What's the Best Satellite Internet for Gaming?
If satellite Internet is your best option, you can still enjoy online gaming. We broke down the three main providers to help you make the best choice.
Many types of games currently available on Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo platforms require a network connection to play.
While wired connections like fiber-optic and broadband cable Internet are some of the best Internet options for gaming, those aren’t always available to everyone. If you need a satellite Internet option, we’ll lay out everything you need to know.
Is Satellite Internet Good Enough for Gaming?
In short, yes. However, your gaming experience is dependent on your Internet provider, your location, and the type of game you’re playing. Fast-paced and multiplayer games, like Fortnite, the Last of Us, and Call of Duty, require a better Internet connection with higher speed and lower latency.
For the best gaming experience, we recommend download speeds of at least 100 Mbps. Satellite is slower than fiber-optic and cable Internet, but the main providers still offer download speeds from 12-100+ Mbps.
Overall, satellite Internet speeds are fast enough to play just about any multiplayer game online.
The main challenge with satellite Internet for gaming is high latency, which makes it harder to communicate with the game server, causing lag spikes and preventing real-time interactions.
Satellite has much higher latency than other Internet options. That means your reaction times will be much slower compared to your online competition, which can make all the difference in a first-person shooter.
Here’s a breakdown of the average latency times for different types of Internet, according to data from FCC.gov:
- DSL: 11-40 milliseconds
- Cable: 13-27 milliseconds
- Fiber: 10-12 milliseconds
For comparison, satellite Internet latency is typically around or above 600 milliseconds. You can slightly reduce latency on satellite Internet by using an ethernet cable instead of WiFi, closing all other programs and downloads, and rebooting your router.
Satellite Internet generally has much lower data caps than other types of Internet. That means downloading games can be a challenge because doing so requires a lot of data usage.
If you exceed your data allowance in a given month, your Internet provider may slow your speeds, charge additional fees, or shut off your Internet access completely. It’s best to check each provider’s policies before making a decision.
Satellite Internet Providers to Choose From
There are three main satellite Internet providers to choose from:
Those are the three most widely known and used options. Each has slightly different download speeds, latency times, and costs.
Is HughesNet Good for Gaming?
HughesNet Internet is good if you avoid online multiplayer games and other types of games that require low-latency network connections. Because of the high latency, you will likely have lagging issues while playing a fact-paced online game.
What they offer: The best plans from HughesNet run $49.99/month for 3 months with 25 Mbps download speeds. There are no hard data limits, and installation is free for select plans.
Is Viasat Good for Gaming?
Viasat does work well for some forms of gaming, but like HughesNet, you won’t have the best experience with large online multiplayer games that require low latency. Still, those in more rural areas can use Viasat to reliably access online game stores and play more casual, single-player games.
What they offer: Viasat plans range from $49.99/month to $299.99/month and offer speeds between 25-100 Mbps with unlimited data.
Is Starlink Good for Gaming?
Because Starlink has far lower latency speeds than many of its competitors, it’s the best satellite Internet option for gamers, assuming you’re willing to pay a higher price.
What they offer: Starlink customers can get faster speeds between 50-500 Mbps for anywhere between $110 and $500/month. It’s important to note, though, that as the service expands and more customers enroll, it may take up bandwidth speeds and negatively impact any existing service.
What Satellite Internet Is Best for Gaming?
It ultimately depends on your needs. Starlink, despite its higher price, is the best option as it allows you to better play multiplayer online games. However, HughesNet and Viasat are great choices if you’re a casual gamer and play single-player games.
Find the Fastest Internet Speeds with SmartMove
Even the best satellite internet service will have limitations, but with SmartMove, you can get connected to the right high-speed Internet provider.
SmartMove’s partnerships will give you a comprehensive picture of all the ISP packages available in your area. Instead of checking each option one at a time, you can use SmartMove to instantly find and compare the best deals. Whether you want cable TV, Internet, or mobile service, SmartMove will make sure you have all you need to stay connected with your digital life.
Don’t let lag spikes ruin your gaming experience. Call today to see how SmartMove can connect you with the best satellite Internet plan.
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