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Is Upload Speed Important For Gaming?

Is Upload Speed Important For Gaming?

Nothing is more annoying than a lagging connection or dropping frames while gaming. If you’re trying to maximize your gaming experience, you might be wondering if upload speed is affecting your gameplay.

Is Upload Speed Important For Gaming?

Upload speed is important for gaming, specifically when it comes to multiplayer games and streaming. However, other factors, such as latency, may be more important for most games.

Upload speed, or bandwidth, is essential to a smooth gaming experience. Fortunately, most internet service providers provide more than enough upload bandwidth for gaming.

This article will consider the importance of upload speed compared to download speed and latency, and explore ways to reduce upload-related lag. 

Upload Speed Vs Latency: Which One Matters More?

Latency is the more important factor for in-game experience. Most modern games send relatively little data to the gaming server, so upload speed (bandwidth) isn’t as important as latency.

It is important to understand the difference between upload speed (bandwidth), and latency (aka ping) when it comes to gaming. Upload speed is how much data you can send through your ISP per unit of time, usually quoted in Mbps.

Latency, on the other hand, is how long it takes for you to send a packet of information to a target server and receive a response. While upload speed is determined by your ISP, latency is contextual and depends on the location of the target server in relation to you.

However, for games like first-person shooters, you need to make sure there is no lag between your game and the game of your opponent. This is why latency is more crucial than bandwidth. If what you see on your console is 100ms behind what your opponent sees, this can put you at a significant disadvantage.

Most games show users their “ping”, which is a way of measuring latency. Generally, you’ll want your latency (measured by pings) to be under 50ms for competitive action games, like shooters.

That’s not to say upload speed/bandwidth never matters, however.

In some hosted multiplayer games, such as Minecraft, you may wish to host your own multiplayer game. In this situation, upload speed is crucial because you will be streaming tons of data to other users in your game. If you don’t have sufficient upload speeds, the game will lag for all players.

If you are a streamer, upload speed becomes extremely important. Your upload speed will determine the video quality you can send to Twitch, YouTube, or other streaming services.

For example, streaming at 720p resolution and 30fps to YouTube will require an upload speed of around 5Mbps. Streaming to Twitch at 1080p and 30fps requires an upload speed of around 6Mbps.

What Is A Good Upload Speed For Gaming? 

5 Mbps is a good upload speed for gaming unless you play demanding games or often use co-op and streaming while you play. Most gaming companies recommend having a broadband connection with at least 5 Mbps (Megabits per second) of upload speed.

A great upload speed depends on balancing bandwidth and a fast internet connection, so having more than the recommended 5 Mbps is ideal if you are not the only one using the internet connection. If you plan on streaming your game play, 5Mbps will probably be insufficient, and 10Mbps is a better choice.

Luckily, gaming does not take up a lot of bandwidth compared to other online activities such as video streaming. As long as your service can support all connected devices, your upload speed should not be a problem during gameplay. 

Is 10 Mbps Good For Gaming? 

10 Mbps is good for casual gaming. It’s more than enough speed when playing solo. However, you may not have the best experience while in multiplayer mode. 

If you are live streaming content or watching HD videos simultaneously, you may still experience some issues that trace back to high latency. You might also encounter problems if other internet users in your household are taking up bandwidth. 

Is 40 Mbps Good For Gaming? 

40 Mbps is good for gaming, and it will ensure that you have the smoothest experience. Anything above 40 Mbps is ideal for those who take part in hardcore multiplayer gaming. This speed is also adequate for live streaming, HD video, and support for multiple devices. 

With 40 Mbps, lag tends to be less of a problem. However, if your latency is high, you may still undergo some issues even if you have the fastest internet service on the market. 

Is Upload Or Download Speed More Important For Gaming?

Upload speed is more important for gaming than download speed. Since upload speed is how fast your device can send information to a server, it gives you a seamless user experience. Download speed will only affect your FPS and how quickly you can download a new game. 

Download speeds are how fast a server can send information back to your device. Among other things, this affects the frame rate. Most people only experience frustration with downloading speed when downloading a large file such as a new game or an update. 

To manually calculate how long a download will take, complete the following calculation: 

(File Size in Mb ÷ Upload Speed in Mbps) ÷ 60 = Total Upload Time in Minutes

How To Improve Upload And Download Speeds

Since heavy internet usage affects upload and download speeds, doing all you can to help alleviate the system will help to improve the flow of your gameplay. Here are some ways to do that: 

  • Minimize the distance between your device and the router. 
  • Minimize physical obstructions between your device and the router. 
  • Choose a server that’s closest to your router. 
  • Quit all unnecessary apps or open windows. 
  • Reduce the number of connected devices. 
  • Avoid peak gaming hours. 
  • Consider a fiber-optic cable plan as opposed to a satellite plan. 
  • Consider using ethernet as opposed to Wi-Fi. 
  • Prioritize traffic to your device. 
  • Assign a “static” IP address to your console. 

How To Check Your Upload Speed?

To check your upload speed, you can use an internet speed test. These tests run a series of prompts from your web browser to determine how quickly your internet can reconnect to your computer. These tests are free and easy to use. 

HighSpeedInternet.com is an excellent tool for checking your upload speed. It also measures download speed and latency, and it will tell you the location of your server. It’s good to keep checking your upload speed as you experiment with different solutions to understand what’s working and what isn’t.

Go to the site mentioned above and click “Start Speed Test.” The results will appear in a minute or two.

My Test Results, Upload Speed Shown in Red

Improving Slow Upload Speeds

If your upload speed happens to be slow, there are plenty of things to try without needing to upgrade your hardware or internet service plan. Matthew from Robot Powered Home has some potential solutions: 

  • Reduce latency. 
  • Restart the router. 
  • Restore the router to its factory settings. 
  • Disable VPNs. 
  • Keep software current. 
  • Scan your system for malware. 

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Final Thoughts

Gamers consider upload speed to be more critical than download speeds because it plays an essential part in the interactive elements. Casual gamers who do not stress their bandwidth will be satisfied with 10 Mbps, while more competitive gamers should strive for a speed of over 40 Mbps. 

Keeping all hardware and software well-maintained and updated will reduce the risk of high latency. 

An internet speed checker is an excellent tool for gamers who wish to increase their upload speeds. With any luck, your game will be running smoothly in no time! 

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👋 Hey There, I'm Eric!

Since 2018, I've been making streams come true.

I like gaming, streaming and watching other people stream. I created this website to help streamers, viewers, and gamers answer questions they have regarding live streaming, gaming, and PCs. I am a Twitch affiliate and currently stream on Twitch 3 days a week. I also have a Youtube channel where I make videos about streaming. I hope you find my content helpful. Feel free to stop by one of my streams to say hi.