How Much Speed You Need for Online Gaming

Each gaming platform and type of game is a little different. But you’ll generally meet the minimum requirements for online gaming with these internet speeds:

  • Download speed: 3 Mbps
  • Upload speed: 1 Mbps
  • Ping rate: Less than 150 ms


Keep in mind that these numbers are for a single player only, and they are minimum requirements. For better online gaming performance, we recommend download speeds closer to 15–25 Mbps per player. (Faster internet speeds will also speed up game downloads and load times).

For multiple players using the same internet connection, multiply the requirement by the number of players who would be online at the same time. For example, if you have three players in your home, you’ll need an internet connection with at least 9 Mbps of download bandwidth. Be sure to check the specific requirements for your gaming system below before making your calculations.

What’s the difference between download and upload speed? 

If you’re interested in learning more about internet speeds and what they mean, check out our guide to internet speed.

Do you have the fastest internet speed available in your area? Put in your ZIP code to find out.

See the internet speed requirements you need for:

The speed and ping rates we recommend are based on what’s currently available for the top gaming devices. Earlier versions of similar devices, like a PlayStation 3 instead of a PlayStation 4 Pro, should work well under these same recommendations, and many could get by with even less. Because latency, which is measured by ping rate, is so essential to a good online gaming experience, we’ve also included ping rate recommendations where possible.

You can test your internet speed and your ping rate by clicking the button. Your ping rate will be displayed on the Details tab of the results display and listed as Round trip time (latency).

internet speed test button

How much speed you need for Xbox

XBox 1 logo

XBox One internet speed requirements

Required minimum download speed:3 Mbps
Required minimum upload speed:0.5 Mbps
(500 Kbps)
Maximum allowable ping rate:150 ms

Unlike most of the gaming systems on this list, Xbox One makes its speed requirements clear and easy to find. It even includes a maximum ping rate so you can make sure your games run smoothly.

How much speed you need for Playstation

Playstation 4 internet speed requirements

Required minimum download speed:N/A
(Estimated 3 Mbps)
Required minimum upload speed:N/A
(Estimated 1 Mbps)
Maximum allowable ping rate:N/A
(Estimated 150 ms)

The speed requirements listed for PlayStation 4 in the official manual simply state that it requires a broadband connection and doesn’t work with dial-up internet. Sony seems to be using the laxer definition of broadband rather than the official FCC definition, which states that an internet connection needs at least 25 Mbps to be considered broadband. The manual, however, doesn’t give a specific number for download speed, upload speed, or ping rate.

With the recommendations from the other major consoles being so similar, we recommend using the same parameters for your PlayStation connection. While they may not be exact, they should get you close.

How much speed you need for Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch internet speed requirements

Required minimum download speed:3 Mbps
Required minimum upload speed:1 Mbps
Maximum allowable ping rate:N/A
(Estimated 150 ms)

Nintendo doesn’t state its internet speed recommendations directly, but in its troubleshooting guide it does ask gamers to test their speeds to see if they meet 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. If the gamer answers “yes,” the guide assumes the speed is not the issue. If the gamer answers “no,” the guide explains that “you may need to upgrade your service.” Given this information, we can infer the speeds the guide uses as a benchmark are the minimum recommended speeds.

Unfortunately, making a similar inference on a ping rate is problematic because Nintendo doesn’t give any indication of what an acceptable ping rate might be.

How much speed do you need for online gaming on a PC/Mac?

Online gaming internet speed requirements

Required minimum download speed:3–6 Mbps
Required minimum upload speed:0.75–1 Mbps
Maximum allowable ping rate:100–150 ms

Personal computers (PCs) vary widely, and the games people play on them vary even more. This variation makes giving speed recommendations difficult. However, based on our research, we recommend these minimum parameters for PC gaming online.

Other network elements that could affect your network experience

Ping rate and latency

While internet speeds are important for a good online gaming experience, Internet Service Providers generally provide enough speed to handle most games. Slow and/or disruptive gameplay is usually caused by high latency.

Also referred to as “lag,” “ping rate,” or simply “ping,” latency refers to the time from when a message is sent from one location on the internet to another and back. Latency can be affected by the physical distance between servers and individual internet connections as well as the amount of traffic on a particular network.

For more details on latency and ping, see our “Guide to Internet Speed” and click on Latency in the table of contents.

Because live online gaming requires a quick response time in relation to other players, latency affects it more than other online activities. For example, imagine you’re playing a combat game and you push the attack button. Your gaming system sends a signal to the game’s online server telling it you want your character to attack. The higher your latency, the longer the signal takes to reach the game server.

So, if you and an opponent push the attack button at the same time, the signal coming from the player with lower latency will reach the game server first and consequently gain the advantage in the attack.

slow download speeds
slow upload speeds


For online gaming, hardwired internet connections generally work better than wireless connections. Wireless connections are more susceptible to interference, which can cause slowdowns and thus disrupt gameplay.

If a wired connection isn’t possible, you’ll get a better gameplay experience with a strong Wi-Fi signal. If the Wi-Fi signal is in your home network, you can boost that signal to keep your games running smoothly.

For tips on choosing a high quality Wi-Fi signal booster, check out our “Best Wi-Fi Extenders” review.

More about your internet speed needs

These recommendations are for one person gaming online at a time. If you have multiple people in your household using the internet simultaneously, you will need a higher internet speed. For a more comprehensive speed recommendation, try our handy How Much Speed Do I Need? tool.

How much internet speed you need button

If your internet speed isn’t fast enough to cover your online gaming needs, we can help you find a faster service. Just enter your zip code in the box below, and we’ll show you a list of Internet Service Providers in your area. Then you can compare packages and find one that will help you pwn some noobs the next time you fire up your gaming system.

Author -

With over five years writing about the internet industry, John has developed a deep knowledge of internet providers and technology. Prior to writing professionally, John graduated with a degree in strategic communication from the University of Utah. His education and experience make his writing easy to understand, even when covering complex topics. John’s work has been cited by, PCMag, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and more.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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