Xfinity Discovery Hub

September 18, 2019

Need for Speed: Choosing the Best Connection Speed for Online Gaming

ps4 controllers

Your Internet connection speed can mean the difference between life and death — at least when it comes to online games. Whether you’re gunning for a Victory Royale in “Fortnite” or defending your goal in “Rocket League,” a fast Internet connection makes a big difference. What Internet speed do I need for gaming, you ask? Most video game console manufacturers recommend at least 3 Mbps (or “megabits per second,” the measurement of how much data can be moved in a second) of download speed and 0.5 Mbps to 1 Mbps of upload speed. The good news is that all Xfinity Internet speed tiers are suitable for online gaming.

Download speed versus ping

The download speed is how fast data is pulled from the server and upload speed is how fast you send data to others. Download speed is typically much faster, because most of what you do online (loading web pages, streaming videos, etc.) consists of downloads. Additionally, the term “ping” or “ping rate” refers to how fast you get a response from your Internet connection after you send out a request. Find the recommended Internet speed for gaming with your console below (information provided by the manufacturers):

Video Game System Minimum Download Speed Minimum Upload Speed Maximum Ping Rate (in milliseconds)
Microsoft Xbox One 3 Mbps 0.5 Mbps Less than 150 ms
Nintendo Switch 3 Mbps 1 Mbps N/A
Sony PlayStation 4 5 Mbps (for PlayStation Now Streaming) N/A N/A
*All data provided by video game console manufacturers

When it comes to moving data, download speeds matter. If your Internet speed is lower than what the manufacturers recommend here, in-game textures might load slowly, and the game may not perform as well as it should. 

Surprisingly, latency has a bigger impact on game performance and response time than your download speed. Latency (gamers call it “ping”) is a delay between the action in the game and its display on your screen. High ping can make multiplayer almost impossible. If your ping is higher than another player’s, their shots might register first. In fast-paced gameplay, especially with fighting games like “Street Fighter V” or “Mortal Kombat X,” you want as little ping as possible.

Internet speed, latency, and ping rate can all affect your gaming performance and are essential for taking your gaming to the next level. If you want to improve your online experience and perform better in your favorite game, the first place you should look is your Internet service. Xfinity can help you find the ideal Internet speed for gaming and reduce your latency to help take your gaming to the next level. Test your internet speed with the Xfinity Internet Speed Test today.