Does Upload Speed Matter For Gaming?

When you take the time to sit and think about online gaming, you can realize just how amazing it is. People worldwide can be on the same server talking to each other and playing against each other with everything happening in Milliseconds. All of this does require internet, and we want to look at whether or not your upload speed matters for gaming.

Yes, upload speed does matter. It matters as much as your download speed. However, If your upload speed is higher than 3mbps, that is fast enough. Your distance from the server you are connected to is just as crucial as your upload speed. Also, the path that your data gets sent through can significantly alter your latency.

In this article, we will be taking a look at upload speed, download speed, and server tick rate. We also want to discuss whether or not you should play on a wired or wireless connection. There are many questions to answer when it comes to online gaming, and to help you understand whether or not you are doing things the correct way, keep reading this article.

Does Download Speed Matter For Gaming?

Download speed does matter for gaming. The faster you can download data from an online server, the better your experience will be. However, two things are more important than your download speed, provided your speed meets the minimum requirements, which is approximately 3 to 5mbps.

  • Distance from the server: The distance the data travels is more important than the download speed once you go over 5mbps. So, someone who is 100 miles away from the server will have a better experience than someone who is 500 miles away, even if the person 500 miles away has faster internet.
  • Fiber vs. Copper: Another significant factor we need to consider is how the data travels from your PC or console to the server. For example, if you have a 20MB copper line, also known as DSL, and someone has fiber, their experience will be better than yours because the data travels faster through fiber.
  • The ISP: Finally, we need to discuss the importance of your internet service provider. Many countries have a lot of providers, and they all have different pathways to gaming servers. This path can play a massive role. For example, a friend of mine has the same speed internet like me, and we live 5 minutes from each other. Yet, his ping is always 10 to 20 seconds higher because his internet service provider takes a longer route when sending data from their side.

Is Upload Speed More Important Than Download Speed?

I feel like this is the essential part of this article. We can ask whether or not upload speed matters or download speed matters, but I understand that many readers want to know whether or not upload speed is more important than download speed. Let’s take a look.

A bad upload speed will cause lag on your side, while a lousy download speed will cause server-side lag because your console or PC is not receiving information fast enough. However, upload speed and download speed are both as critical as each other. Let me explain.

The upload speed refers to how fast your PC or console sends your information to the server, so when you move your character or perform an action, that data needs to reach the server before it can register. At the same time, your download speed refers to how much information your console or PC can receive at any given moment. Let’s try and use examples.

Let’s say you are playing Battlefield 2042, and you see an enemy. You decide to engage in combat. Every time you pull the trigger, that information needs to be sent to the server. If your upload is not fast enough, it will look like you are shooting a gun in the game, but it will not register on the server, so your enemy won’t feel or see it.

If your download speed is not good enough, you will not see what the enemy is doing because your PC or console is not receiving that information, so they could shoot at you without you even knowing it.

Look, we have all experienced it where we take a corner and get out of sight of the enemy, and as we take the corner, we die. It is because either our upload speed or download speed was lousy, which is why they are as important as each other.

What is The Minimum Upload Speed for Online Gaming?

The answer to this question is good news because you don’t need a very high upload speed to play games. Remember, though, just because the minimum upload speed is lower than the download speed doesn’t mean the upload speed is not essential. With that out of the way, let’s get into it.

The minimum upload speed, according to console manufacturers, is approximately 3 to 5mbps. However, it is possible to play games at a much slower rate, and I’ve seen this before. Sometimes you can get away with speeds of around 0.75 megabits per second.

Also, if you have a slow upload speed but are close to the server or have fiber, your experience can be better than other players.

What is The Minimum Download Speed for Online Gaming?

According to Console manufacturers, your download speed should be a minimum of 3mbps. However, I have found that I have the best experience on connections above 10mbps. We have seen gamers play with lower speeds than 3MB, so it is possible.

Again, the distance to the server, the path your data gets sent through, and the type of internet connection you are using play a significant role. You can have a better experience with a 3MB line that travels through fiber than you can with the 10MB line that goes through copper.

Is Wireless Internet Good For Online Gaming?

When talking about wireless internet, you could be referring to different setups. So, you could be talking about someone gaming with a mobile connection, or you could be talking about someone who has fiber in their home but plays wirelessly from the router. Those factors are different from each other, and they are essential to remember.

The best way to play online games is to have a wired connection to your PC or console. If you are playing on wireless internet, your experience will be a lot less enjoyable even if you have a cable connected to your gaming device, but the router is an LTE or 5G router. You will experience packet loss and higher latency.

If you have fiber in your home but play wirelessly with a router, the experience won’t be much different from a fully wired connection. The difference comes in with stability because wireless internet is much less stable than wired, so you might have random disconnects, which is terrible in games like Fifa and COD.

What is Server Tick Rate? Does it Affect Online Gaming?

You don’t see many people discussing the server tick rate regarding the importance of internet speeds. You would have seen this, especially if you play Battlefield 4 or Apex Legends. Some servers have a 30 Hz tick rate, while others have a 60hz to rate. Try not to confuse this with frames per second.

If the server has a tick rate of 30hz, that means it refreshes 30 times every second. A 60hz server will refresh 60 times every second. This means that on a 60hz server, the connection is a lot more stable and a lot more responsive.

Let’s say there are 100 people on a server, and you all upload your data, such as your movements and actions. It all goes to a server that has a tick rate of 30Hz. There is a higher chance the server will not register your data in good time. The faster it refreshes, the better your experience will be.

Does Your Router Matter For Online Gaming?

This is a question that can cause debates amongst even the best of friends. Your router does matter for gaming in my experience, and it is not just about upload and download speeds, but that is relatively important, and that is what we will discuss first

If you have a 200 Mb line but only a 100 MB router, you won’t be able to utilize the total bandwidth of your internet line.

However, a gaming router is vital for stability. If you have an old router that is a cheap brand, you might have a significantly less stable connection, and this can cause issues while gaming. Also, suppose you do have a proper gaming router. In that case, you can prioritize your gaming sessions above any other connected devices in the house, which again makes a significant difference.

Final Thoughts

The internet is becoming more accessible every day. At the same time, those already connected are seeing the quality of their lines increase, while the cost is decreasing, which means they can get faster internet.

We are also at the birth of an exciting service called Starlink, which should give people internet access worldwide at high speed. All of this is excellent news for gamers, and hopefully, if you have a slow connection, you can upgrade it pretty soon.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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