How Much Internet Data Does Online Gaming Use?

Spoiler alert: it ain't much.

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how much internet data does online gaming use

The gaming industry has come a long way since its inception. Online gaming has gained significant popularity over the past years. However, there’s a myth going around that online gaming consumes a lot of data. Find out how much internet data online gaming uses.

Sure, downloading games can take a heavy toll on your internet connection’s bandwidth as game sizes go all the way up to 100 GB. However, actively playing an online game doesn’t use much of your data. In fact, it’s much lesser than you would imagine.

Busting the data usage myth

While everyone has their assumptions on data used while gaming, the answer to the famous question remains unknown by most. How much data does online gaming use?

As of 2021, most modern games use about 40 MB to 140 MB of internet data per hour. This is oddly similar to data consumption during music streaming on popular platforms like Spotify, YouTube Music, and more. Even the highest amount of data usage by modern games (that lies around 200 MB/hour) is nowhere close to the data used by video streaming.

To see things clearly, let’s compare data used while gaming with data used while doing other routine activities that require the internet.

Activity Internet Data Used per hour
Music streaming~100MB
Video conferencing~200MB (average)
Online gaming~800MB
HD Video streaming on Netflix3GB

This should give you an idea of how much internet data online gaming uses. Of course, the amount of data used varies from game to game and can amount to a significant number when added up. Here’s a list of the average amount of data used by popular games.

Game titleAverage internet data used per hour
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive250MB
VALORANT120MB
DOTA 2120MB
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege 70MB
Fortnite100MB
Overwatch135MB
Call of Duty: Warzone160MB
Battlefield V110MB
League of Legends50MB
Apex Legends120MB
Minecraft80MB
GTA V Online70MB
Destiny 2300MB
Rocket League40MB

Do note that these numbers are approximations, and real-world data usage might be different. You may consume more data than mentioned due to several factors such as streaming, voice chat, downloads, or patches. To figure out the exact numbers, you should test the data usage yourself.

Actual data used in online games

There’s more to internet usage when it comes to online gaming. Indeed, you need a stable internet connection with enough bandwidth and speed to run modern titles smoothly. If you don’t have a stable internet connection, you might end up facing issues like packet loss, jitter, or high ping.

Do online games on consoles use more data than on PCs? No, the data usage by online games on consoles is more or less the same as on PCs.

Moreover, the size of the disk of popular games is ever-increasing. Multiplayer games require more and more storage. Likewise, here’s the download size of recent games as of 2021:

  • Apex Legends: 42GB
  • Overwatch: 35GB
  • Call of Duty: Warzone: 105GB

To sum up, online games require a minute amount of data (as per modern standards), and you can safely game on without worrying about internet usage. However, modern games require large-sized downloads, which is something to consider while playing games.

Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth Dudeja

An engineering student with a keen interest in most aspects of technology. Likes to write about Microsoft, Apple, Laptops, Gaming, etc.
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