If you’re a fan of Xbox Live games, you know Internet lag is more deadly than any danger you’ll find in-game. Whether testing your mettle against other players or exploring an online world alone, slow Internet speeds can play havoc with the games — and some more than others. Which titles need the best Internet speeds?

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Call of Duty: Ghosts

The latest game in this popular series, Call of Duty: Ghosts takes players into a near-future world where the United States has been decimated by sabotage of its orbital weapons technology. As the once-prosperous First World struggles to survive, South American countries under the watchful eye of The Federation enjoy a period of economic prosperity. Players are tasked with defending a shattered America from losing the little it has left. In addition to a unique single-player campaign, Ghosts also features the fast-paced multiplayer combat that Call of Duty fans expect. Not only can players customize their own soldier, but they can create entire squads to help turn the tide of battle.

As a result, it’s critical to have a stable, speedy Internet connection for any Ghosts multiplayer action on Xbox Live. One second of lag can mean the difference between capturing an objective or losing the game, and if user commands aren’t immediately converted into onscreen action, there’s no way to viably compete against skilled opponents.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Set in the eighteenth century, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag takes players back to a time of pirates, swordplay, and mayhem. Sifting through the memories of the long-dead Edward Kenway, players are ostensibly helping to gather data for an interactive film but are, in fact, unknowing participants in a massive Templar plot to uncover ancient technology. The multiplayer aspect of Assassin’s Creed IV has received high praise from fans who enjoy the mix of action and stealth, but many users have reported significant lag during multiplayer matches. If a lag spike occurs at just the wrong moment, the blade intended for an unsuspecting target might miss, or players could be exposed to the watchful eyes of other gamers hiding the shadows.

Xbox Recommends

According to the official Xbox Live support page, a player who experiences lag during an Xbox Live game should first check his own Internet connection. Microsoft lists the minimum requirements for online gaming as a three megabit-per-second (Mbps) download speed and 0.5 Mbps upload speed, along with a “ping” of 150 milliseconds or less. Ping is the amount of time it takes for your Xbox and the game server to communicate. The lower this number, the faster your character will respond to commands. Anything under 50 is an excellent ping. If your speed is fine, make sure you’re using a wired connection, since wireless connectivity has much greater variability, and also check your router’s firewall settings to make sure Xbox Live isn’t being accidentally blocked as a security risk.

If your speed is too slow, consider upgrading your connection or changing providers. Many providers offer packages with download speeds higher than 10 Mbps, and some fiber-optic connections yield download rates closer to 50 or even 100 Mbps. While player skill remains the most important factor in dominating either of the multiplayer Xbox Live games mentioned above, a speedy connection doesn’t hurt, either (remember: by performing a speed test, you can ensure that you are always connecting to the best performing networks).

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Paul Williams
Paul Williams

Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.