Viasat is a satellite internet provider. They offer high-speed internet to people who live in rural areas, and they also have packages for people living in urban areas.
When it comes to gaming, how does Viasat perform? Is it ideal for gaming and gamers? Or are there specific kinds of games that perform well on the Viasat internet?
This post will answer these questions and more by going through what type of speeds you can expect from Viasat’s services, the positives and drawbacks, and what games work best on the satellite network. Let’s get started!
What is Viasat?
Viasat is a satellite internet provider that has been around for quite some time (30 years). Some Viasat stats you should know:
- Viasat serves 98 percent of the population in the United States (exceptions include inner Alaska and some mountain areas).
- Viasat Internet is quicker than dial-up and HughesNet, but not as fast as cable or fiber. 12–100 Mbps download speeds.
- Like other satellite internet providers, Viasat has a monthly data cap on how much full-speed data you can use. You can add more, but it will be more expensive. Data caps range from 12 GB to 300 GB per month.
- You’ll pay more for satellite internet than you would for cable, fiber, or DSL internet for a good package with enough data. HughesNet, a Viasat competitor, is less expensive than Viasat but provides 16% more data. Price range: $30.00–$150.00 per month.
Can I Play Video Games With Viasat Internet?
Yes, you most certainly can. Viasat Internet is good for gaming in some cases—it all depends on what type of games you are looking to play. Viasat’s speed and latency are good for games that don’t require super-high latencies, such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Minecraft, Roblox, or Plants vs. Zombies.
Candy Crush Soda Saga, for example, is an excellent example of a mobile game that works well. Single-player games and multiplayer games that don’t rely on split-second reactions will be fine for playing with Viasat’s service—and the same goes for mobile gaming.
What is Latency, and How Does it Affect Gaming?
Latency is the time it takes for data to travel from one point to another. In gaming, lower latency = faster response times and better overall gameplay.
Latency is measured in milliseconds (ms). The lower the latency, the better your connection speed will be for online gaming.
Viasat’s latency is anywhere from 300–400 ms to 800-900 ms or more—not ideal for fast-paced games that require split-second reactions due to lag spikes and dropped signals during peak hours.
Why is Latency Higher Via Satellite?
Latency is higher with satellite internet due to the distance data has to travel (either up or down).
When you use cable, fiber optic, DSL, or fixed wireless internet (like AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS), your data travels to a nearby tower, sending it to the main lines.
These lines are usually located near roads and other populated areas. That’s why these types of connections tend to be faster than satellite internet—the distance between you and the tower is shorter.
On the other hand, satellite internet uses orbiting satellite towers to transmit data back and forth between your computer/device and the server. The distance adds more latency because each “hop” or signal has to travel much further (from space) before it reaches its destination (your device).
How Do I Know if Viasat is Right for Me?
If you’re looking to play games that don’t require super-high latency, then yes—Viasat is good for gaming. If you’re looking to play faster-paced games like Call Of Duty, Battlefield, or Overwatch—stick with a cable or fiber connection.
Viasat is suitable for single-player games because you don’t need to be connected to the server at all times—even when you’re not playing. Viasat’s download speed and high latency make it a less-than-ideal choice for multiplayer games that require split-second reactions.
Can I Use Viasat to Play Video Games With Friends Online?
Yes, you can—Viasat is suitable for playing games with friends.
However, Viasat’s high latency and data caps make it a little less than ideal to use as your only internet source, but it’s fine to use if you have another internet source at home.
How to Reduce Latency on Satellite Internet
There’s not much you can do to reduce latency—satellite internet is just slow by its very nature if you’re looking for a way to reduce latency, stick with cable internet.
However, some tips could help you to reduce latency and prevent the lag hammer.
Here’s how to fix lag and reduce latency:
1. Ensure you don’t have an existing background download, as this could contribute to your internet service’s lag and response time.
2. If you have any streaming software that is open and connected to the internet, you might want to shut that down. At least for the time that you spend gaming.
3. There’s no harm in powering off and reconnecting your router again. This might help refresh the system and give you the best possible experience.
4. Lastly, it is best practice to use an Ethernet cable instead of WiFI.
How do Download Speeds Affect Gaming With Satellite Internet?
Download speeds have a massive impact on your gaming ability—especially if you’re using the internet to play multiplayer games with friends. Or if you’re not the only one connected to the network and using the same bandwidth – family/friends.
If you want to play multiplayer games, then you’ll need a download speed of at least 25 Mbps to ensure that everyone in your party can play and enjoy the game. 15 Mbps will work for single-player games, but it’s recommended to have at least 25 or 30 Mbps if possible.
To avoid buffering or disconnects for everyone in your house, you’ll need quicker download speeds—or more bandwidth—to keep that internet connection running. This is especially if you have a smart home system or more than a few people jumping on the network.
What Are the Best Games for Satellite Internet?
If you have a slower satellite connection, then stick with single-player games—or ones that don’t require fast reaction times.
This includes first-person shooters and other more casual or sports-oriented titles such as Rocket League or FIFA. You can even play Minecraft on Viasat if you want to go back to the basics and enjoy building or exploring worlds.
As for MMO games, stick with single-player ones like Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood.
Multiplayer games are harder to play with Viasat, but this is because the internet connection is slower—not necessarily due to latency.
When you’re playing with friends, that’s when it is vital to have a good download speed and ping since most games require Twitch reactions.
Gamers looking for high-speed internet are advised to stick with cable or fiber connections. However, Viasat does work fine for single-player games or those that don’t require fast reaction times.
Can I Watch Video Game Streamers Using Viasat?
Yes, it is possible to watch video game streamers using Viasat. Watching game streamers on platforms like Twitch or YouTube is similar to watching other sorts of videos. This means that depending on the Viasat plan you have, your viewing experience may differ.
If you have a package that allows you to stream video, it will also allow you to watch game streams. Even if you have a decent plan, watching many videos will eat up your high-speed data and slow down your overall performance when the Viasat network is congested.
As a result, it’s critical to keep track of your data usage and be conscious of your data-intensive activities.
Can I Use Viasat to Stream My Gaming Sessions?
Yes, you can use Viasat to stream your gaming sessions. You will need a streaming device like the Elgato Game Capture HD60 to do this.
The Elgato Game Capture HD60 captures your gaming footage from a console and lets you live-stream it onto Twitch.
The high-quality video will depend on your Viasat internet plan. If you have a faster connection, then the stream quality will be better.
To get started, you can use the Elgato software to configure your stream and optimize Viasat settings. This is because your internet provider will affect the video quality of the stream.
Once you’re all set, go ahead and begin streaming!
Viasat Installation and Equipment
Viasat provides free installation, which reduces the cost of switching to a new internet provider and is beneficial because self-installation is complex and not recommended. (Viasat recommends having the satellite dish installed by a Viasat-trained technician—and because installation is free, it’s a win-win.)
A Viasat Wi-Fi Modem (modem/router combo) is required as part of the service. The modem/router will transmit a Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. A standard modem from Amazon or Best Buy can’t function with satellite internet; instead, you’ll need the Viasat Wi-Fi Modem to decode the signal.
If you are looking to improve your gaming experience, satellite Internet may not be the best option. Viasat is only good if you have single-player games or those that don’t require fast reaction times.
If any of these descriptions fit with what you play, then it might still work well for you! However, Gamers looking for high-speed internet are advised to stick with cable or fiber connections, which will change depending on where they live in relation to different providers.