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5 things you need to know about 5G if you’re a gamer

Whether you’re gaming on your phone on your way to work or your work is gaming, 5G is about to change everything—for the better

Find out the 5 things you need to know about 5G if you're a gamer

1. 5G is fast

5G is fast. Like really fast. From a peak speed perspective, 5G is 20 times faster than 4G. This means that during the time it took to download just one piece of data with 4G the same could have been downloaded 20 times over a 5G network. Looking at it another way: you could download close to 10 games before 4G could deliver even the first half of one!

2. 5G also means low latency, as in a matter of milliseconds.

5G also means low latency, as in a matter of milliseconds. We’re talking about going from 20 milliseconds to 5 milliseconds—a difference of 15 milliseconds, or the length of time it takes a humming bird to beat its wings. The difference might not seem large, but in many forms of gaming, competitive and non, you would notice. Every aspect of games (or even life!) has its own built-in latency timing. It takes at least 20 milliseconds before your brain registers something you’re seeing on the screen, and more to understand and decide on how to react. Then it’s more delay before your brain translates into action, and more delay before that action is shown on screen, and so on.

Is 15 milliseconds a long time? Not by itself. But it’s 15 on top of how many other activities going on between you and your opponent before your actions actually happen.

This pileup paradox can mean the difference between life and death in League of Legends.

Mari Takahashi – or “AtomicMari” – one of the top female names in the world of gaming, gave 5G gaming a try at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles and had this to say:

"What I notice is that I'm playing Destiny 2 and I'm playing with two other people on my team.  And this is a game that is multiplayer with a lot of mobs and enemies that come out and anything in that type of game would cause a lot of latency problems. 

And what I know is that I haven't seen any latency problems

And that is so dope."

You can read more about her experience here. 

3. 5G will unlock the reality of VR

But what about the future of gaming? Well, we see 5G removing the ‘virtual’ from VR and making a new level of gaming reality. How? A whole bunch of ways. With its speed and low latency, lots of the processing power can live in the cloud—allowing VR headsets to be set free from cords, game graphics to be seamless and higher res than ever before, and producing real tactical experiences where gamers can receive haptic feedback.

But you don't need to take just our word for it:

“The last thing a gamer ever wants is lag. Having 5G technology just ripping the cord of latency problems is so important. If you think of all the virtual reality technology that we have right now, there are literal strings attached; using 5G technology in order to have you immersed in that world is really leveling things up.”

—Mari Takahashi, or “AtomicMari” – one of the top names in the world of gaming. She has an audience of more than 2 million across her social media channels. She is a former professional ballet dancer and cofounder of a top-ranking gaming brand – Smosh Games – which has 7.4 million subscribers. You can see her in action here.

4. 5G will make Augmented Reality real

Don’t want to play in a fully virtual world? No problem. 5G will also kick AR up a notch, with providing the technology to support more immersive games.

According to our ConsumerLab report “Ready, steady, game!,"a key take-away is that for many gamers, the “getting away from reality” is a strong motive for playing video games in the first place. So, the more immersive a game experience can be, the easier it will be for the gamer to escape the mundane world.

48 percent of all consumers say they will use AR in the next five years across different media types, including gaming.

When we focus on current AR gamers, 7 out of 10 think AR offers a totally new gaming experience. It is not just a minor evolution.

Yet right now, AR gamers are disappointed by the limited field of view of AR games. Until this issue is solved, we will never feel truly immersed.

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At the moment, there's no depth to an AR game. It's literally like: 'Okay, I can fight Kylo Ren, and then if I close and reopen it, he is going to do the same motions again.' I feel that AR is still in its infancy.

Mitch, 28, UK

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Almost 4 out of 10 said that AR gaming will be more interesting with better and more immersive games--which 5G can help unlock.

5. 5G will enable wider flexibility

And don’t worry about needing to commit to games. The higher throughputs of 5G will be necessary for VR and AR content that’s streamed from the cloud, providing users with the same flexibility they’ve come to expect from video streaming platforms like Netflix.