Fast 5 tips for satellite internet gamers

Things to know when gaming online

Young woman playing mobile game on smartphone in the evening at home
Excited young Asian woman lying on the bed in the bedroom, playing mobile game on smartphone in the evening at home
AsiaVision/Getty Images

Video gaming isn’t just big business, it’s big fun and a favorite pastime for millions. In fact, 60% of Americans play daily, and nearly two-thirds of households have a device used for video games.

That of course includes Viasat subscribers. But it’s important to know that gaming with satellite internet has some differences compared with other internet providers.

Here are 5 quick tips for gamers using Viasat Internet:

1. Performance varies

You can play many video games with Viasat, but with satellite internet, some games may have performance issues, or use up a lot of data. Mobile games like Candy Crush Soda Saga generally work best, as do single-player and certain multiplayer games that don’t rely on split-second reactions. Due to the higher latency of satellite, fast-paced online games with multiple players in real time can have issues on any satellite internet.

2. Latency can be a factor

Latency is the time between pressing a button on your keyboard or controller and when the game responds to your command. Because our satellites are 22,300 miles away, it takes a bit longer for all that to happen. That’s not a big deal for lots of online activities, but it can be with fast-paced online games. Often, games will tell you what their maximum latency is, so if it’s over 600 ms, it may not work well.

3. Keep an eye on file sizes when downloading games

A full download of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” clocks in at 231 GB on a PC. Mobile games tend to be smaller but can still gobble up lots of data. Be aware of what plan you’re on and the amount of data you have to spare before downloading.

4. Watch for updates!

Most game systems can download software updates while in “suspend” or rest mode. That can use lots of data when you’re not looking, or when you need your internet connection to do something else. Schedule major updates to fit your needs, and take your device offline when you’re not using it.

5. Go for mobile and local games

Mobile games are typically cheaper, less data-intensive, and less sensitive to latency and connectivity issues — so these are a great gaming platform for satellite internet. To save on data, try local games that don’t involve playing against other people online.

Check out our full story on video gaming.