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The impact of game size on your WiFi speed: Expert tips to optimise your gaming experience

As the gaming industry continues to evolve and advance, new games are becoming significantly larger in size. Amid reports that the highly anticipated release of GTA 6 in 2025 has over 200 GB download size – downloading these games can put a considerable strain on your WiFi network but also your game wait time.

With this in mind, the experts at Independent Advisor Broadband Deals have shared expert tips to help you enjoy the latest games without compromising your network performance.

With popular games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare being 235 GB download size and Halo over 140 GB3 – downloading large games like these can bring multiple factors that can affect your WiFi speed:

  • Bandwidth Consumption: Due to large game downloads consuming a significant portion of your available bandwidth. This slows down other activities on the network, such as streaming, browsing, or video conferencing.
  • Network Congestion: Multiple devices use the internet simultaneously which leads to network congestion, this further reduces the available speed for each device.
  • Latency Issues: High latency can result from large downloads, causing delays and lag in online gaming sessions.

There are several ways you can optimise your WiFi speed to help download these larger game files, and provide yourself with the quickest chance to play the game.

Schedule downloads during off-peak hours

Downloading large games during off-peak hours, such as late at night or early in the morning, can greatly boost your download speeds. Internet service providers, known as ISPs, usually experience peak usage in the evening when many people are streaming, gaming, and using other online services.

By scheduling your downloads for times when fewer people are online, you can benefit from less congested network bandwidth. Some ISPs even offer ‘night owl’ plans with faster speeds during these off-peak hours, making it an ideal time for those bigger downloads.

Use a wired connection

While WiFi offers convenience, it can be prone to interference and signal degradation (issues that can affect the performance of your WiFi network), especially in environments with multiple devices and thick walls. Connecting your gaming console directly to the router via an ethernet cable can dramatically improve your internet speed and stability. Wired connections provide lower latency and higher data transfer rates, ensuring a smoother download process and better online gaming performance.

Prioritise your gaming traffic

Quality of Service (QoS) is a feature found on many modern routers that lets you prioritise certain types of network traffic. By setting your router to prioritise gaming traffic, you can make sure your gaming device gets the bandwidth it needs for both downloads and online play – this helps to prevent lag during intense gaming sessions. Setting up QoS usually involves going into your router’s management interface and assigning higher priority to your gaming activities, ensuring they get the bandwidth they need without interference from other devices in the household.

Upgrade your internet plan

If you often download large games and find your current internet plan lacking, it might be time to upgrade. Higher-tier plans provide greater bandwidth and faster speeds, making large downloads quicker and more efficient. Look for plans with higher download speeds and lower latency, and consider options with unlimited data to avoid throttling or extra charges. Talk to your internet service provider about the best plan for heavy internet use, especially if multiple users in your household use a lot of bandwidth.

Optimise router placement and settings

The placement and setup of your router play a crucial role in the strength and reliability of your WiFi signal:

– Ideally, position your router centrally within your home.
– Elevate your router above the ground and away from obstacles like walls and mirrors as this can obstruct the signal.
– Avoid hiding your router in closets or behind furniture, as this can weaken the signal.
– In multi-story homes, placing the router on the middle floor can help distribute coverage evenly.
– Regularly update your router’s firmware as this is essential for optimising performance and security.

Many routers offer advanced features like beamforming and dual-band capabilities, which enhance signal strength. Consider using WiFi extenders to eliminate dead zones and ensure consistent signal coverage throughout your home.

Gemma Ryles, Home Tech Expert at Independent Advisor Broadband Deals shared their thoughts:

“With the gaming industry continually pushing boundaries in terms of graphics and content, it’s no surprise that game file sizes have swelled to unprecedented levels. Coupled with the fact that gaming has become a popular pastime for millions worldwide, the strain on WiFi networks during peak gaming hours is undeniable.

“By scheduling downloads during off-peak hours, using wired connections, prioritising gaming traffic, and making other adjustments, you can ensure that your WiFi network remains robust and capable of handling large game downloads without compromising performance.”

Visit Independent Advisor Broadband for more insights from our expert editorial team.