I'm curious as to what the minimum internet speed is to allow access to Xbox Live.

What minimum speed does it require?

  • Your question is a bit too localized/specific to your own situation and may end up getting closed. You'd be best rewording it to ask what the minimum required speeds are for Xbox Live. – Doozer Blake Jul 27 '11 at 12:18
  • It works for me and my internet isn't anywhere near that good. – GnomeSlice Nov 30 '12 at 4:13

It's really difficult to say as it depends on so many other different factors as well. At first glance your download speed look acceptable, but upload speed is pretty low and your ping is fairly high as well which will both have an impact. There's also the issue of contention, which may see your broadband speeds rise\fall depending on how many other households are using the line at that particular time.

Then there's the type of game\service you want to use. Some games require more bandwidth than others, for example a first person shooter game will require a lot more than say, a turn based game like Uno. Streaming films also requires a lot, depending on the quality.

So taking into account these factors here's my recommendation:

Heavy bandwidth games (COD, Halo): Most likely have lag, and be hard to play online
Medium bandwidth games (Mortal Kombat, SFIV): Should be fine, may have some lag
Low bandwidth games (Uno, Texas Hold 'Em): Should be fine
Movies: May struggle with buffering and stutter

although don't take this as definitive, you can hook up to xbox live for free and you usually get a months free gold membership too so you can test out some online gaming before you commit to a paid membership, and I'd advise you ultimately to do this.

  • Wonderful answer. Thank you very much. There is very little traffic in the house, and I could work around it to be the only one on. Also, what if I connected my Xbox directly to my router via Ethernet? Would that lessen the ping speed. – JShoe Jul 27 '11 at 14:28
  • No problem :) How many other people are sharing the internet at your house can also be a factor, contention is slightly different to this but shares the same principle (see here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contention_ratio). If you have a strong wireless signal to your router then that should be fine. You'll only need to connect via ethernet if you have poor signal or interference. You can check the signal strength via the 360's dashboard, and as long as it's orange\green you should be fine. Although you can always try the wired option to see if it makes a difference ;) – Iain Ward Jul 27 '11 at 14:50
  • And xBox Live games actually use very little data (bandwidth) up and down - only kilobytes, so the bandwith here would likely not be the problem. Ping is the determining factor 99% of the time. You can play fine on a 500 Kb/s connection if you have good ping – SSumner Dec 22 '11 at 16:07

If your ping stays the same, fast-paced games like first-person shooters will be miserable. Ping is the response time (in milliseconds), so your ping stands at 0.879 seconds. Think about trying to shoot someone when you have a delay of almost a second before the bullet fires. About like driving when you are drunk. w69rdy covered pretty much everything else, just wanted to make sure you knew exactly how the ping related.


As far as I'm aware there isn't a minimum 'speed'.

Rather Xbox Live requires an MTU (maximum transmission upload) of 1364, most Ethernet routers should have this set to ~1500 so you shouldn't have to worry about this.

It is entirely possible to access the service through a 56k dial-up connection and there are several tutorials on the web demonstrating this. This is extremely useful in countries where broadband is either too expensive or just unavailable / unreliable.

However this will obviously create problems, you won't be able to play multi-player, at least not without ruining the experience for you and your fellow players. Getting a gold subscription wouldn't be worth it but if you just want to download games from XBL and use some of the non-bandwidth intensive parts of the service its fine.

As far as the minimum speed required to play consistently smooth, stream video and enjoy the 'full' xbox live experience, that is much more complicated and actually depends less on the 'speed' quoted by the provider and more on other things. I would say the most important factor here is how close you are to your local exchange and also how densely populated the area is and the time of day. If you live miles away in a densely populated area you will have a worse experience.

Multi-player will also depend a lot on your global location, for example if a game you play only has servers in Europe and you're an American you're not going to have the best experience, and vice-versa, this is an over simplification though.

As recommended your best bet is to simply get a free gold month and test it out for yourself, most multi-player games come with at least a few days trial. If it is poor then remember it may be because you've been connected to people half way across the world, try a few games, try a different time of day (if its a busy period like 6-10pm on a week day).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.