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Best broadband for gaming 2024

Looking for cheap broadband? Compare prices from top providers and get a great deal

Online gamers have a vested interest in their broadband; if you want to give yourself the best chance at thwarting your online enemies, you’ll need one of the best broadband deals for gaming. Our expert team has rounded up the most common questions about gaming broadband and some of the best deals on the market right now. 

Plusnet – Full Fibre 145
Monthly Cost
£27.99
Average speed
145 Mb
Contract term
24 months

Monthly prices are subject to increase each year on 31 March by Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%.

Our top recommended broadband providers
Plusnet
Fast speeds & reliable customer service
Virgin Media
Ultrafast speeds at affordable prices
Vodafone
Perks for existing mobile customers
BT Broadband
The UK’s largest broadband provider

What types of broadband are best for gaming?

You’ll need a strong internet connection for the best online gaming experience. Two of the most efficient types of broadband are fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), both of which involve the use of fibre optic cables.

FTTP is more desirable, as it’s the fastest type of broadband available in the UK. It can deliver ultrafast speeds of 1,000Mbps and higher – depending on the provider – and will prove to be the most effective when gaming online. In 2023, Ofcom reported that 52 per cent of homes have access to FTTP broadband, with less accessibility in rural communities.

What speed is best for gaming?

Speeds of 50Mbps are suitable for online gaming; however, speeds of 100Mbps or above will allow for a lag-free experience in 4K or HDR. Generally, you want to aim for the highest broadband speed to game online, as slower speeds can result in high latency, delays in gameplay or your connection dropping. 

You may find you already have adequate broadband speeds to game online, meaning you won’t need to invest in a new broadband deal. To find out more about your broadband speed and how to measure it, consult our guide.

Which providers offer broadband for gaming deals?

If you don’t have fast enough broadband to game online, you’ll need to sign up with a new broadband provider. Thankfully, some of the best broadband providers offer high speeds to wide swathes of the UK, allowing you to find the best deals to game online. 

Not every postcode will be eligible for the top speeds from every provider. Ensure you’re comparing providers with our comparison tool to find the best broadband in your area

Virgin Media 

Virgin Media uses its own unique cable system to provide superfast and ultrafast broadband to various regions of the UK. Virgin Media offers speeds of up to 1,130Mbps, making it ideal for online gamers.

BT Broadband 

As one of the largest broadband providers in the country, BT offers a wide range of broadband connections and packages to eligible postcodes. BT provides top speeds of up to 900Mbps. 

TalkTalk

TalkTalk works with the Openreach network, allowing it to cover hundreds of postcodes in the UK. It offers faster speeds than BT to eligible regions at 944Mbps. 

Sky Broadband 

Sky may be well known for its extensive broadband and TV packages, but the company also offers broadband-only deals that are ideal for online gaming, with speeds as high as 900Mbps. 

EE 

Powered by BT, EE claims that it’s the UK’s fastest major broadband provider. This is backed by its 1,600Mbps top speed, which is more than enough to stream 4K games online. 

Plusnet 

Plusnet offers a range of broadband deals with speeds capping out at 900Mbps. The company offers full-fibre broadband to eligible customers, which is ideal for online gaming. 

Vodafone 

Vodafone is a mobile network that offers a variety of broadband deals, including full fibre. Top speeds of 910Mbps make it more than suitable for online gaming, but you’ll need to check your postcode to ensure you’re eligible. 

Shell Energy 

Shell Energy provides broadband to over half a million homes in the UK, with top speeds of up to 944Mbps. The company also offers social tariff broadband for low-income households, although the low speeds will not be adequate for online gaming. 

Hyperoptic 

Hyperoptic exclusively provides full-fibre broadband with speeds as high as 1,000Mbps. Unlike some of the other broadband providers on this list, Hyperoptic is limited in terms of availability, so you should check your postcode to ensure it’s suitable. 

Community Fibre 

Community Fibre may only operate in London, but it offers speeds of up to 3,000Mbps, making it the fastest internet provider in the capital.

Will online gaming use more internet?

Compared to some other internet-based activities, online gaming consumes a lot of data. This is only relevant if you sign up for a limited broadband deal, rather than an unlimited broadband deal. As the name suggests, unlimited broadband has no cap, allowing you to use your broadband as much as you want. 

While most broadband providers offer unlimited broadband as standard, it’s always important to check before committing to a deal, as going over your data allowance can incur fees.

What are the main benefits of gaming broadband deals?

Before committing to a gaming broadband deal, you should consider all the advantages and downsides that come with it. 

Pros

  • Faster speeds: a fast broadband connection is not only advantageous for gaming but for all your other internet habits. You and other people in your household are likely to have a more consistent experience when streaming video content, video conferencing and other internet-based activities if you opt for a fast full-fibre broadband deal
  • Advantages over opponents: having a speedy internet connection can give you an advantage over your online competitors, as you’ll experience less of a delay and have more time to react to enemies 
  • Faster loading times: while some wait times are built into the game itself, some can be made significantly shorter by having a faster and more stable internet connection 
  • Less chance of dropping out: as many gamers are aware, having an unreliable internet connection can cause games to kick you out of an online session, which can be very frustrating. This can be avoided by investing in a faster broadband package and ensuring your place throughout the game 

Cons

  • Cost: as a rule, the faster your broadband connection, the more expensive it will be. This is true for all broadband providers, although some will still be cheaper than others. If you want to find the cheapest broadband provider, check out our guide
  • Availability: the fastest broadband type is either FTTP or FTTC, so you may find it’s unavailable for your postcode, depending on where you live. Other types of broadband in your area may be too slow for a reliable connection while gaming

What other considerations are there for gaming broadband?

Other than cost and speed, there are some other things you should consider when choosing a broadband gaming deal. 

  • Download limits: unlimited broadband deals are now common among providers, but you should still ensure you’re getting an unlimited broadband deal. Limited broadband caps how much data you can use each month and can result in extra charges if you go over them
  • Connection types: the best types of broadband for online gaming are FTTP and FTTC. If your property can’t access these types of broadband, you’ll struggle to game online effectively
  • Customer service: customer service is paramount when picking a new broadband provider. Ensure that your provider has a dedicated customer support line or online chat feature to make communication easier and less stressful

Broadband for gaming deals FAQs

For the average gamer, ping rates between 20 and 50ms are suitable; however, professional gamers should aim for ping rates between 10 and 20ms. For the uninitiated, a ping rate is the time it takes a system to respond to an action, with a lower ping rate being more desirable, as it allows your broadband to respond faster to your actions in game.

Yes, your broadband connection will be better at certain times of the day, whether you’re gaming or streaming video content. According to an Ofcom report from 2023, peak download times in the UK are between 8pm and 10pm, meaning you can expect to experience slower speeds during these times. This will vary depending on where you live, but generally, you can expect slower broadband speeds in the evening, especially during weekdays.

Yes, mobile broadband can work for gaming, but it’ll depend on the connection you have (4G or 5G), the signal in your area and your monthly data allowance.

Gemma Ryles

Home Tech Writer

Gemma Ryles is a BJTC and PPA-accredited journalist with three years of experience writing across various publications. As a home tech expert at Independent Advisor, Gemma tests, researches and writes about broadband and home security. 

Previously, Gemma reviewed and curated lists about consumer technology at Trusted Reviews, where she honed her skills in creating buying guides and features to help customers make informed decisions. She has previously worked at Yorkshire Post, BBC Yorkshire, Glitterbeam Radio and Bonus Stage. 

Gemma has a BA in Journalism and in her free time can be found writing short stories, gaming and crocheting. 

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.