How important are upload speeds for gaming?

In the online gaming community, there is much contention about the optimum speeds needed for gaming – as well how important speed actually is. With a plethora of different metrics to consider, including download and upload speeds, ping rates and latency, its easy to see how some may get confused.

Feeling lost about what upload speed you need? Whether online gaming is a casual pastime, or you’re hoping to elevate your gaming hobby into a career, we’re here to break down all you need to know about upload speeds.

What are upload speeds?

Upload speed is how long it takes for data to be transmitted from your computer/device to the internet server, measured in Megabits per second (Mbps). For example, attaching a document to an outgoing email would come under the realm of upload speeds.

Download speed, on the other hand, refers to the speed at which your computer receives data from the server. Loading a webpage or streaming videos relies on your download speed.

Occasionally, you may see Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering symmetrical download/upload speeds, which means that the download and upload speed is the exact same. However, this is relatively uncommon, as most providers prioritise download speed.

You will find that most providers offer a significantly faster download speed in their broadband packages, as for most internet users, information is typically download in a greater quantity than it is uploaded.

Upload speeds for gaming infographic

What upload speed do I need for gaming online?

It is generally agreed that upload speed is more important for online gamers than it is for the regular internet user, who may just use their broadband connection for browsing social media or streaming films. This is because when gaming, you are constantly sending data to the server – be it in-game actions or messages to other players during a multiplayer game.

However, despite being more important for gamers than standard users, your upload speed does not need to be particularly fast. 1Mbps upload speed will be sufficient for most online gaming sessions – a speed provided by most ISPs offering a fibre broadband package. If you’re unsure, you can check your broadband speed using an online speed checker.

Upload speeds for professional gaming

With the huge rise in gamers making a (pretty substantial) living from streaming their gameplay to fans across the world, upload speed has started to become a more pressing concern for those hoping to forge a career in professional online gaming.

Streaming your own content on platforms such as Twitch requires a faster upload speed than that needed for a standard online video game. In order to build a substantial online following, your stream must be of a high quality, as well as consistent and reliable. Potential fans will not stick around long if your stream is prone to stuttering or repeatedly cuts out altogether.

Twitch recommends a minimum upload speed of 5Mbps for 1080p streaming. If you’re a hopeful streamer, we’d suggesting only opting for an ISP who can guarantee this upload speed.

DJ Oli livestreaming Fortnite game via Twitch

What should online gamers prioritise over speed?

Unfortunately, gamers often only consider broadband speed – both download and upload – when it comes to optimising their online experience, when there are several other vital aspects that can’t go ignored.

When considering important broadband requirements for online gaming, don’t forget:

Ping rates/latency

Latency is the reaction rate of your internet connection – high latency will cause lag, severely impacting your gameplay. Ping is used to measure latency, in milliseconds.

Customer support

If something were to go wrong with your broadband connection, you would understandably want answers, as well as an accurate time frame for repair – especially if gaming is your career. Avoid an ISP that does not offer comprehensive customer support.

Download screen for A Thief's End on Playstation

Data usage caps

Occasionally, broadband providers place caps on your usage. Whilst online gaming does not actually use a large amount of data, downloading games does. If you surpass your usage cap, you may incur a large fee or be subject to throttling.

Network reliability

If you’re an online gamer, a reliable broadband connection is essential. If your connection were to drop out unexpectedly, you may lose your unsaved game data.


Occasionally, broadband providers will implement throttling during peak times, limiting your bandwidth. Throttling will work to increase ping rates, damaging your gaming experience.

Ultimately, whilst upload speeds are relevant in online gaming, they are a contributary factor to improving your experience; not the be-all and end-all.


Are you an online gamer looking to optimise your gaming experience? At Ghost Gamer Broadband, our network has been especially designed with you in mind. We will never throttle your internet connection, even during peak hours, and use multiple circuits to limit downtime. And of course – we offer unrivalled download and upload speeds. Get in touch with a member of our team to find out more.

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