When you’re in the middle of an intense match of Fortnite or Valorant, there’s nothing worse than missing a shot because your internet lags. Thankfully, most games don’t require super-fast speeds to play online, but you should take a few things into consideration about your connection type and household needs before you sign up for a plan.
To help optimise your gaming experience, we’ve covered everything you need to know about playing games online, including how to increase your download speeds and decrease your ping — and the best NBN plans for gaming.
How to Increase Your Download Speeds
An NBN plan with a high download speed won’t necessarily improve your performance in a game, but it will make a big difference when you’re downloading new games or updates. An NBN 25 plan means you’ll get a typical evening download speed of 25Mbps. NBN 50 means 50Mbps, and so on. That doesn’t mean you’ll download files at those speeds 24/7 — your download speed will dip during peak times and whenever someone else in the house downloads something at the same time — but the numbers are a good benchmark for the speeds you can expect.
For instance, downloading a 50GB game like Elden Ring on an NBN 50 plan will take roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes, but only 1 hour and 10 minutes on an NBN 100 plan.
Those estimates will also blow out if there are other people in the house downloading files at the same time. The internet coming into your house is shared between all the connected devices, so it will slow down the more people are using it.
NBN 25 plans are best suited for people living alone, while NBN 50 plans are better for households with multiple people. If those multiple people are all playing games online or streaming regularly, you might want to upgrade to an NBN 100 plan to stop it bottlenecking. There’s no one size fits all answer for what download speed you need, so this choice will come down to personal preference.
How to Decrease Your Ping
This is more relevant for people looking to improve their performance in online games. Ping is the time it takes for an input to travel from your computer to the external server hosting a game and back again. For instance, if you press forward on the thumbstick to walk forward and your character stays rooted in place for a few seconds, that’s because the input took longer than it should have to travel to the server and back.
A good ping is generally around 15-45ms. Anything under that is considered excellent, and anything above 45ms will mean you start to see lag. Games start to get unplayable if your ping is higher than 100ms.
Unfortunately, ping is mostly determined by your provider and the type of NBN connection your house is on. Fibre to the premises (FTTP) will generally mean you have a faster ping than fibre to the node (FTTN) because the wiring between your house and the provider is better.
What NBN Plan Do You Need for Gaming?
So, NBN 25? NBN 50? NBN 250?? What tier internet plan should you be looking at for gaming? Like we said, there’s no one size fits all plan, but an NBN 50 plan will almost always be best for gamers.