WIFI 6 for gaming?

Blackstone

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I am considering moving my rig upstairs which would mean I would need to use wifi instead of ethernet. I have a Wifi 6 router from Xfinity. My question is whether Wifi 6 is sufficient for reasonably competitive gaming. I am not a competitive gamer, but do not want to add noticeable lag either.

Is anyone currently using Wifi 6 for their desktop rig and if so what do you think?
 

Enigma

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Wifi can be hit or miss when gaming. Depending on the signal and what frequency the router is running it will induce lag into the network packets. Depending on what game you are running and the way the netcode is programmed can also play into this. I avoid wifi like the plague when gaming just because I like to avoid any kind of latency issues that can be had while using it. However the majority of the population will never even know the difference. Give it a shot and report your findings. just my 2C's
 

TheBuzzer

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latency is the problem with wifi. sure you can get gigabit transfer speed, but there might be a bigger delay in response time
 

sirmonkey1985

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tbh it varies from person to person and like enigma said the games netcode.. some people are completely fine gaming over wireless and some people hate it.. but if you already have wireless support on your system just try it before you move it upstairs, ezpz.
 

tangoseal

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Youll be fine
You wont be able to tell a difference between wired and wifi

Its notbreally about bandwidth with gaming past a certain point.

Wifi 6, when using wifi 6 capable adaptors, will allow multiple input outputs at same time instead of round robin. Wifi 6 drastically reduces round trip latency because of its mimo capability.

So lets say you have an eth connection to lan at <1ms local and to an arbitrary game, lets say TitanFall 2. You connect normally at around 40ms latency to game iver ethernet.

Switch to wifi 6. Your local lan latency is now 12ms round trip. You connect to same Titanfall 2 game at 40ms. Nothing has changed. The round trip times are not additive. They are a result of the slowest hop.

You will be fine! Games dont use 1gbit/s of bandwidth. Maybe a few hundred kbit/s if that and less on sending out data.

Wifi 6 even if running a lower bandwidth will still maintain an absolutely and rather substabtially low latency compared to older gens of wifi. This is due to protocol, not absolute bandwidth.
 

TheBuzzer

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Most new games are not that competitive since it is all design for consoles and mobiles. so based on how much you truely care.
 

tangoseal

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I would also say this, and only this
No need to. Wifi 6 has protocol advances allowing very low latency over distance. Running cable is expensive and modifies his house for absolute minumum impact to gaming.
 

Shoganai

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No need to. Wifi 6 has protocol advances allowing very low latency over distance. Running cable is expensive and modifies his house for absolute minumum impact to gaming.
There is no lower latency than cable. And it’s hardly expensive, he can do it himself. And if by “modifies his house” you mean puts a couple holes in the wall it’s not exactly a remodeling job.
 

tangoseal

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There is no lower latency than cable. And it’s hardly expensive, he can do it himself. And if by “modifies his house” you mean puts a couple holes in the wall it’s not exactly a remodeling job.
It will have zero impact on gaming outside of his router. If all he wants is gaming then wired is not going to make a difference over a properly setup and ranged wifi 6.

He can do what he wants I suppose.

I run Fiber ethernet in my house and technically I could measure latency in Nanoseconds with the big delay being the actual processing of the light pulses into digital data and ethernet protocol.

However even my fancy ass fiber has the same exact gaming latency as my sons system over wifi 6.

I run fiber because im an ex Cisco network engineer and I have lots of leftover goodies and hundreds upon hundreds of meters of multimode and single fiber patch and long run cables and gear.
 

ComputerBox34

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Youll be fine
You wont be able to tell a difference between wired and wifi
This depends on many factors and your overall application. But in a properly setup environment, the differences are typically very hard for the average user to see.

Wifi 6, when using wifi 6 capable adaptors, will allow multiple input outputs at same time instead of round robin. Wifi 6 drastically reduces round trip latency because of its mimo capability.
If you are referring to MU-MIMO - while WiFi 6 AP's support MU-MIMO on both the downlink and uplink sides of broadcast, many WiFi cards unfortunately still do not support it on the uplink. From what I've seen, only the Samsung smartphones released recently support MU-MIMO and it's rare to find it on the laptop adapter side of things at this time.

So lets say you have an eth connection to lan at <1ms local and to an arbitrary game, lets say TitanFall 2. You connect normally at around 40ms latency to game iver ethernet.

Switch to wifi 6. Your local lan latency is now 12ms round trip. You connect to same Titanfall 2 game at 40ms. Nothing has changed. The round trip times are not additive. They are a result of the slowest hop.
RTT is quite literally the time it takes for one packet to traverse every hop to your destination and then back. If your first hop, (technically the hop between host and default gateway with WiFi being the medium) takes 12 ms to forward, every hop there after would be adding time to the total trip. It would be like getting in a car and driving 100 miles in 3 separate legs. Your total trip time is not the time it took you to drive the longest leg - it's the time of driving Legs 1,2, and 3 combined (and back).

You may be thinking of traceroute which does not measure RTT but rather the ICMP response time between the originator and every router along the way. In general ICMP is not the best tool to figure out a super accurate response time as it relies on the control plane to send a response back and if, for whatever reason, the destination is busy, it will not prioritize your ICMP response.

The bigger issue the OP needs to worry about is packet loss and re-transmits. If your AP has to transmit 2 packets for every 1 packet sent, you will be at a significant disadvantage compared to your peers. What causes an AP to have to retransmit packets can vary widely and even be intermittent depending on the surrounding environment with factors completely outside of your control.

WiFi6 helps a lot when it comes to client density and some specific high bandwidth applications but it doesn't overcome physics. If you have a WiFi6 AP in your basement with a PC multiple floors above, you're not going to have the best experience. Whether or not it's acceptable is up to you but you can always try it with 0 added effort to see if you can live with it.
 

Shoganai

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It will have zero impact on gaming outside of his router. If all he wants is gaming then wired is not going to make a difference over a properly setup and ranged wifi 6.

He can do what he wants I suppose.

I run Fiber ethernet in my house and technically I could measure latency in Nanoseconds with the big delay being the actual processing of the light pulses into digital data and ethernet protocol.

However even my fancy ass fiber has the same exact gaming latency as my sons system over wifi 6.

I run fiber because im an ex Cisco network engineer and I have lots of leftover goodies and hundreds upon hundreds of meters of multimode and single fiber patch and long run cables and gear.
You blatantly lied about it being expensive and causing some kind of strange damage to his house, so it makes it hard for me to believe anything else you're saying.
 

tangoseal

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You blatantly lied about it being expensive and causing some kind of strange damage to his house, so it makes it hard for me to believe anything else you're saying.
And I suppose everyone knows how to run ethernet cable to local codes and regulations, just like you know how to clean the inside of a Paccar MX13 crankcase during an overhaul of the common Peterbilt. Yeah anyone can do it!

Sometimes its best to not make such wild assumptions
 

Shoganai

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And I suppose everyone knows how to run ethernet cable to local codes and regulations, just like you know how to clean the inside of a Paccar MX13 crankcase during an overhaul of the common Peterbilt. Yeah anyone can do it!

Sometimes its best to not make such wild assumptions
You're making it sound way more complicated than it is. It just isn't.
 

FighterAce124

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I game on an AC 1200 5GHz, with a 200mb cable line, I can get sub 20ms response times to servers that are semi-local (same state), so the latency introduced on wifi is so small that it doesnt actually make a difference in usability or game playing. The latency between wired and wireless is within 2ms, and if that somehow make a difference for you, I dont know what to say.

The main issue is packet loss - which I have had less that .001% total since I stated using this connection.... which is again so minor that youll likely never notice it.

The biggest issue is making sure you have a very reliable router more than anything - most issues I have had over the years on wireless were due to router issues more than anything else.


To be fair though, my wireless router is ~15-20 feet away, in an almost stright line with just a single, wood framed and non-interfering wall between my adapter and it. I also have a dual high gain antennae attached to my adapter, which is remote from the PC so it isnt interfered with by the case or cords surrounding it or anything else. It could be unusable if I had a floor, or a bathroom, or anything else between myself and the router, I dont know. You could also use repeaters, which while they will limit packet loss over longer distance and interference, will each introduce a pretty significant amount of latency compared to a direct point A->B setup.

I also dont play anything competetively, so I wouldnt notice any minor squiggles in connection quality at all, since a 20ms burst here and there doesnt make a difference in my performance... so... I wouldnt notice if it does happen now and again. I just know when I tested running a cable to the router and with my wireless adapter, it was within 2ms of eachother during those tests.
 

T4rd

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Best thing I would say is to try it and see for yourself. Easiest way to test how much impact there may be is to do a "ping-t *gateway IP*" to your router from your room once you're set up and let that run for at least a few minutes, then stop the ping and see how many responses are above 1ms and hopefully there are no dropped packets. If there are many packets over 1ms, then that is your potential added latency to the servers you're connecting to. This will tell you how good of a wireless connection you have to the router. Because as others have pointed out, bandwidth/WiFi 6 doesn't matter and all wireless is susceptible to interference and thus added latency as more devices compete for spectrum to the AP.

Personally if I were to ever see any dropped packets, I would order a cable puller off of Amazon and pull CAT6 up to the room, as I have in my current and previous house.
 

TheToE!

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Just run cable and be done with it. You’ll never have to think about it again.
 

Flybye

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"This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation."

Remember this statement when trying to get that perfect shot.
 

Pringle

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And I suppose everyone knows how to run ethernet cable to local codes and regulations, just like you know how to clean the inside of a Paccar MX13 crankcase during an overhaul of the common Peterbilt. Yeah anyone can do it!

Sometimes its best to not make such wild assumptions
I get it, but most people (myself included) either don't know how to set up a proper wifi6 connection, or...

Just run cable and be done with it. You’ll never have to think about it again.
 

t1337duder

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Modern wifi (AC) is surprisingly good for gaming, even in terms of latency. I've had success even playing fighting games online over Wifi, with my experience from switching to wired to be more or less imperceptible. But that's only if you're getting a decent signal and you're not too far from the router. Otherwise the connection will be potentially spotty and games will certainly feel "off" in a way that might be hard to pinpoint sometimes.
 

Nebell

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I've been gaming on WiFi for years now. It works fine, even for competitive games like CS and WoW.
I do not play extremely competitive though, but I don't want my games to lag. No issues whatsoever, although WiFi can't fully utilize my 1gbit connection :D
 
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