Dead WiFi zones and poor signal coverage are quite common issues, especially if you rely on a wireless internet connection in a large home or a multi-story building. However, Mesh WiFi can provide an adequate and effective solution to the problem.
But is a mesh network good for gaming?
Mesh networks leverage nodes and satellites to offer spotless coverage, allowing you to enjoy casual gaming online at decent pings below 100ms. They are ideal for large spaces and multi-story buildings and can blanket up to 10,000 sq. feet in coverage area. However, they are not the best for competitive gaming, like online-only esports tournaments, where the stakes are typically higher.
Also, it’s important to note that while a mesh WiFi system excels in many aspects, it doesn’t replicate the performance of a wired raw Ethernet connection. The latter remains superior in performance.
Ideal Internet Speed and Ping for Playing Games Online
Having the right internet speed and low latency (ping) is crucial for a smooth and frustration-free gaming experience when playing games online. Let’s dive into what you must know to keep those game sessions lag-free.
Ideal Internet Speed for Multiplayer Games
The ideal internet speed for playing games online can vary depending on the types of games you are into. Anything 20 Mbps or higher is considered good enough to play multiplayer games online.
Luckily, the average internet speed in most countries is well above the minimum required threshold, even exceeding 100 Mbps in some regions. For example, internet users in the United States enjoy connections with median speeds hovering around 200 Mbps.
Ideal Ping for Online Gaming
Ping or latency is equally vital as speed, especially for online gaming. Lower ping values indicate less delay between your actions and the server’s response. Here are the ideal ping requirements for different types of online gaming:
- Competitive Online Gaming: If you’re into competitive gaming, aiming for 20 ms or lower ping is considered ideal. This ultra-low latency ensures minimal delay and can give you a significant advantage in fast-paced matches.
- Casual Online Gaming: For casual gaming, ping values between 50 ms and 100 ms are perfectly acceptable. While not as lightning-fast as what you typically want for competitive gaming, the range provides a smooth gameplay experience without significant interruptions.
If your ping goes above 100 ms, you might experience noticeable lag and delays. This is not ideal if you play online games with friends or compete with other players in real matches or online-only local tournaments.
Using Mesh WiFi for Online Gaming
Online gaming demands a reliable internet connection with good speed and low latency. Thankfully, a high-quality mesh WiFi system can meet these requirements seamlessly. Let’s understand how mesh WiFi works and why it’s perfect for deploying in multi-story buildings or large homes where WiFi coverage might be an issue.
How Mesh WiFi Works
A mesh WiFi system consists of a primary node and multiple secondary nodes (or satellites) strategically placed throughout your home. These nodes communicate with each other to create a network that covers every area of the building.
When your gaming device connects to the network, it automatically seeks the node with the strongest signal. This dynamic routing helps minimize lag and provides a stable gaming experience, even in multi-story buildings with complex layouts or wall designs.
Additionally, all nodes in the mesh network share the same SSID (network name). This means your devices can seamlessly switch between nodes as you move around, ensuring a consistent connection throughout your home.
It’s important to note mesh WiFi systems are designed to utilize multiple frequency bands. Depending on your load requirements and budget, you can get a dual or a tri-band mesh WiFi system. The multiple frequency operations add even more versatility, allowing devices to select the band that offers optimal performance.This adaptability minimizes latency, a critical factor for online gaming, particularly in large, complex spaces.
Here is the summary of the benefits of using a mesh WiFi system for online gaming in large homes:
- Low Latency: With multiple nodes working together at optimal frequency bands, your device can connect to the nearest one, reducing the time your data travels.
- Seamless Roaming: As you move around your multi-story building, your device automatically switches to the node with the strongest signal. This eliminates signal dropouts and ensures you stay connected to the game without interruptions.
- Coverage Across Distances: Mesh WiFi systems are perfect for larger homes or multi-story buildings. The nodes are strategically placed to provide comprehensive coverage, even in areas far from the main router. You can enjoy gaming from your basement or attic without worrying about signal strength.
- Consistent Speeds: With a mesh WiFi system, you can easily match the speed requirements for online gaming
When Mesh WiFi May Not Be the Best Option for Online Gaming
While mesh WiFi systems offer fantastic coverage and convenience for most online gaming scenarios, they are not the best for competitive gaming or online-only esports tournaments like the PUBG Continental Series, Hearthstone World Championship, or Pokemon Players Cup. These fast-paced environments demand low ping (usually below 20 ms), which may not always be possible to achieve with a mesh WiFi system.
Powerline adapters are best for such scenarios if you can’t use your original wired connection to play games online. They use your home’s electrical wiring to connect wired networks. We are big fans of the Netgear Powerline 2000 adapter. It ensures blazing-fast speed, low latency, and a stable internet connection thanks to the inbuilt Broadcom BCM60500 chipset.
- Use your existing electrical wiring to extend your Internet access to any room in your house.
- Homeplug AV2 technology supports Gigabit speeds through your electrical outlets for improved coverage
- Extremely fast Powerline adapter for Gigabit speeds
- Extra plug with our noise filtered power outlet built into the adapter to ensure the performance
- Multiple data streams (MIMO) with Beamforming technology to offer improved coverage by directing the signal where you need it
Tips to Improve Your Mesh WiFi Performance for Online Gaming
Setting up mesh WiFi for gaming is crucial to ensure a seamless and lag-free experience. Follow these tips to get the most out of your mesh WiFi setup:
1) Choose the Right Main Node
If deploying a mixed mesh WiFi system, it’s recommended to use the most powerful or advanced node as your primary router. This central node will anchor your network and provide a strong foundation for all connected devices.
2) Use Wired Backhauls
Use wired backhauls over wireless backhauls when setting up your mesh network where possible. Connecting nodes via Ethernet cables ensures a fast and stable connection between them, reducing interference and boosting your WiFi signals.
3) Consider Tri-Band Routers for Wireless Backhaul
In situations where wired backhaul isn’t feasible, consider using tri-band routers. These routers have an extra 5 GHz band dedicated to communication between nodes, minimizing interference and improving overall performance for your wireless backhaul setups.
4) Minimize the Number of Hubs
Keep the number of hubs (secondary nodes) between your gaming devices and the primary router to a minimum to reduce latency and maximize performance.
5) Avoid DFS Channels for Backhaul
DFS (Dynamic Frequencies Selection) channels can sometimes provide additional bandwidth but are not recommended for backhaul. These channels are subject to radar interference and can result in signal disruptions. Stick to non-DFS channels for a more stable connection.
How do mesh WiFi systems fare against WiFi range extenders for online gaming?
Mesh Network vs. Range Extender for Gaming – Which is Better?
When it comes to online gaming, mesh networks are far superior in performance than WiFi range extenders. They offer lower latency, consistent speeds, seamless coverage, and easier management, making them a better choice than their counterparts.
- Mesh Network: Mesh networks typically have lower latency compared to range extenders. They use multiple nodes to blanket your entire building, ensuring minimal delay in data transmission. This is essential for online gaming, where split-second reactions can make all the difference.
- Range Extender: While improving coverage, range extenders can introduce higher latency due to the additional hop between your device and the router. This delay can be noticeable in competitive gaming scenarios.
Bandwidth and Speed
- Mesh Network: Mesh networks, especially tri-band systems, can offer impressive bandwidth and speed. The dedicated backhaul channel ensures data flows smoothly between nodes, providing consistent speeds even in multi-story homes.
- Range Extender: Range extenders can extend coverage but typically at lower bandwidths than mesh networks. Bandwidth sharing between your device, the range extender, and the main router can lead to reduced speeds.
- Mesh Network: Mesh networks provide extensive coverage throughout your home, making them suitable for large, multi-story houses. They use a series of nodes to ensure no dead zones, essential for gaming in different parts of your home.
- Range Extender: Range extenders help extend coverage to areas with weak WiFi signals. However, they don’t provide seamless handoffs between the main router and the extender, leading to potential interruptions.
- Mesh Network: Mesh networks often come with user-friendly apps allowing easy network management, including device prioritization and service setting changes. These features can help you optimize your gaming experience.
- Range Extender: Range extenders typically have limited management options compared to mesh networks. Advanced settings may be lacking, which can limit your ability to fine-tune your network for gaming.
Best Mesh WiFi Systems for Gaming 2023
So, what is the best mesh WiFi system for gaming in 2023?
- TP-Link Deco XE75 Tri-Band: Covers a whopping 5500 Sq.Ft; no more dead zones. Swap your old router and extender with ease. Includes a smart AI-driven mesh that keeps your network running smoothly. Meanwhile, the tri-band tech guarantees fast and reliable connections.
- WiFi 6E Tri-Band Mesh WiFi – Cover up to 5,500 Sq.Ft with next-gen seamless WiFi and make dead zones and buffering a thing of the past
- Brand-New 6 GHz Band – Experience the latest frequency of WiFi, eliminating interference from all legacy devices. The 6 GHz band works as the powerful dedicated backhaul to ensure stable connections between nodes by default. You can switch it to Wi-Fi Network mode and connect your WiFi 6E-compatible devices to 6GHz Network
- True Tri-Band Speed – All three WiFi bands work together to unleash your network’s total speeds up to 5,400 Mbps for 200 devices(6 GHz: 2402 Mbps (HE160);5 GHz: 2402 Mbps (HE160);2.4 GHz: 574 Mbps)
- Unlock the Full Potential of WiFi 6 - Opening the 6 GHz band will change the game for WiFi 6. WiFi 6 brings about upgraded performance in network efficiency and capacity. Whereas the advantages of WiFi 6 are not fully realized while competing with transmissions from WiFi 5 (or other radios). The 6 GHz band is available only for WiFi 6 traffic, allowing WiFi 6 to meet its intended potential
- AI-Driven Mesh - Deco XE75 delivers smart WiFi that follows you wherever you are, without interruption. It automatically learns your network environment, client quality, and user behaviors
- Easy Setup and Management - The Deco app helps you set up your network in minutes with clear visual guidance and keeps you in control even when you are not home; Works with Alexa as well Turn on or off Guest Wi-Fi by simple voice commands
- Works with all internet service providers, such as Comcast, Charter, ATandT, Verizon, Xfinity, Spectrum, RCN, Cox, CenturyLink, Frontier, etc.( a modem is required for most internet service providers)
- TP-Link HomeShield - TP-Link's premium security service keeps your home network safe with cutting-edge network and IoT protection. Free features: 1. Basic Network Security including Security Scan and IoT Device Identification 2. Basic Parental Controls 3. Quality of Service 4. Basic Weekly/Monthly Reports. Visit TP-Link website for more information.
- Asus ROG Rapture GT6 gaming mesh router: Blazing tri-band WiFi 6 for lightning-fast gaming. 2.5G Port ensures ultra-responsive online play. Triple-Level Game Acceleration optimizes gaming traffic. UNII 4 support minimizes interference for smooth gaming.
- NETGEAR Orbi: Remarkable coverage of up to 9,000 sq. ft. for extensive reach and supports up to 200 devices simultaneously. Ideal for busy households.
- Amazon eero Pro 6 mesh wifi kit: Delivers fast and reliable gigabit speeds for smooth connectivity. Supports over 75 devices simultaneously, perfect for tech-savvy households. Provides coverage for up to 3,500 sq. ft., ensuring a broad reach. Quick and hassle-free setup in just minutes for a user-friendly experience.
Gaming Without Limits with Mesh WiFi – Final Thoughts!
In summary, mesh WiFi helps you enjoy gaming in large homes and multi-story buildings without network coverage constraints, eliminating dead spots. However, while it excels for most online gaming scenarios, competitive esports may demand a wired connection.
To optimize your mesh WiFi gaming experience, choose a strong main node and use wired backhauls whenever possible. Remember, mesh networks outperform most alternatives like WiFi range extenders, ensuring lower latency and seamless coverage for an unbeatable gameplay.