If you’re late to playing online and are looking to jump on the bandwagon, you’re about to dip into an enormous well of video-gaming goodness. Online play effectively revolutionized the way multiplayer games are played and even developed – it’s gotten to the point where some people buy a game and don’t even bother playing the single player component, instead opting to head straight to online play.
Speed and the Importance of Ping
Speed requirements vary, though anything 1Mbp/s or more will do you fine. However, one thing that’s even more important and less recognized is Ping rate. The Ping rate measures how quickly information is sent from your computer to the game’s servers and back to your computer. Ideally, this will be less than 30 m/s, but anything under 100 m/s or so will provide a quality experience. Anything over that, however, and things could get rocky. Unfortunately, Ping rates aren’t really advertised by ISPs so you may have to ask a friend or consult a forum to see what Ping rates they’re getting with their internet connections. Ultimately, the next step is fiber optics which offers up to 100 megabits per second download speeds; however this is only available in certain areas. Australia recently started rolling out their NBN (National Broadband Network) which will reach these speeds and allow gamers to download games and play online flawlessly. Click here to find out more about the NBN.
Current Generation Consoles (PS3, Xbox 360)
It’s worth noting that different games will have different requirements for smooth online gaming. However, that makes the whole ‘online gaming’ ordeal sound a lot more complicated than it is. Generally speaking, if you have a Cable or ADSL2 connection you’ll have no problems. However, you won’t need these connection types to get a lag-less online play – basically all connection types other than dial up can provide enough speed to give you the service you’re after.
Recommendation: Call of Duty: Ghosts
If you’re new to online gaming and love First Person Shooters then I highly suggest getting Call of Duty: Ghosts. Sure, Call of Duty games may have become just as casual as Candy Crush, but the truth is they’re still solid shooters with massive amounts of people with a wide range of skills levels to play.
Next-Gen Consoles (PS4, Xbox One)
Despite games for the next-gen consoles being bigger and more beautiful, connection requirements are basically the same as they are for the PS3 and Xbox 360. There’s a myth that sometimes makes the rounds on the internet that online gaming is a massive drain on monthly bandwidth limits, and these claims may get more extreme given the increased graphical performance of next-gen consoles. However, it’s not true. As the actual game data is stored locally (in the file the machine is playing off), online gaming is actually not so stressful on bandwidth.
The PlayStation 4’s Killzone: Shadow Fall looks to show off the technical capabilities of the PS4 and has an online multiplayer component that’s been very well received by critics and players alike.
For Xbox One adopters, the Forza Motorsport series has routinely set the standard for beauty and tight gameplay in the driving genre, and the fifth installment looks to do the same.
Ah, the PC. It’s seen all the consoles come and go, and so as you may expect different games have huge differences in connectivity requirements. If you’re looking to play older games (if their online servers are still open) you can get by with much slower.
Also worth noting is that massively-multiplayer-online (MMO) games are played a lot more on PC’s, which may necessitate a slightly higher upload speed than, say, an online shooter. But again, as with other forms of online play, Ping rates are more important than download or upload speeds.
Recommendation: World of Warcraft – PC
If you’re looking for one game to play for the rest of your life, it may be World of Warcraft. Now around 9 years old, the game shows no sign of momentum slowing down. If you’re a gamer you probably know of at least a few friends who started playing WoW and weren’t seen for the next 3 months. There’s a reason for that – it’s an immensely immersive experience.
Is Your Internet Up to Snuff?
As you can see the importance of having a great connection while playing online games no matter how you game. Is your current internet connection up to the task? Let me know in the comments below how well your connection is work and who you use as your ISP.