Why do I need gaming broadband?
Low latency broadband for gamers offers a smoother, more responsive gameplay experience. And the faster your home broadband connection, the better it will be at multitasking several devices at the same time. So, not only will this help reduce lag during gameplay, but it also means others in your household can continue to stream and use the internet whilst you’re playing, without affecting your game as much. Of course, you’ll also have less of a wait to download games, patches and updates. In other words, you could let the games begin sooner.
When you’re playing a multiplayer campaign, you might want to strategise and chat tactics as a team. Having a superfast home broadband connection lets you have clear conversations with fellow gamers around the world while playing online, and you can even stream your gameplay live. If you’re trying to grow your Twitch or another channel, your streaming quality needs to be good. The higher it is, say 4K or HD, the more competitive your upload speed needs to be, especially if you’re sharing your connection.
What should I consider when looking at broadband for gaming?
Before taking the plunge and signing up, have a think about:
Look beyond peak upload and download speeds to check for fast and reliable, sustained speeds. Gaming broadband should be consistent, and dedicated players will want a low ping and as little lag as possible. We suggest a download speed that’s in the 365–380Mbps range at least. As well as M350 Broadband, our M500 and Gig1 speeds are also great for gaming. You can find out if these speeds are available at your home using the broadband postcode checker.
A large and generous data limit, ideally unlimited broadband, is what gamers need. All our broadband deals come with unlimited downloads. And if you like to unwind by losing yourself in a game straight after work or school, then you won’t want your broadband performance throttled at peak times, so check other providers’ traffic management policies.
Extras, such as vouchers and free gifts, can come with broadband packages from time to time, just check the terms and conditions of the offer for details on how to claim. In the past, our customers have gotten their hands on a range of goodies, from an Xbox to a Nintendo Switch, as well as tablets, smart speakers, headphones – the list goes on.
Always check how long you’re committing for and choose the right deal based on your circumstances and need for flexibility. We offer a choice of 30-day rolling broadband contracts and fixed-term deals, lasting 18 or 24 months.
Factor in any one-off fees, usually connected with set-up and installation, then pick the package that is the best value for what you need. Whether or not a deal is the right cost for your household all depends on your budget.
Broadband problems can be extremely frustrating, particularly if you’re struggling to get help and support from your provider. Servicing and repairs are included with Virgin Media broadband at no extra cost, so if something goes wrong with Virgin Media kit that you’ve used and treated properly, we’ll get it repaired for nothing.
Shop for new online games and make in-game purchases with more peace of mind by registering for your 3 month free trial of Virgin Media Internet Security, powered by F-Secure (normally £3 a month). No payment details are needed upfront to help you stay web safe and protect your personal information against viruses and malware.
An Ethernet cable will always provide the best possible broadband connection and gaming experience. The benefit of having a physical connection, rather than using WiFi, is that an Ethernet cable is less likely to be affected by other factors in the home, such as electrical noise or distance from the Hub. The CAT9 type (or higher) is our favourite to recommend for gaming consoles – or any high-speed connected devices.
To find out more, read our blog on ‘Ethernet vs WiFi Gaming’.
Yes, it takes up more data to download and play some online games than others. For example, voice chatting on the Discord app and patches might bump up your hourly data usage. But it’s really nothing compared to streaming. Netflix HD can use up to 3GB an hour and even lower quality streaming, Netflix SD, uses 1GB an hour. That’s a lot more data an hour than gaming.
Connection speed can make a big difference to a game if you need to make precise, perfectly timed moves or land your shots on target. A slow connection speed can also cause lag in games, which has a big effect on first-person shooters, real-time strategy games and multiplayer online battle arenas.
Having a fast gaming broadband connection with a low ping can help make you a more competitive player. You can see where you are on the map and what other gamers are up to in real-time, so you get to react quickly and instinctively to what’s happening.
It’s worth checking the broadband providers’ traffic management policies to find out if your connection might be throttled at peak times. If so, you may have a better gaming experience if you avoid playing straight after work or school, when there’s high demand for the internet, as gameplay quality can be affected by your broadband speed.
We offer M350, M500 and Gigabit broadband deals that are great for gaming.
It depends how busy your home is with people and devices. On the one hand, a single gamer living alone will be happy with our M125 Fibre Broadband. On the other hand, if you live with others, our M350, M500 and Gig1 Fibre Broadband speeds can power several devices and are great for gaming. To sum up our good internet speeds for gaming guide, we suggest having a broadband package which provides average speeds of at least 362Mbps download and 36Mbps upload.
The legal stuff
*Monthly price shown will increase each April from April 2024 by the Retail Price Index rate of inflation announced in February each year plus 3.9%. Doesn’t apply to Netflix Add to Bill add-on, Disney+ Premium add-on, Lionsgate+ add-on, Stream Entertainment subscriptions or admin charges. See www.virginmedia.com/prices and www.o2.co.uk/prices for details.
No setup fee
This promotion means you won’t pay the usual setup fee of £35. No setup fee is available on all bundles, broadband & phone, and broadband only packages. If you can set up using a Self-Install pack, but choose to use an engineer for the installation, you’ll still be charged £30 for this service.
- Read the terms on the Priority app or at o2.co.uk/terms
Fastest WiFi guarantee of any major provider
Comparing WiFi guarantees of major UK ISPs. Terms of guarantee vary by provider. To verify click here. Virgin Fibre Areas only. Available with M50 broadband or faster. £8p/m extra or included with Gig1 or Volt. At least 30Mbps download speeds in every room or £100 one-off credit. Up to 3 WiFi Pods if needed. Excludes broadband faults and broadband network outages. Further exclusions & legal stuff apply.