Gaming is a primary source of entertainment for many people in the states, as 60% of Americans play online games daily. Many avid gamers recognize the need for a high-speed and reliable internet connection for a smooth gaming experience. However, if you are stuck in an area with only satellite internet as your option, you don’t have to feel dejected.
Although most people would tell you how satellite internet is terrible for gaming, with some adjustments, you can still play online games with this internet.
Let’s explore the major features of satellite internet that can hinder your gaming experience and tips to boost your satellite internet connection.
Satellite Internet Factors that Affect Gaming
Satellite Internet Latency
Latency is an unfortunate aspect of satellite internet connection and a huge hindrance for highly reactive games like FPS. In simple words, latency is the delay between action and reaction. Satellite internet has high latency compared to other connections due to the greater distance between the satellite in space and the surface of Earth.
While the acceptable latency for gaming is anything below 100ms, satellite internet has a very high latency ranging from 594ms to 612ms. So, how can you play games on a satellite internet connection? You lower the latency.
When it comes to online gaming, everyone talks about high download speeds, but are they really that important? They are indeed crucial even though FCC has recommended only 3 to 4 Mbps speed for gaming as you are not using the connection for games only.
If only two or three people are sharing the connection, the ideal recommended speed for online gaming is from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps. Therefore, both HughesNet and Viasat are the best internet providers for fulfilling this requirement as HughesNet provides 25 Mbps while Viasat offers 12 to 100 Mbps speeds.
Although gaming doesn’t require that much data; 34 MB/hour, downloading a game or its updates can quickly drain your monthly data. Satellite internet comes with data caps, and every gamer using this connection should keep an eye on their monthly usage. While Viasat offers 12 to 150 GB of data per month, HughesNet provides 10 to 75 GB per month.
Your monthly gaming data usage can range from 1.2 GB to 2.9 GB, depending on your gaming habits. This figure, however, is only for online gaming. You’ll require more data for other internet activities.
How to Improve Your Satellite Internet for Gaming?
Reducing the Latency
You can reduce your gaming latency by following these steps:
Close other Applications:
Other applications in the background like Google, Spotify, YouTube, and more take up your bandwidth and increase latency. A higher latency will make it impossible to experience smooth gaming. Therefore it is better to close the other apps before playing online games.
Cancel or Pause your Downloads:
As downloading can affect the latency of your internet connection, you should pause or cancel the ongoing downloads to reduce the latency.
Use an Ethernet Cable:
WiFi signals can affect your gaming experience. For a smooth gaming experience, use an Ethernet cable to directly connect the console or computer to your router or modem.
Update Your Router’s Firmware:
Frequently updating your router’s software can fix all the issues that could cause your internet connection to slow down. Restarting your router can also help with improving the lag.
Improving the Speed:
Improving your satellite internet’s speed is mainly concerned with adjusting your satellite dish and fixing your modem or router.
Monitor Your Dish for any Damage:
Carefully look at your dish for any cracks, chips, or other damages. You might also want to look at the cables connected to your satellite dish. Make sure that your dish is free of any damage. Otherwise, it can impact your connection speed.
Reposition Your Dish:
The position of the dish can impact your internet speed. In most cases, your dish should be towards the southern sky. If your dish isn’t properly aligned, contact your internet provider and ask them to correct its position.
Reboot your Modem or Router:
This step helps improve the internet speeds and fixes other issues as well. You can restart your equipment by unplugging your router or modem for 30 seconds and then running a speed test after restarting them.
Check the Placement of Your Router:
Your router should be placed at the center of your house, and as it spreads its signals in the downward direction, you should mount it high for better coverage and pick a location away from electronics. You can also use the WiFi extenders to cover the dead zones and areas with weak signals and enjoy gaming anywhere at your house.
What Games Can you Play on Satellite Internet?
You can play online games on satellite internet, but due to its high latency and data caps, you might be restricted to certain games. This internet connection is suitable for playing strategy games as they operate on a turn-based system and Role Playing Games (RPG) as they don’t require split-decision making.
On the other hand, shooting and sports games are not suitable for satellite internet. Some of the playable games on this internet connection include:
- Second Life
- Doom Eternal
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Satellite internet may not be the best option for online gaming, but it is the only option for most people living in remote or rural areas. While you might be limited to playing certain games as of now, the future of satellite internet seems bright with the upcoming Starlink. Its LEO satellites will solve latency issues and enable gamers to enjoy other games as well.