Internet Speed Requirement for Online Gaming

There are many discussions on gamer forums about the internet speed you need to play different games. You don’t want any lagging to affect your gameplay but you also don’t need the most expensive package.

Different terms are thrown around, and it can be hard to know what to look for. Especially if you just want to get online and play.


So, what do the different terms mean?

  • Bandwidth

This is the level at which you can download information to your device. It is the total download rate.

Think of the bandwidth as a pipe, and everything that travels through the pipe is data. Obviously, if you have a bigger pipe, you can get more liquid (data) through it.

  • Mbps

This is the most important one. It looks like a group of letters but it stands for megabits per second.

  • MBps

Yes, confusing. This is MegaBYTES per second, which is actually 8 megabits in one megabyte, usually used in file names.

Whether you’re playing an free online fortnite or poker online, you’ll need a minimum download speed of 5mbps. If you’ve only realised you’re dead five seconds later, or the dealer has missed what you’ve said, that’s your speed.

The more interaction a game has, the better speed you need. That’s why if you’re playing free online poker, you might need a higher speed if it’s a live game.

Let’s take a deeper look into how internet speeds affect your gaming experience on platforms such as 888 poker.

What tier of the internet is good?

Dial-up internet is simply not worth it for gaming. Although broadband is more widely available now, depending where you live it can prove expensive.

Broadband packages also come in several different tiers. If you can afford it, always aim higher.

Those who like to game can’t really settle for anything less than 4 – 5 mbps for comfort. Although you will hear of people playing with 1 – 2 mbps, it means taking some risks.

If you invest in faster internet (which is measured in mbps) then it allows you to transmit more data. So it also depends where you’re playing.

If you are playing at home and several other people are using the internet, it can slow your game down. Cue the arguments when you ask them not to use the internet!

You need to look at download and upload speeds:

  • Download is how much data you can receive over the network
  • Upload is how fast you can send the data over the network

Download speeds are faster – as this relates to everything you do on the web:

  • Loading web pages
  • Streaming programmes, music etc.

For a premium gaming experience, paid online internet should be 300Mbps. 

Latency or ping

There are quite a few terms that you’ll hear players use, which may confuse you. When someone talks about latency or ping, that is virtually the same thing.

Ping is how quickly your internet responds when you have sent out a request. Before playing poker you may not have really noticed this, unless your internet is very slow.

This is very important when it comes to playing games online. The delay between what is happening in the game and you seeing is the ping.

If you are playing with others and your ping rate is higher than theirs, their moves might be seen first. You can imagine the impact this has, affecting your game negatively.

Now, of course this affects different games in different ways. For fast-paced fighting games, you really need very little ping.

For poker, it could be the difference between you raising or folding, or the dealer could miss your call. You need to ensure as little ping as possible so that you can play properly.

If your ping is very high it can actually kick you out of the game altogether.

Of course, if you have a low ping, this can give you an advantage over other players. High-speed internet means you can actually make your decisions quickly and benefit from their lag.

You can try a free online ping test, to see if you current deal need upgrading.


The graphics of a game are important, as they help you enjoy the experience more. If you have fast motion graphics, then speeds of 1 – 2 mbps are required.

If you’re in an online multiplayer game, then 4Mbps is the recommended level. Compare this with streaming HD video at about 5 – 8 Mbps.

Best speeds available

Many internet providers post about the high speeds they can offer. Often these speeds are not a reflection of reality, and can only be achieved at certain times.

It’s worth checking out their reviews or asking other users to see if they are true. If you want to play casino games regularly online, you should aim to have a connection of about 20mbps. 

This may seem high but if you want to give yourself the best chances then this is it. When mulling over poker strategies, the last thing you need to worry about is your internet speed.

Always remember that the number of users on one internet connection will need more bandwidth. Therefore, if you have a 25 mbps connection but four people using it, with different devices, it will limit bandwidth.