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I'm trying to decide whether to get an Xbox One, and am wondering if the higher framerate/better resolution/whatever mean that I'll need a better connection than I do for my 360. Currently my connection is such that on a normal day I'll only lag out of Halo 4 once or twice per match; I might get disconnected every couple of hours.

Will this be "enough Internet" to play multiplayer on an Xbox One?

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    This will depend on the game. If you're lagging out once or twice per match, I think your internet needs an upgrade to play that. If a game decides to make use of the cloud computing the XBone is capable of, it will by necessity require more bandwidth than a game that doesn't. – Frank Mar 29 '14 at 16:49
  • How does one "lag out of Halo 4 once or twice per match"? After the first lag out, you cannot re-lag out of that same match. – Batophobia Mar 31 '14 at 15:52
  • Yeah, I didn't know how to precisely phrase that. Not so much lag out as lag horribly maybe? Like plummeting to my death in a warthog, lagging, and crashing into my spawn. Latency issues rather than disconnecting. – zpletan Mar 31 '14 at 21:07
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The simple answer is, yes. The Xbox One has many features that require more bandwidth such as video and music streaming (as most content is served in higher resolution). However, these services are not required to game.

Services such as chat might require higher bandwidth but only marginally as Codec's, what is used to encode and decode the voice before sending it, allows for higher quality sound to be compressed into less data.

By your description I believe that you do not fully grasp the reason why you are lagging out. Indeed, lag is linked to bandwidth but it is usually not the deciding factor. What is more important is latency- Please check a site such as Speedtest.net to see what your latency is.

Latency is the round trip time of data you send out. Basically, imagine it as a postal service. Latency is the time required for a letter you send to be responded to, i.e, when you hold the reply in your hands and can read the response. This is a very important concept as online servers rely on the responsiveness on all participants. So when the host server detects that you take to long to respond to the packets it sends your way, it will drop your connection to avoid impact on the quality of the game for other players. That is why you lag out.

Therefore, a low latency is what you want. However, latency is only loosely tied to bandwidth. It has to do with the quality of your equipment, if you are on wireless or wired, your ISP, your geographical location, and the location of the remote server. There are more factors that are basically related to the above. So when you play on a server hosted on a different continent, your latency will be higher. That is normal and expected.

Now, sudden drops in latency are usually what cause sudden lag or drop-outs. They are caused by bursts of data that clog up the "pipe". Again, imagine it as a postal service. While on a normal day they can receive and forward your mail in a few hours, during Christmas season they are swamped and will take longer. This is to be expected. Similarly, if you are saturating your connection or equipment with downloads, streams, or similar, your equipment, especially older equipment, might struggle to forward all packets in time and connections might drop.

The tricky part is that there is not always something you can do. If you live in an apartment building that shares a physical line, the other tenants might have some activity that is transparent for you but still impacts your connection. The same might hold for your street as all connections on a street usually share the same physical line which uses the same physical equipment down the line.

One way to go might be to contact your ISP and ask what you can do. They should be able to help you. Personally, I'd advise you look into getting on a connection based on optical fibre. They feature less latency and can carry more bandwidth while alleviating some of the problems I mentioned above. If you want you can take a speed test and post it as a comment, I'll try to give you more streamlined advice.

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You don't lag out or disconnect because of lack of bandwidth. You lag out or disconnect because your connection is unreliable.

The bandwidth required for online gaming is extremely low and, even if it were slightly higher on the Xbox One, it's unlikely it would be a limiting factor. It's also worth noting that graphics quality is completely irrelevant here- none of that is actually sent over the network.

When playing, you can expect a similar connection. The only difference you'll see is that next-gen games tend to involve much larger downloads if you buy the game online or when updating it.

  • Will latency affect my experience, considering that IIRC 60fps is the new thing? Will the cloud computing bit require any more bandwidth/speed/latency, and if so, is there a standard/average number of units that I should be looking for? – zpletan Mar 30 '14 at 6:30
  • Your FPS is not effected by latency it never has been FPS is a hardware performance measure – Ramhound Mar 30 '14 at 15:41

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