Having a strong internet connection is necessary if you want to experience the competitive nature of multiplayer games. If you’re having difficulties getting a stable connection with your WiFi modem or Ethernet connection, then switching over to USB tethering could be a smart decision.
USB tethering isn’t the same for everyon. A lot of the online experience is based entirely on your network coverage; in this article, you will find everything about USB tethering and gaming.
Some people living near a cell tower are likely to get strong internet signals, while others who are a bit further may suffer from bad reception, which could also affect the internet speed. Furthermore, there are many moving parts in this scenario that can also affect the online gaming experience.
I will explain how USB tethering could revolutionize your online gaming experience.
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Is USB Tethering Good for Gaming?
USB tethering is good for gaming; it offers a strong and stable connection with no packet loss. Moreover, the connection is more reliable than Wi-Fi as Wi-Fi is usually spread throughout multiple devices, increasing the latency and internet slow down.
When you compare USB tethering to WiFi connection, you’ll see that it often has multiple devices connected at one time which could cause high latency and slower internet; USB tethering will connect your gaming device directly to the internet without having a middle man who speeds speed up the internet connection.
If you want to spend up to your console’s internet connection, please see my guide here; it’s about PS5, but it will work for every console.
How much data is Enough for Gaming?
10 GB of data is roughly enough for 100 hours of online play, equally 25 hours a week. Most modern games use between 40MB to 300 MB per hour, one-third of the data used when dreaming standard definition Netflix.
See the below table from Domain Name Sanity to get an idea of how much data your favorite games will use.
Average Popular Game Data Use Per Hour
|Game Title||Avg. Data Used Per Hour|
|Diablo 3||16MB (single-player) 26MB (multiplayer)|
|World of Warcraft||40MB|
|League of Legends||45MB|
|Grand Theft Auto V Online||60MB|
|Team Fortress 2||80MB|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||250MB|
|Call of Duty: World War II||40MB|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops 4||80MB|
Even data-hungry games don’t eat up too much data, but two things are voice chatting and patches will.
Many games will have voice chat features, but others require programs like skype or discord; skype calls can take anywhere between 13 to 45MB of data per hour based on a 2-person call; this goes up once you add more team members.
Be sure to be connected to Wi-Fi whenever you download patches, most patches won’t be more than 1GB, but others like Destiny 2 can be 5GB!
One downside of USB tethering is that you need to rely on a certain amount of data. Users can purchase a solid monthly plan to get them going but, since it’s limited, you might have to spend a bit more to get some extra GBs, which could get expensive depending on where you live.
Want to maximize your internet gaming speed? I recommend you read my guide on the best internet for gaming and how to increase your internet speed.
Is USB Tethering Better Than Mobile Hotspot?
USB tethering is better than mobile hotspot because with USB tethering, you’ll get direct access to the internet, and it won’t drain your device’s battery. On the contract, using USB tethering charges your mobile phone and keeps it cool while offering a strong connection between your gaming device and the internet.
On the other hand, a mobile hotspot is a decent option for sharing the internet with surrounding devices. However, it can drain the battery of the mobile much faster. In the long-term, regularly using a mobile hotspot to share internet access may permanently damage the battery for good.
Also, using the mobile hotspot could cause heat-ups inside the core of the device, which could eventually harm your phone’s internals. In short, words, using USB tethering makes a lot of sense if you’re aiming to enjoy online gaming with desired latency.
Does USB Tethering Decrease Ping?
As a general rule, USB tethering decreases ping. USB tethering uses a cable to transfer data reducing the chance of lost data; a wireless connection is prone to interference involving other devices. If you had 60-75ms of Ping using Wi-Fi and switch to a USB tethering, your ping would be a solid 50ms.
However, if the network reception in your area isn’t great, then there’s a chance that you might not be able to get the desired ping in online games. After all, USB tethering is only a suitable choice when you have strong coverage in your area because if it isn’t great, you’ll have to deal with frequent disconnection every time you get your hands on any online game.
With 5G/LTE just around the corner, USB tethering would be a much better option since buying them could break your bank.
Lastly, if you’re thinking about purchasing a generous data plan for gaming, then we highly recommend it because it is possible to achieve decent latency, but only if you’re using 4G/5G/LTE connections.
Do gaming headsets really make a difference to your game? Please find out the truth in my detailed article.