Decent internet is a must for all sorts of gamers. Whether you’re a twitch streamer, mobile gamer or are just buying any kind of game digitally, you’ll find you use the internet. If you have slow internet speeds, you’re going to struggle to enjoy your games.

If your broadband is impacting your gaming, you might be wondering what you can do about it. Fortunately, we have a few solutions for you.

What speed internet do I need for online gaming?

You might assume that you need fast internet speeds to be able to game online. The reality is that you don’t need an ultrafast connection to compete. Even though games have majorly improved in quality over the years, they don’t actually require massive amounts of bandwidth during play.


Yet gamers will probably want to get the fastest broadband they can afford. If you want to stream on Twitch or Youtube, host online games, or you just download a lot of games, fast broadband is a must.

We’d recommend an entry-level fibre optic broadband connection with a speed of around 35Mbps as the minimum for any gamer. But if you can afford it, and it’s available, then an ultrafast fibre broadband service of 100Mbps+ will provide the best experience. The quickest way to compare deals available to you,  is to use a broadband comparison service such as

That said, if you can’t afford much more than basic broadband, you can still game. You might struggle to stream, and downloading could take a while, but it’s not impossible. You might just have to wait a little longer for the game to be available to play.

What if I can't get fibre in my area?

Around 97% of all homes can now get 30Mbps+ speeds. With speeds like that, you should be able to handle streaming and downloading games without much stress. You could do better with faster speeds, but you will be able to do what you want.

However, if you’re part of the 3% that doesn’t have access to fibre, there are some alternatives. Most people won’t need to worry about looking into these, but the information is here if you need it.

If your home has strong mobile signal, then you can look into 4G or 5G broadband. They can be pretty fast and they aren’t too expensive, but you’ll have to make sure you’re on an unlimited data plan. If not a lot of your data usage could wind up capped.

If you’d prefer something similar to a traditional broadband set up then there are wireless broadband services available. They can deliver similar speeds to fibre optic and are reasonably priced. However these fixed wireless access (FWA) providers are rare, and are generally only found in rural locations where they are necessary to plug gaps in fixed-line coverage.

Finally, there is satellite broadband which is available everywhere. However, only one provider, Starlink, has enough latency for you to be able to game using it. Starlink is pricey, so satellite broadband is hard to recommend for online gaming unless you live in a very remote location where no other services are available.

How can I reduce latency?

Latency is the proper term for game lag. If you find your game is slow to respond to your commands and other players seem to be moving faster, you are experiencing latency. It can make gaming very difficult but is something every online gamer experiences from time to time.

Lag is measured by ping. That is how long it takes for a data packet to travel from your computer to the server. If it takes too long, your game will lag.


So how can you reduce it?

A simple way is to choose game servers that are geographically closer to you. For some games, you can choose servers in different countries. Though it may be tempting to choose a server for another country to play with friends, your ping will be slower. Some games will automatically assign you a server due to a location.

If the server isn’t the issue then you can try connecting your computer directly to your router. You can do this with an ethernet cable, which you may need to buy separately. In the past, these were necessary to connect your computer to the internet. WiFi has meant that we can now connect wirelessly, but this doesn’t always provide the fastest connection. Wiring your router and computer together can strengthen your broadband performance.

For those of you who can’t connect your router and computer due to location or any other reason, you can invest in a mesh network kit. These use a network of WiFi nodes to extend the reach of your wireless signal, but unlike cheap WiFi repeaters they do it without significantly reducing performance.

The final thing you can do is shut down any programs or devices that you aren’t using that might be taking up bandwidth. They could be putting a strain on your connection, and shutting them down can free up capacity for your game.

Do any broadband providers have lower latency?

Getting comparative data on latency is tricky, as there are so many factors which can affect it. However, Ofcom does include latency data in its home broadband performance report.

It is very general, but what they do show is that there is little difference between the providers when it comes to latency. You won’t struggle more with latency with any particular provider, and even upgrading broadband doesn’t make a huge difference; even a sluggish ADSL broadband connection can provide low latency for gaming.

Do I need to upgrade my router?

The free router you got through your provider will be sufficient for most people.

If you are having problems with your Wi-Fi performance then a new router could help. However, this is more relevant to those of you with older routers.

If you’ve stuck with the same broadband provider for several years, you’ve probably not considered upgrading your router. Either you thought you’d need to buy a new one, or it has worked for what you need it for. If you want to upgrade your router now, it might be worth contacting your provider. They can offer you an upgraded router, usually for a small cost. You may be able to get one free, but that may depend on your package or if they offer you a chance to switch your current deal. Depending on what problems you’re having with your internet, either option is going to be worth it.

If you are looking for an upgrade, you should consider a router with the latest 802.11ax (also known as Wi-Fi 6) standard, as this is much faster.

Final Thoughts

If you’re just getting into gaming, you don’t need to worry about your broadband connection immediately. Most games will run well on even a basic package. But if you are having problems with lag, there are options. You can choose a lower quality, turn off any extras and try to use local servers.

Gaming is now something that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on to be able to do regularly. It’s something anyone can do provided they have a computer, phone or games console.

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