Can You Play Online Games with Satellite Internet?

Can You Play Online Games with Satellite Internet?

A review on how using satellite internet providers like Hughesnet and Viasat affects online gaming and how to improve gaming experience.

Can You Play Online Games With Hughesnet or Viasat Satellite Internet ?

Updated 04/01/2020

Broadband is the most popular form of internet within the US for a number of reasons including speed, accessibility and existing infrastructure. Statistics show that satellite internet is only used by 6.7 % of all the internet using households within the US. This is primarily in areas where broadband services are inaccessible or below par. This includes remote as well as rural areas.  The main providers used when it comes to this type of service is Hughesnet and Viasat satellite internet service.  

That being said, satellite internet today is not bad at all and can offer speeds of between ten and twenty MB/s which, when it comes to video games seems to be sufficient. The question is, can you play online games with either Hughesnet or Viiasat satellite internet?

Online Games and Satellite Internet

As we said earlier, 10 – 20 MB/s would be adequate for most online games simply speaking but there is more to it. The first thing you need to take into account is the lag or delay that is formally known as latency. This is the time it takes for the signal to from the transmitter to the satellite to another receiver and back.  This is not a concern when you are dealing with fiber or cable providers like AT&T, Centurylink, Spectrum or Xfinity.

Though the distance from the satellite in space to your home is tens of thousands of miles, the delay is only a few hundred milliseconds. This delay is called latency and is something that the casual internet user may not even notice. Due to this, it doesn’t make much of a difference if you’re streaming a show or playing certain online games that are single player or where time is not of the essence. There are however numerous games that are time sensitive and cannot really be played that well using satellite internet.

What Can I Play and What Can’t I Play?

When you’re using satellite internet service like Exede or Hughesnet, you should have no problem whatsoever playing games such as RPGs or strategy games which are turn based. This is because such games allow a relaxed time window and do not require you to decide in split second timeframes.

This being said, if you’re playing real-time strategy games such as Warcraft 3, for instance, satellite internet would probably be inadequate. 

Furthermore, you won’t be able to play shooters such as Call of Duty or Halo, nor will you be able to play sports games such as FIFA. This is because these games demand that you make split-second calls. Further, game administrators might kick you off as your ping will likely not respond on time.  If you want to get an idea of what that experience is like, just think back to a time you were playing a game like Call of Duty or Halo and, were shot by another gamer that you didn't even see and it felt like they were cheating.  Lastly, the data caps on Hughesnet could end up being an issue as you can find yourself  overpaying for data overages or making other people in the home mad as they will not have data available to stream their shows.

What If I Want to Play Shooters, Sports Games and Real Time RPGs?

The bad news is that if you want to play shooters, sports games and real time RPGs you’re going to need internet that doesn’t come with a latency lag. Your Hughesnet satellite internet won’t cut it. You’re probably thinking; “I wouldn’t have satellite internet if I didn’t really need to”, which is what brings us to the good news.

There are internet providers such as Rise Broadband that offer solutions for those who use satellite internet and wish to improve their online gaming experience. The company offers what you called fixed wireless services which offer numerous benefits including high speeds and no latency period.  The company caters to rural and remote areas and offers the kind of internet where among other things; your gaming needs would be well met!  

You can also look at other companies like Got W3 who is a hot spot service that runs off of either T-mobile or AT&T's signal.  This option is normally quite expensive to set up but, if you are in an area that has good coverage, could be a good solution to solve your gaming needs.  We recommend going with a company that provides service as opposed to using your mobile hotspot because the data performance restrictions may end up being more trouble than it is worth.  We hope you found this blog useful. If you need more information regarding internet service providers, specifications or anything else within the US, feel free to Konnect with us. Happy gaming!

Be sure to checkout our guide to  How gaming works on satellite internet For more detail about gaming on satellite internet