Can upload speed affect gaming? [EXPLAINED]

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A question that keeps popping up is “Can upload speed affect gaming? The gaming industry has been evolving and we keep getting games with better visuals, gameplay, and amazing stories.

Online gaming has become a trend because it is a fun way to collaborate and compete with family and friends. Online gaming has some challenging factors and one of those is a good internet connection.

Upload speed can affect your online gaming experience and in today’s blog, we will explain why. We will also cover what upload and download speed you need and how you can reduce lag.

Download speed and upload speed explained

Download speed is a measurement that measures how much data can be downloaded in a certain period while upload speed is the time it takes to send data in a certain period. This is measured in Mbps which stands for Megabytes per second.

The higher your download speed, the more data can be received in a second, and The higher your upload speed, the more data you can send in a second. These are very important factors when playing online games because you need to download information about your opponent’s movements so you can react to those movements.

Your reaction to these movements must be uploaded so your opponents know how you have responded to their actions and then react. This goes on and on until someone wins the game. To have smoother gameplay, we come across another important factor that is needed for online gaming.

The sooner your data reaches the game server and the response gets back to you, the faster you can react to it and the faster you can accomplish the game objectives. This is called latency and it’s measured in milliseconds and should not be higher than 100ms. In this case the lower the latency, the better it is for a smooth gaming experience.

Minimum speed requirements for gaming online


The minimum download speed required for online gaming ranges between 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps and is different for each game console.

Here is a list of game consoles and the download speed they require:

  • PC Gaming: 3 to 6 Mbps
  • Xbox One: 3 Mbps
  • PlayStation 5: 5 Mbps
  • Nintendo Switch: 3 Mbps
  • Steam: 1Mbps


The minimum upload speed needed for online gaming ranges from 0.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps and is different from console to console.

Below you can find a list of game consoles and their recommended upload speed:

  • PC Gaming: 3 Mbps
  • Xbox One: 0.5 Mbps
  • PlayStation 5: 2 Mbps
  • Nintendo Switch: 1 Mbps
  • Steam: 1Mbps

Why upload speed can affect gaming explained

Before we can answer this question we must first know why upload speed is needed when playing games online. When you play an online game you are in contact with a server where other players are also part of that game. The game server should be in contact with every player at the same time to give updates on each other’s location, action, game scenes, and other objects in the game. 

If for example, you were to play an online shooting game like PUBG and you take one step left, this information needs to be sent to the server to let everyone know that you have taken one step left. The opponent that aims at you so they can shoot at you has to adjust his aim toward you before he or she can shoot.

This also happens if you aim at someone to shoot that player the server needs to know that you have adjusted you’re aiming toward that player even when this player keeps on moving. The server can only know this information when it is uploaded from your game console to the server. Because this happens in real-time, the server needs to get that information fast and that is where your upload speed comes in.

If your upload speed is lower than what is required you cannot send all the necessary data at once and this will slow down your gameplay because the server is waiting for your information before it can show it to the other players. If this continues regularly while playing the game you will find some lags while playing the game and most definitely remove the fun out of it.

Nowadays the upload speed required is not significant and therefore not to worry about. Other factors have more impact on your gaming experience and in the next section, we will discuss those and provide some information to reduce lag as much as possible.

How to reduce lag (for a better gaming experience)

Lagging is a time difference between the action of the game player and the reaction he receives.

This is a very frustrating experience and in some games, it could even lead to you losing the game or being disconnected from the server.

There are several reasons why this happens and we will talk about how we can minimize it as much as possible.

Upload and Download Speed

If your upload or download speed is less than what is required or if it’s being used by anyone on the network in such a way that there is not enough left for what the game requires you may experience lag. To reduce this you simply need to make sure that you have enough upload speed available for your gaming needs.


Latency is the time it takes for your request to get to the server and get the response back. This is one of the major reasons why you may have lags while playing games. Aim for a connection with low latency. The faster your request is received by the server, the faster you may get the response and the better your gameplay becomes.

Wi-Fi Signal

Sometimes your Wi-Fi signal may be very weak because you are too far from the router. This influences your speed and latency badly and therefore you could experience some trouble. Simply move closer to your router.

2023 report by allconnect

Their most recent article highlights the latest trends in internet usage, the average amount of data used per month, and the challenges that service providers face in meeting the demands of heavy users.

What they discovered is that:

  • The average household consumes 586.7 GB of broadband data per month.
  • 551.4 GB is used on downstream data on average, while 35.3 GB is used on upstream data.
  • 18.7% of broadband subscribers use more than 1 TB of data every month.
  • 26% of broadband users subscribed to gig speeds in 2022, more than double the previous year.

Read the full report here.


Online gaming has its own set of challenges and having a good connection with the recommended speed is a must to have a good gaming experience.

Upload speed can affect your gaming in the case when it is less than what is required or being used in such a way that there is not enough available for gaming, however, with today’s internet, it’s not a great concern to have since gaming doesn’t require much and almost any internet package has sufficient upload speed that is needed.

Latency is often overlooked when it comes to online gaming but is a very important factor for a quality gaming experience. We have also listed some of the reasons why you may experience lag and what you can do to reduce lag as much as possible.

Frequently asked questions

What is upload speed?

Upload speed is the rate at which data is transferred from your device to the internet or another network. It is usually measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

What is gaming latency?

Gaming latency is the delay between when you take an action in a game and when that action is reflected on the screen. It is often measured in milliseconds (ms).

Can upload speed affect gaming?

Yes, upload speed can affect gaming in some cases. If your upload speed is too slow, it can cause lag and latency issues in online games, which can negatively impact your gaming experience.

How does upload speed affect gaming?

When you play games online, your device sends data to the game server, which then sends data back to your device. If your upload speed is too slow, it can take longer for your device to send data to the server, causing lag and latency issues. This can lead to delayed actions in the game, which can be frustrating and affect your performance.

What is a good upload speed for gaming?

A good upload speed for gaming depends on the type of game you’re playing and the number of players in the game. Generally, a minimum upload speed of 3 Mbps is recommended for online gaming, but faster upload speeds can improve your gaming experience.

Can I improve my upload speed for gaming?

Yes, you can improve your upload speed for gaming by upgrading your internet plan, optimizing your network settings, and reducing network congestion. You can also connect your device directly to your modem or router using an ethernet cable for a more stable connection.