June 6, 2014

4G for gaming – Reduced latency, improved speeds and more

4G for gaming

The improved browsing speeds and rapid downloading of 4G are well documented. However, one thing we feel is underplayed are the benefits which superfast 4G networks bring to those who enjoy playing their favourite games online.

We’re talking about those who love nothing more than taking down a foe from the other side of country (or world) with an AK47 in Call of Duty, or demolishing a Zergling army in Starcraft. In such a competitive environment a good internet connection can often be the difference between life and death.

Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have access to a home broadband connection, so their only option is a mobile broadband connection. Until now that’s often been an underwhelming experience via 3G, but fear not because superfast 4G has arrived.

4G networks deliver lower pings than 3G networks resulting in an improved online environment, while it’s increased bandwidth and download speeds are also advantageous to gamers. We’ll now look in more detail at why the launch of 4G is great news for online gamers.

Lower latency (or ping)

Average Latency Or Ping (3G and 4G LTE networks)

The most important thing in an online environment, particularly in fast-based shooter and strategy games, is a decent ping. Ping (or latency) is the time it takes for a request to be sent to the game server and back again, so the lower the figure the more responsive things will feel and the easier it’ll be to “own that annoying scrub”.

Previous 3G connections delivered pings that averaged around the 120-150 milliseconds mark, while on 4G that is reduced to around 70-80ms.

That might not seem like much on paper, but hardened gamers will know that once pings go above 100 it can be affect your ability to compete in fast-based games. On 4G LTE your shots will register significantly faster meaning you’ll have a much better chance of registering that round winning headshot.

Rapid downloads and uploads

Are you left itching to play while the latest updates for your favourite game download at a snail’s pace?

You’ll be pleased to hear that 4G can help you out there too because it can download up to 7 times faster than standard 3G networks, meaning you spend more time in game and less time staring at menus.

Sharing your latest video clips with Youtube is a huge growth area – with Sony’s PS4 even coming with a dedicated share button on its’ controller. Uploading is even slower than downloading, so the wait can be even longer – but fear not because 4G offers upload speeds up to 20 times faster than 3G.

Share one connection with multiple devices

Huawei E5576

With the latest breed of 4G routers (or Mobile WiFi devices) you can share a single 4G connection with multiple devices at once.

One example is the Huawei E5576 Mobile WiFi which can share a single 4G connection with up to 10 devices. It does so by creating your own personal WiFi network meaning you can connect any devices with WiFi, such as the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or desktop PC.

Setting everything up couldn’t be easier and it’s self-powered with up to 10 hours of battery life from a single charge. The compact device is great for gaming on-the-move and the perfect accompaniment for a Playstation Vita.

4G is definitely one for online gamers

Online gamers who can’t get a home broadband connection, or who love gaming on the move, should consider getting themselves a 4G dongle, or Mobile WiFi device. They deliver lower pings, faster downloads and quicker uploads than 3G networks resulting in a much improved experience overall.

Are you playing online games using 4G LTE? Let us know your experiences by leaving a comment below.

  • Paddy


    I have no home broadband connection whatsoever due to living in a blackspot. I thought I’d share my 4G experiences gaming wise for those who are considering of trying it.

    It works. I am using EE4G and it works smoothly. I receive 1 bar of signal and I roughly get 40-70ms pings. Online gaming works perfectly fine.

    The only issue that I have with it is that the IP is public based thus the NAT settings is permanently strict on Consoles meaning that it can prove difficult to connect to your friend’s games or invite them. There is nothing that can be done about this. (I have tried everything..trust me) Otherthan that, it’s a great way of getting online gaming if there is no other options. Some would say that it proves to be more responsive/stable than normal home broadband.

    • smith

      Hi Paddy!

      I’ve been using a 3G mobile wifi to connect to the internet on my PS3/4, for the past year, and before that, I used a 3G smartphone. Using the phone, I roughly got 120-150 ms ping and always had a strict NAT (which hugely hinders anyone’s gaming experience). When I eventually had enough, I found out about and bought my mobile wifi device. This was a slight improvement from the phone, as I got and open NAT and sometimes the ping would only be around 100-120 ms (but the majority of the time it would be 140+).

      You said “The only issue that I have with it is that the IP is public based thus the NAT settings is permanently strict on Consoles”. As you know I had an open NAT with my mobile wifi, so Im curious as to what you meant. I would also like to ask which internet connection you would reccomend, a 4G mobile wifi device, or sign up to a broadband connection. Ideally, id prefer lowest ping possible, with an open NAT.

  • will mc fad

    I used a 4g connection for gaming on my ps3 and ps4. The device i use is the galaxy note 3 via tethering the console to my phone directly (no router). I have have had only a few issues. Mostly with gta five online but only when their servers are full of players on busydays like friday nights but otherwise its perfect. Although i think its probably a problem with rockstar servers as my friend who are broadband experience the same issues (connection loss ect). I think the manufactures of smart phone should work to develop a phone with an advanced fully adjustable feature specifically designed for gaming conectivity. It would be a great selling point and it will certainly grab the intrest of everyone.

  • Adam Duke

    Whenever I go head to head on Battlefield I can never get my shots out before the other player. Is this because of my 4G connection?