Will Starlink Work for Gamers?

The internet is important regardless of who you are and where you come from, but things tend to be more intense in the world of gaming. Gamer rage is a notorious side effect of inefficient internet connections, and many of the best internet service providers out there may fail to make a mark if they do not cater to their needs with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Starlink is Elon Musk’s boldest project because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up providing internet through low orbit satellites instead of through cables. It already has over 500,000 users who are receiving speeds between 50 to 200 Mbps. With over 2,500 satellites up in the sky providing this internet, Starlink offers an intriguing new way for people to stay well connected even if they are in the farther flung locales of the world.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that gaming will prove to be a critical litmus test for the long term viability of the project. While it has proved itself in the area of speed, there are other areas that need to be tested. That is why PC Mag recently tried to game using Starlink, and the results might surprise you.

Latency turned out to be a bit of an issue with Starlink, and that might be a huge setback for many gamers. The advertised latency rate is between 20-40ms, but in spite of the fact that this is the case analysts at PC Mag found that it frequently crossed the 40ms mark and often ventured into 100ms territory which is subpar as far as hardcore gamers are concerned.

That might be due to the test site being deep into rural Idaho, where the connection was routed through Seattle. The closer a user is to a ground station, the better service they would receive. That might be a bit of an issue, since gamers would still ned to maintain proximity to the infrastructure that Starlink relies on. This can make it less of an appealing prospect for rural gamers than might have been the case otherwise.

There is also a rather fatal flaw in Starlink’s design that could prove to be a deal breaker for gamers. The satellites used to provide Starlink can get out of range every so often, and while the receiver dish is designed to automatically move to capture the signal from another satellite, this creates a momentary service disruption. That can ruin entire games and suggests that Starlink just isn’t ready for the big leagues at least until it fixes this massive issue.

Read next: What Country Has the Fastest 5G Speeds?
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