Can You Play Multiplayer on Satellite Internet?

by Marie Clay
Satellite Internet has a high latency due to the method used to send and receive signal.

Satellite Internet has a high latency due to the method used to send and receive signal.

Video games have become a wildly popular pastime to enjoy alone or with friends. Gamers can now enjoy games with friends over the Internet even if they are unable to meet in person or share a screen. When playing games with friends on a satellite Internet connection, it is important to keep in mind the limitations that come with the high latency of satellite.

Strategy Games

There are two categories of strategy games. Turn-based strategy games allow one player to make a move or attack, and then submit his move. The second player then takes her turn, and so on. The latency plays no part in these games because only one player moves at a time and there is no need for quick reactions. Real-time strategy games, on the other hand, require players to move and function at the same time and react to other players' moves. Satellite is not optimal for real-time games because you may not be shown a player's move in time to react.

Shooting, Racing and Sports Games

Shooting, racing and sports games are real-time games that require players to interact with each other and react to sudden movements. Satellite's latency means that actions performed by another player may not appear on your screen later than on the other player's screen, leaving you unable to make a move in time to oppose or assist him. For example, by the time you shoot at another player, the server may already know that you have been shot and killed.

Role-Playing Games

Role-playing games are games that place you in an interactive world--typically with puzzles and missions to solve while progressing through the land. These games vary in levels of action and intensity, but generally are designed in such a way that a satellite connection will suffice. You may notice a delay in actions performed by your ally or opponents, but generally the delay is not enough to make a game unplayable.

Console Games

Modern consoles are also variable in their playability over satellite Internet. For example, a satellite connection will suffice for a game in which one player's console is the host and the other players connect to her--if the satellite user is not the host. Games that use a dedicated game server will also run well if the game constructs graphics strictly from the console. However, if the server plays any part in the construction of events, it may cause too much delay in the gaming.

About the Author

Marie Clay began writing professionally for an advertising firm in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Illinois State University, where she was named Outstanding Honors Student for her graduating class and holds a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo with the World Taekwondo Federation. Her specialties include interactive media, art, computer software and programming, and parenting.

Photo Credits

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