The popularity of online games was never greater than starting in 2020. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve seen a pre-recorded gameplay, someone live-streaming a game, or witnessed gaming in person. They all use the same medium to transfer data – the Internet. We’re just eternally grateful this medium exists and will continue to expand and improve. With that out of the way, we have to admit, multiplayer games can be a lot of fun. It matters not whether you play them with a person that you already know or alone and with strangers. The difficulty, genre, or beautiful graphics also aren’t prerequisites. You’ll realize this quickly as we teach you how to play online games.
What is necessary to play online games?
These are things you need to play online games:
1. Internet connection
The primary requirement for online gaming is a connection to the Internet. Wired or wireless, it’s up to you and the platform you’re using.
The best option for desktops and consoles?
Get an optical Internet connection! Then, use your Ethernet cable to connect it to the Ethernet port on the back of your device. This provides the lowest latency and the closest speed to the one your Internet Service Provider promised.
Are you using a PC and don’t want to/can’t run cables throughout the house? Purchase a high-speed 2.4 GHz/5 GHz wireless router. We recommend one marked with an 802.11ac speed. Verify that your PC motherboard has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity – look for an oval golden contact on the input panel. It typically has a small hole in the middle, and is threaded – that’s where you can attach a Wi-Fi antenna. If yours doesn’t, you can purchase a Wi-Fi wireless card that connects via PCI-E. We don’t recommend getting a wireless USB stick. They’re cheap and great for casual browsing, but not for gaming.
For consoles (PlayStation and Xbox), you can run an Ethernet cable or connect to your Wi-Fi right off the bat. It’s up to your preference, although wired is, of course, better.
I use a mobile device, what’s available?
Gaming on a smartphone, tablet, or a handheld console? Your only option is a wireless connection from a router or a hotspot (portable hotspot device, smartphone, or tablet). If you are still getting high latency, either get closer to the router or check your device specifications. You might be limited by your hardware and are due for an upgrade.
Depending on the games you want to play and/or peripherals you like to use, you need to choose a platform to play games online on.
The best option for online gaming – in our opinion, at least. It allows you to use a mouse and a keyboard, which is arguably the most precise. Furthermore, you have a wide variety of games to try, including those that can work on a 10-year old machine, such as browser games, indie games, idle games, or low-spec games. You can also access numerous digital distribution applications, allowing you to install games on Steam, Origin, GOG Galaxy, Uplay, etc.
That allows you to shop around and find the lowest price, instead of being limited to one store. You can even claim free games worth between a few dollars and tens of dollars, such as games like GTA 5, by logging in to Epic Games. Furthermore, a lot of MMORPG and MOBA games are PC exclusives.
2. Consoles (PlayStation, Xbox)
If you like playing from your bed or your couch, and you have a large TV in your living room or bedroom, you are best off playing online games on a console. You’ll be using a controller and the newer ones are wireless. And don’t think that not having a mouse will prevent you from playing shooter, third-person shooter, or zombie killing games in multiplayer. You will have aim assistance, and remember, everyone on that server is using a controller too.
Plus, there are a lot of RPG, survival, action–adventure games that are exclusive to consoles, including games like Uncharted. Furthermore, many gaming publishers such as Ubisoft are also making console ports of their biggest PC hits. Their popularity of consoles also rising in 2020, which is obvious when you take a look at the best gaming headsets for 2021.
The downsides? You can’t shop around. You either buy a game when it comes out, wait a few months for a discount, or get it second-hand in physical form. Furthermore, you’re often locked into a monthly subscription system if you want to continue playing online, and you can’t play browser games. Finally, you’re often limited by storage space, and console online updates are notorious for taking GBs of data. As if storage wasn’t a problem, consoles are impossible to upgrade. This forces you to buy the new generation when yours becomes outdated.
3. Mobile devices
Since ARM chips in smartphones and tablets are growing insanely powerful, more and more online games are developed and published on mobile devices using Android and iOS. Even better, most of the games are free, unlike on PC and consoles. Unfortunately, they often require you to sit through ads to make up for it. And, although they’re usually played during a commute or any time away from PC or console, they could take over easily.
For example, PUBG Mobile, although on a smaller screen and a smaller server can rival the fun you’ll have on the “real” thing – PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds. Unfortunately, handheld consoles, although more powerful, have the same downsides as their bigger siblings. You’re locked into one marketplace, for example, Sega Games, when buying and playing new games.
3. Decide between PvP and PvE
Finally, what type of games on the Internet do you like to play? Do you prefer PvE (Player vs. Environment) where you team up with strangers (or friends) to beat powerful NPCs? Or do you like a challenge, and prefer PvP (Player vs. Player) where your enemies are real people from across the globe? And why exclude the other? Games like Minecraft or Fortnite mix two elements, and so do many others.