Can I Play the PS3/PS4/XboxOne/360/Wii with 3G or 4G Wireless (Online Gaming)?
|Monday, 18 April 2011|
The mobile broadband experts at 3Gstore/EVDOinfo answer countless questions from our customers and from the EVDO Forums community every day - from general mobile broadband questions ("what the heck does 3G mean?") to specific questions about products to more advanced inquiries about what one can do with their mobile broadband service. The "mobile broadband FAQ" series addresses these questions in depth one FAQ at a time. To view ALL of the FAQs we've addressed in this series, visit EVDOinfo.com/faq.
Mobile Broadband FAQ #9: Can I Play the PS3/PS4/XboxOne/360/Wii with 3G or 4G Wireless (Online Gaming)?
A common question we hear from customers who use or are considering the use of a 3G or 4G mobile broadband modem is "can I get online and play multiplayer games with this type of internet connection?" The answer is YES, you can get online to play your friends! To get your 360/PS3/Wii/WiiU/XBoxOne/PS4/PC online via your 3G or 4G connection, you'll need a 3G/4G router, which allows you to provide connectivity to multiple devices and optimize your connection for gaming. In fact, when you purchase your equipment from 3Gstore.com you have access to our exclusive gaming tip sheets and technical support for free!
One of the biggest concerns for gamers is latency, which is the amount of time it takes for your internet connection to communicate with the server or host you're joining. Most cable/DSL connections ping servers in about 25-50ms, while a 3G connection is around 100-150ms and 4G pings can be as low as 45ms. You will be at a slight disadvantage when compared to cable/DSL, but gaming over 3G or 4G is certainly do-able.
One thing you can look at is your signal strength and bandwidth speeds. In most situations, these are capable of improvement with a booster of some sort - antenna or repeater system. This is because most signal issues are related to the building itself degrading the signal before it reaches your device inside. Not only can energy efficient materials (and building materials in general - i.e. metal, brick or thick concrete) cause this degradation, but also the physical distance and obstructions between you and the cell tower. Whether you have one device (USB mobile broadband modem or Hotspot) or multiple (modem/hotspot + cell phones), there are several boosters to choose from. Just keep in mind that these variables can differ from location to location. So, while one booster may work for you, it may not work for your friend who lives in another city. This is why we strongly suggest performing a site survey at any fixed locations looking to improve their cellular signal. See: Will An Antenna or Amplifier Help Me?
Our 3G/4G routers allow you to tweak certain settings that MAY get you a Nat Type 2 or open connection, which is ideal for joining parties and ensuring you have the best gaming experience. However, it’s something we cannot guarantee. If this is something important to you, we recommend purchasing a static IP address for the mobile broadband device for best results. Even if you're using a 3G or 4G hotspot (like a MiFi, Jetpack, or even the hotspot feature on your smartphone), you will still benefit greatly from using a router instead of connecting your gaming console to your hotspot's WiFi network. This is because the router will allow you adjust settings that you can't adjust on your hotspot alone (with the hotspot alone, you are usually stuck with a Nat Type 3 connection, which is less than ideal). Using a router to make the connection to your gaming console can make all the difference!
Please Note: Some carriers make it impossible to get a fully open or Nat type 2 connection. AT&T physically blocks ports at the carrier level, which makes it impossible to open the connection through the router. If you have the option, 3Gstore recommends using a USB modem for gaming as opposed to a hotspot device to avoid secondary firewalls. However, if you do plan on purchasing a static IP, the firewall on hotspots will prevent them from properly passing the static IP through to the router - meaning you won’t get any benefit from having the static address. In any case, we would recommend using a USB modem, or even an embedded router, over a hotspot - UNLESS your hotspot is compatible via USB tethering (only possible with Peplink/Pepwave routers).
Rather than just telling you that gaming is possible, we wanted to actually show you a live game play video from the popular Call Of Duty Black Ops game:
Below you'll find a 4G LTE gameplay video to compare to the 3G demo:
If you're concerned about your signal strength and are wondering if an antenna or amplifier might help you, the in-game signal bars are NOT the right place to start - this is where the site survey comes in. Just keep in mind that while an antenna/amplifier might help your download/upload speeds, signal boosters don't always help with latency (as noted earlier, 3G and 4G connections simply aren't going to have the same low latency that you get from wired connections). We recommend using Speedtest.net to test your connection; if your ping is under 200ms you shouldn't have any problems getting connected and playing online.
In-game menu displaying latency to host as signal bars - this is NOT your modem's signal strength!
What does having a higher latency mean for you?
This means that you will be playing slightly behind the action that is actually being displayed on the screen. In long distance combat you won't notice it; however, when up close the lag can become more apparent when somebody appears to jump around on you a little bit. If you've watched the demo video you'll notice that for the most part this is negligible and any good gamer can still play competitively. If you're using 4G service, the latency problems are further diminished. If you're looking to game and have 4G available, Verizon's network is the king in this department, hitting as low as 45ms in some areas, while Sprint's 4G WiMAX and LTE is around 80-125ms (better than 3G on average but not as good as Verizon or AT&T LTE). Below you'll find a breakdown of latency based on the type of connection you have.
What type of games can I play with 3G or 4G?
We have created a helpful data usage calculator to determine how much data you may use monthly - see: 3Gstore Data Usage Calculator. All of our routers offer diagnostic tools that allow you to view real time network traffic, which means you can play a round and look at the chart to see what type of usage you're getting. Most will now also include some form of data usage monitor so you’ll also be able to set yourself limits and/or alerts so you know how much of your monthly allowance remains. You can then calculate exactly how much data a particular game is using so you know how many hours you have to get your frag on.
MW3 Bandwidth Used Demonstration With Pepwave/Peplink Monitoring Hardware:
With multiplayer gaming becoming more popular, we've made it much easier for customers to quickly find a router that is gaming compatible. We have created a router advisor tool with an option to only display routers compatible with your device that support gaming. You'll notice that a lot of different models do support gaming, so we wanted to highlight some popular options for gamers. Below you'll find some great choices to meet your gaming needs, from entry level to higher end products.
The Pepwave Surf SOHO (left) is a very popular option for gamers looking for a mid-range router that offers a lot of potential.
The Cradlepoint MBR1200B (left) is a more "advanced" router with a lot of great features
The Cradlepoint MBR1400 (left) is a step up from the MBR1200B, but has the option to add an embedded modem - See: ARC MBR1400 - for more on how USB compares to using an embedded router, see: Embedded vs USB Cellular Routers
The nice thing about all of these routers is that they'll also work with a Cable/DSL connection. So, if you're having issues with a strict Nat on you Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, you'll be able to optimize your gaming experience too! These routers will allow you to game on your 360/ PS3/ PS4/ Wii/ PSP/ iPad and any other networked devices that offer online gaming. Even if you don't want to game online, you can use this new connectivity to download new updates for your favorite offline games, patches, chat with friends or even watch Netflix or download Blu-ray live content.
If you've ever thought that you were out of luck because Cable/DSL doesn't reach you, think again: 3Gstore is here to meet your gaming needs and help you stay connected!
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 September 2014 )|
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