August 11, 2017
Many consumers get confused by the difference between upload and download capacity when it comes to choosing a bandwidth package. Since many games stream updates in a virtual bi-directional manner upload bandwidth capacity are critically important when it comes to online gaming.
Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a novice, you’ve probably at one point or another had a teary experience during a critical game breaking moment when everything comes to a halt, during which your opponent takes the win, not because of skill but rather because your internet connection didn’t manage to keep up with the games bandwidth requirements.
Chances are the upload capacity of the connection couldn’t keep up with the message queue meaning the server never received your updates due to a delay, however, there are some other factors to take into consideration which we will address further int this article.
A gamer should never opt for shaped packages as these deprioritize peer to peer protocols which are heavily used within the game. You should also always check with the game developers to see what the recommended bandwidth requirements are and choose a package which meets and exceeds these requirements (upload and download) since you don’t want your game interrupted at a critical moment because a loved one decided to check their email or Facebook.
The majority of modern graphic intensive games require at least 1mbps in both directions, however, some require more or less depending on whether graphics are dynamically called from a web server or are installed on the physical device.
While it’s essential to ensure that you chose a package which provides a little more bandwidth capacity in both directions than you need, fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to help reduce the amount of upload and download capacity required, boosting the amount available to your game and making it easier to find a suitable package within your budget.
While gaming it’s essential to avoid using other bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming or downloading of torrents as these types of services will utilize both the upload and download capacity. Torrents if left unchecked can drain all the available bandwidth in minutes.
Use network cables rather than wifi for your gaming device on your internal network. Internal network wifi connections generally don’t perform as well as an Ethernet cable and introduce extra hops which can lead to delays and higher latency. Latency over a wireless broadband internet connection is comparable and can even outperform wired broadband internet technologies, especially in the case of microwave fixed wireless broadband connections which can easily reach the same speeds as fibre connections.
Don’t forget to check your television screen or monitor.
Many of these modern devices come equipped with features that can cause input delays and lag. Stick to using a lower refresh rate (60Hz is optimal for online gaming). While higher refresh rates such as 120Hz or 240Hz may look great on your television, these rates will cause significant input delays and latency when it comes to online gaming.
If your screen has “Game Mode” be sure to switch this on when gaming as this mode is designed to turn off features that will contribute to lag.
Turning off all reduction settings. These options contribute to input delays.
Motion smoothing options are typically turned off by “Game Mode” automatically, however, you should verify that these options are switched off.
Outdated controller firmware can also contribute to input delays. Certain of these controllers will only update if it is physically plugged into the device such as the Xbox One.
Lastly, certain, games require port forwarding setting setup in the router. While the game developers usually provide the instructions on how to set this up, you may need to talk to your ISP about obtaining a fixed IP address, which can usually be obtained at a minimal additional mothly cost.