faster internet plan will give you the speed your sport requires as well as a much-needed ping-boost.  

Comparing Internet Providers

If you’re looking to upgrade your internet plan so that you can get the best upload and downloads speeds as well as low latency speeds – then you’re at the right place. We can help you to compare internet providers so that you can get cheap internet with the best speeds. 
Simply use our free online quote comparison tool. All you need to do is fill in a few details, and then we will supply you with a selection of affordable internet deals in your area. 
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