How 5G will change mobile gaming

Photo by SCREEN POST on Unsplash

There’s a lot of hype around 5G, but some of the most exciting possibilities for consumers center on entertainment and gaming.

With limited local rollout however, many of these possibilities seem abstract.

However, Ernst Wittmann — Global Account Director MEA & Country Manager for Southern Africa at TCL Communications — has outlined a few ways that 5G could improve the gaming experience.

Not only can 5G improve traditional PC and console gaming, but mobile gamers especially stand to benefit from improved speeds.

“5G could enable developers to create richer and more immersive worlds, more responsive multiplayer, and more seamless access to content. It will take a while for this all to play out, but here are some ways 5G could take smartphone gaming to new heights over the next five years.”

Ernst Wittmann , Global Account Director MEA & Country Manager for Southern Africa at TCL Communications

Here are four ways 5G will improve the mobile gaming experience:

1. Fast downloads

5G is set to improve download speeds across the board — from streaming media to downloading files.

This means that when it comes to downloading games and content patches, there will be a much shorter wait.

Of course, the viability of this also depends on data costs.

“Provided we see mobile data costs continue to fall, which seems likely, hunting for a Wi-Fi network to download the new game you want to try could become a thing of the past,” Wittmann says.

2. Improved multiplayer capabilities

Online multiplayer games on mobile are increasingly popular, especially the various battle royale, MOBA, and tower defence games out there.

But mobile gamers are more likely to experience latency issues and lag since they rely on wireless connections (when a wired connection is recommended for multiplayer gaming).

Even if you have a home fibre internet connection, the wireless connection to your router can impact things like packet loss and latency.

But the speeds of 5G will make these issues far less prevalent. Of course, this will also depend on your 5G plan.

3. Game streaming

Cloud gaming is also another sphere seeing fast development and increasing interest from consumers. Services like Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now let gamers stream titles straight from the cloud or between devices.

This means the game’s performance isn’t limited by your device’s hardware. But cloud gaming makes internet speed for gaming more important than ever.

Slow speeds will impact the responsiveness of your input when streaming a game, either from the cloud or between devices in your home.

A fast 5G connection will make this a non-issue.

“The benefits include not needing to store every game locally on your phone, being able to access a vast library of content for a monthly subscription, and always having access to the latest updates and content without doing anything on your side,” Wittmann says.

“It will take many years for this trend to become mainstream in smartphones, but the possibilities are exciting.”

4. More intensive mobile cloud games

Wittmann notes that another benefit of cloud gaming for smartphones on 5G networks includes the ability for more intensive games to be streamed from the cloud.

“Developers will have the freedom to create more impressive graphics and physics, bigger and more detailed game worlds, and smart artificial intelligence, without concerning themselves with the limitations of your smartphone,” he says.

Of course, the more complex controls of these games mean that you will likely need to buy a smartphone gaming controller to truly reap the benefits.

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