If you’re a gamer you already know how important it is to have a fast Broadband Internet connection; we’ve all been in that frustrating situation where you suddenly have a clear head shot on your opponent, that headshot that might win the game and make you a hero or even a legend. You can feel it in your soul, you are the chosen one, the one that will make your team the champions of all you survey 'queue freeze frame’ and you’ve been shot and killed, you lost the match for your team, lost all your friends 'queue gamer rage’ all due to latency because your Broadband connection just isn’t fast enough.
Why does this happen to you at the worst moment every time? What can you do to avoid it? What are the important things to know about Broadband internet connection, Latency, Traffic Management and all those other minute details to help you reach the top of your game?
As you may already know, there are millions of people keen on gaming all over the world, and what kind of a gamer would you be if you didn’t care about your ability to show off your skills and how good you are at beating your opponent? The kind that always loses, that’s who. So what is important to understand?
With your console connected to the internet via WiFi, you can invite friends who are anywhere in the world to compete. There is also the option of playing with a stranger from any country. The system locates players who are on your same level and pits in a competition against each other.
With communication headsets, you can chat with other gamers and get to know people you may never get the chance to normally.
This new platform also includes personalised advertising inside the games that will allow you, the player to buy products directly, download songs, videos, and do all sorts of things thanks to your Broadband connection.
This, along with better graphics, more personalised gameplay, and more and more packages to download, makes it hard to get rid of latency, along with the fact that game makers are creating larger games with more and more information to download requiring stronger broadband internet connections each year in order to get the most out of the games that you so diligently spend money on.
Well maybe we’re not spending our money on the right product, maybe we need to take a good hard look at ourselves and realise we need to get a better Broadband service if we really want to be better gamers.
And that’s where Broadband speed comes in…
The ability to play with millions of “gamers” from all around the world from a console sitting right in your living room, has a better feel to it when you can play the game at its full potential, and even more so when you can best every last one of your opponents.
For example, Xbox Live is the largest player community in the world with 48 million users. And the great majority of these gamers connects directly from the UK, other parts of Europe and the United States.
Experts agree that for this number of gamers to connect, Microsoft has to have roughly about 300,000 servers all around the world. This is great, as you can see in this example the most important gaming console companies deliver on their end by providing and guaranteeing the stability and consistency of their service. So why doesn’t this mean that you are guaranteed a great connection? Let alone great speed.
There’s a simple answer to that, unfortunately gamers are simultaneously downloading and also uploading data when they play, so it’s only logical that they too must have a high-speed Broadband Internet connection that makes sure that the game truly unfolds in real time without any interruptions, less lag, and no rage inducing freeze frames.
Today’s platform allows games to connect from all around the world and play against competitors; all of this can be achieved with a simple mobile internet connection, as long as it is 4G in order to guarantee the high speed needed to play, unfortunately, a simple 4G connection won’t reduce latency or improve upload speeds.
Lucky for us, serious gamers are always looking for the highest speeds that allows a connection that guarantees that in addition to amazing gameplay which includes download and upload speeds, they can also take advantage of other resources like music downloading and streaming or downloading content online while playing and even being able to communicate on a live video-chat with other players simultaneously throughout the game without having to sacrifice amazing game-play.
Did you know that each time a new console comes out, each company needs to double or sometimes even triple the amount of customer service representatives? This, of course, has to do with the fact that there’s a learning curve to any console, yet most of the questions and complaints these companies get are from angry, frustrated and confused customers that can’t quite understand why the wait time for their game download seems to be endless.
A 2016 report showed that the average broadband speed in the UK would reach 28.9Mb/s, and an average upload speed that increased to 3.7Mb/s. I understand you might say to yourself; what does this mean for me? How does this affect my gameplay and my download time?
Let’s break it down a bit, in order to understand what that means, this table represents your download speed in the column to your left, the file size you are trying to download in the tow row, and the correlation of hours it takes to download each file.
The average game will eat up around 30GB of storage from your console along with some extra game packages you buy along the way, so let’s say you end up with a 40GB game for the fun of it. This means that if you have a Broadband connection of 30Mb/s (which is pretty close the average UK Broadband speed), you would get a download time of approximately 2.9 hours to download the aforementioned game, so the more Broadband internet speed you can have on your console, you will be able to download and upload information faster.
There’s a huge difference from the 20Mb/s time to download a game to the 200Mb/s time that allows you to download the same amount of information in a ridiculously lower fraction of the time.
So now you’re thinking to yourself “I’m a real gamer, what can I do to reduce my download times and overall latency?”
First off, the most important question you must ask yourself is:
With such a large amount of gamers, and avid fans that log on to a console internet service for several hours a day; downloading, games, packages and music, as well as buying products off of the same gaming console…
Isn’t it strange that there aren’t any specific Broadband packages that cater to these very specific gaming needs?
Actually, there is a new Broadband service designed just for you and the rest of the gamer community, it’s called Virgin Media Vivid 200 Gamer the very first of its kind specifically designed to help gamers get the most out of their console, and I’m going to let you know exactly what it’s all about…
The Virgin Media Vivid 200 Gamer is an add-on package to the service that you may already have, and it gets its name from the fact that it boasts 200Mb/s along of download power, and also equipped with a 20Mb/s average increase of upload speed which happens to be the fastest Broadband speed available to date in the UK specifically catered to gamers.
It also boasts these important additional features:
The Virgin Media Vivid 200 Gamer package also states that it has no download cap, and this is important because not only can you show off to other gamers by always being able to best them at every corner, you can also stream and download all the content you want with no latency and no very little wait times. So you can say goodbye and farewell to all of the embarrassing freeze frame headshots, letting your team down by losing due to lag, not to mention the always potentially aforementioned dangerous gamer rage we know all too well.
We’ve all had to stop playing our favourite game after losing a few rounds at that infuriating moment of the day when our whole gaming system seems to have almost come to a complete halt, and every one of your opponents has a seemingly large advantage over you due to latency. This is in fact due to two contributing factors that are together known as traffic management, it happens when too many people are playing online and unfortunately also when you upload more than 2.25GB from playing too long, which in turn limits your upload speed by up to 50% for up to an hour. Virgin Media Vivid 200 Gamer seems to have solved this problem by eliminating it all together once and for all, this means that the Virgin Media 200 Gamer package does not cap your upload speed, which in turn makes sure you will never again lose a match due to lag or lower upload speeds.
Let’s break this down; an average Broadband contract in the UK goes for an average of about £30 per month with an additional phone line rental (which seem to be included in way too many packages sold by telecom companies) for about £15 per month on an 18-month contract. The Virgin Media Vivid 200 Gamer package will run you £50.25 per month on an 18-month contract, or £52 per month on a nine-month contract on a student-friendly contract that does not require an additional phone line in either of the two contracts. Which in my opinion is quite reasonable if you use your console as many hours as I do, and download as much content as I do on a daily basis.
The Virgin Media Vivid 200 Gamer package has been available since September of 2016 in the UK, I recommend you just give Virgin Media a call to find out if it’s available in your area, and if that package would work for you, and all your gamer needs.
Personally, for me, as a gamer… I have to say that it’s a good purchase; the 200Mb/s download speed is definitely something I am looking for, as well as the 20Mb/s average increase in upload speed which is frankly unheard of, which by itself is worth the £5 increase in my monthly bill. Not to mention the video and music streaming that doesn’t have a download cap, which allows me to listen to music from different services like Spotify all day long, and watch YouTube videos all I want without having to worry about the dreaded cap, as well as the great Traffic management they deliver on in such an innovative way, I don’t have to stop playing exactly when I’m on a roll, so I think the overall value of the Virgin Media Vivid 200 Gamer Package is good for the money with all the advantages it provides me.
Now you have my overall views on why a fast Broadband internet service is essential to every gamer out there, and the various points you need to look for when thinking about Internet services:
· Your overall broadband speed
· Specific maximum download speed
· Average increase in upload speed
· If it has a download cap
· Traffic Management
So these few points are a must for any serious gamer, but we also have to look for a service that isn’t too expensive, a contract it doesn’t require a landline telephone connection to be in place with the service, and an internet service that reduces latency and also helps with traffic management so you never have to feel the shame (and sequential gamer rage) from losing a match due to lag.
While looking through several Broadband packages I found that the only package that is solely focused on making gaming the complete experience is the Virgin Media Vivid 200 Gamer package since it seems to have figured out what all of us gamers want and need at a very reasonable price, and satisfies all of the points mentioned in the article.