Online gaming has become one of the favourite internet activities nowadays thanks to the availability of high speed broadband. Whether you want to play online games like Final Fantasy, Lineage II or World of Warcraft or want to play advanced games on hi-tech game consoles like Xbox or Playstation, the primary requirement is a fast internet connection, preferably, a broadband connection either of ADSL or cable.
When you choose a broadband package suitable for online gaming, you should know everything involved in online gaming - what type of broadband connection will be ideal, whether the package is enabled with prioritized traffic, what is the minimum speed that is required to play online games, what the hardware requirements are etc. You can get all essential technical details on the broadband packages in our broadband provider packages section. You can also compare broadband deals with respect to speed, cost, usage limit and contract length.
Check the system requirements
When you want to play online games on your PC, first of all you need to make sure whether your PC has recommended processor speed, RAM memory etc. There must be enough disk space in your hardware as many modern games need hundreds of MB space (sometimes in GBs). You also need to make sure that your PC has all required graphics and sound cards.
What are game consoles?
If you want to get better gaming experience, you can go for game consoles, devices which are exclusively designed for playing video games and online games. There is a wide range of game consoles available today that include Dreamcast, Playstation 2 and Gamecube etc. To play the online games from these servers, you need to buy these consoles and also subscribe to these services. The new Xbox 360 of Microsoft and Sony Playstation 3 are some of the latest game consoles that are based on HDVD resolution and Blu-ray technology. Read our broadband news which provides latest update on new broadband technologies, online gaming packages etc.
What speed my connection requires?
Remember the performance of your online games or game consoles largely depends upon the speed of your connection. If the speed is below the minimum requirement of a specific online game, playing the game can be highly frustrating for you. Especially when you play multiplayer online games, the latency between your PC and the game server is crucial and should be bare minimum. This is called ping times in online gaming terminology. If the ping rate is low, in other words if there is lower latency, you can play more competitively as your movements will be faster enough to respond to the actions of other players.
Broadband packages with speed of 4MB or above will be ideal for online gamers. However, if you use Microsoft's xBox 360 or Sony Playstation 3, it is better to choose a package with minimum 8Mb download speed.
Since, online gaming needs higher speed of data transfer with lower latency, it is better to choose a package that guarantees prioritized traffic even more users are online. For instance, PlusNet recently launched Broadband Your Way Pro - an optimized package for gaming and VoIP for its customers.
Be broadband is another broadband providers who offers excellent, high speed packages quite suited to your online gaming needs. Their Be Pro broadband is one of the best fast internet packages and offers astonishing 24Mb download speed and unlimited download limits.
Download allowance is the amount of internet allowed for usage for a specified period of time without being charged extra. However, this policy does not fall under unlimited broadband allowance. The amount of download depends upon the type of game you are involved in. Faster download speeds allows the user to stream any kind of video or game. Streaming means downloading and playing the content simultaneously. Hence, there is no need for one to wait for any download as such.
Several broadband providers are now coming out with unlimited downloads and hence it is important for customers to read through all terms and conditions including the small print before purchasing any broadband package.
Serious online gamers can always go for a broadband package that comes with higher download limits or unlimited downloads. It is also advisable to select a package that has faster connection such as 2Mb or faster.
Fair usage policies that come with unlimited broadband packages limits broadband usage especially during peak hours. ISPs charge if any users crosses his download limit allowance. Download limits range from as low as 1Gb to 15Gb or 40Gb per month while few packages come with unlimited usage. Light users can select download limits ranging from 1Gb to 10Gb, medium internet users can select download limits ranging from 10Gb to 20Gb and heavy internet users can select download limits ranging from 20Gb to 40Gb and also unlimited download packages. It is to be noted that unused download allowance cannot be carried forward to the next month. One needs to be aware of certain issues such as game ‘patches’ that get downloaded to update the game. These patches eat away major portion of the download allowance easily. Hence, it is very important for users to understand their need at the time of selecting any broadband package.
Broadband Speed for Gaming
Online games requires tremendous broadband speed or rather faster speed in order to experience live action. Online games can be enjoyed only if the broadband connection has consistent speed, higher bandwidth and a good ping rate.
It is important for buyers to check for the connection speed as well before going for one. Customer’s reviews about the broadband product also gives a better idea about the product he is about to get. It is advisable to go for a connection speed that is above 8Mb. Running other programs in the background while playing online games tends to slow down the system further. Most of the ISPs are coming with traffic shaping in order to reduce bandwidth whenever the user tends to cross his broadband limits.
Best broadband for gaming
Currently (During the year 2011), PlusNet and BE Broadband offer gamers broadband for their users. BE offers unlimited downloads with download speeds of upto 24Mb and upload speeds of 1.3Mb, optional static IP, low ping rates and control panel especially for gamers. PlusNet offers stable and reliable connection, ping rates, a static IP address, low latency, speed of upto 20Mb, monthly download allowance of 20GB and more for gamers. Short term broadband contracts from both BE and PlusNet can be enjoyed not only by gamers but also by all. They can be used by anybody including gamers. Virgin Media does not specifically offer gaming broadband but offers high speed broadband connection such as 50Mb and 100Mb that can be used for gaming as well. Upload speeds of broadband connection are also high. It is however advisable that it is not required for online gamers to purchase gamers broadband exclusively unless you are very serious about it.
Advantage of using broadband for gaming
Online gaming can be made more interesting if played with friends and relatives who live far away. This idea has been brought in to reality with the introduction of broadband online gaming techniques. Earlier traditional console games allowed only local players to enjoy the game. Online gaming was not possible then. However, certain essential features like speed, download allowance etc are required to make broadband online gaming a real experience. Let us look in to some of the details below.
- Recent game consoles are designed with built in wireless card that allows users to get connected to the internet easily. Users can download their favourite games and get connected to other players around the world over the internet in just a matter of few seconds.
- Gamers can enjoy various offers from PC based broadband games too.
- Gamers get the opportunity of getting introduced to other gamers from around the world.
- Gamers are offered both free as well as paid games and can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages.
- Gamers can benefit from better gameplay and graphics designs used in recent games.
- Gamers can enjoy broadband gaming with modern console apart from computers and laptops.
- Gamers can also enjoy gaming with wireless networking capabilities.
- Lower ping in online games gives gamers better response time and in turn gives better gaming experience.
Can home broadband and business broadband be used for games
Yes, few broadband articles suggest that gamers need not specifically go for gamers broadband instead can go for any type of broadband, be it home or business broadband package unless they decide to play online games seriously. Broadband providers like BE broadband and PlusNet exclusively offer gamers broadband for game lovers. Hence, choice is left to broadband users to select a broadband package from a lot of broadband bundles.