Online Gaming: A Look at the Data Demands

Garon CockrellMiscellaneousLeave a Comment

Online Gaming: A Look at the Data Demands

Online gaming is no longer restricted to a few games meant to be played specifically online. Most PC and console games released today has two formats – one in which the player can play offline and follow the story and a second one where the game gets online mods to help multiple players compete against each other.

It doesn’t matter whether you are trying to play Sugarhouse casino slots or play FIFA online, you can do it all with online gaming.

The future of Multiplayer online gaming

Online gaming is not just for PC’s anymore. Android and iOS powered phones and consoles like PlayStation or Xbox also support online multiplayer versions, and are a gamer’s favorite.

In fact, these consoles have dedicated Server accounts like PSN and Xbox live, which enable players to interact with others easily.

How does online gaming work?

When we normally think about the data used in playing these games online, the high definition visuals and three dimensional sound effects come in your mind. And logically it should consume same or more data as the video streaming does. But the reality entirely different because the visuals and the audio which we assume are uploaded and downloaded is not exchanged.

What is exchanged is a set of commands.

Whenever you fire on your opponent with the click of a mouse a series of commands are sent to the other end, and they elicit the visual change on your opponent’s screen. These audio and visuals are preloaded on all the computers and devices taking part in the game.

A Look at Video Streaming

An hour-long Netflix episode when played on standard definition will anyhow consume at least 1GB of data and you’ll be shocked to know even the most demanding games like Destiny 2 and Counter Strike Global offensive consume 250-300 Mb in one hour of gameplay.

VoIP and Video Chatting:

What consumes more data is the voice and the video chatting players use during the game to communicate with each other. This is similar to using Skype and the voice call alone will consume 40-50 Mb in an hour. A Video chat is going to consume much more than that.

Digital Versions and Updates:

You will rarely find someone who got a physical disc of the game from the store. Most users today purchase digital versions online, over the internet. Even the smallest games have a size of around 30-40Gb and, moreover, these games receive updates quite frequently and updates easily have a capacity of 4-5 Gb.

Need for Data Centers:

Online games use cloud computing, enabling many users to have access to the same data at the same time. With increasing number of online gamers, new clouds servers are being set up to meet the demand.


However, given all that, online gaming does take in a lot less resources than when you compare it to traditional video streaming. You could play over your cellular network for hours, and yet use up less than a GB of data.

What’s your favorite online game? Let us know below!



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Garon CockrellOnline Gaming: A Look at the Data Demands