To be efficient, games need lots of data and a network connection to communicate with your computer.
1. Games have to communicate
When a player presses a button, the computer sends the message to the video game to receive instructions.
When the computer receives this message, the game does a few things. It sets up the next steps the player will take and sends instructions back to the computer.
To make sure your video game is efficient, you have to pay attention to what the game is doing and get updates on what needs to happen next.
2. Games need lots of data
If a game is streaming audio, video, or data to your computer, it is using a lot of data.
Games with little to no streaming audio, video, or data can still consume a lot of data because they might have to communicate with lots of users.
Even the most minimal streaming audio, video, or data can be a big drain on your computer’s battery, so you want to make sure the game only uses data for things it needs to do.
3. Games consume data regardless of your internet connection
With modern data-heavy video games, a stable, fast internet connection is not needed.
Some games, like Skyrim and World of Warcraft, are so game-heavy that people will download the game and install it on the Internet and connect to other people’s computers to play it.
A lot of people will choose to connect to other players’ computers to play their games, and they will only have to download the game once, so this is less data consumption for the game.
4. Multiplayer games consume a lot of data
A big reason you have to have a strong internet connection to play online games is that video games use a lot of data for server communication.
This is where people all play online together and the game communicates with the servers.
Server communication is a big chunk of the load for most multiplayer games and with online games, you may have to spend a long time waiting for your server to respond.
When the game is downloading things from servers, it may take a long time.
5. Games can use data even if you don’t play them
Most of the time, people will play games only for a short time. People want to play a game, and they want to see what it’s all about.
Once they get that experience, it’s not likely they will want to play the game again.
The data, however, is still being downloaded, so it’s not really like the game is playing itself, even though you don’t see it.
Because of this, a lot of times people will want to play video games from their computers while they are home instead of streaming the game.
This means your internet connection can be consumed by non-playing games, but even if it is, you will only be paying for internet use for the games you are playing.
So if you have one game you want to play for a while, you can let it play and still have a lot of data saved for later.
6. If you don’t have a strong internet connection
Sometimes people will play a game for an hour, but their internet is too slow for the game to be efficient and still stream data to the computer. This can mean a lot of wasted data usage for a game that will probably be left to die.
Another issue that can come up with unreliable internet connections is streaming. When you are downloading a video or audio file, you will always have to start streaming the file once the download is done.
Streaming is when you start playing the file, even if you don’t have any other players.
For example, if you have the latest file of a popular online game, you will have to stream it during your session, even if no other people are playing the game.
If you’re not broadcasting the game, it will be another waste of data for the game, and another wasted download for you.
7. If you are playing a bunch of games, you might want to pause them all
Many gaming services allow you to play games on the web. There are thousands of games, and it can take a long time to download each game.
Sometimes if there are a lot of games downloading, you will want to pause all of them, pause them in intervals, and play the game that is life instead.
It’s also worth noting that you can play multiplayer games and pause them at any time, while non-multiplayer games can only pause if someone is playing on your computer.
So, if you are really on the go, you can pause all the games and play one at a time.
8. Streaming games can be really expensive
When you are streaming a game, it will take more data, which means you will be paying a lot of money to stream a game. Streaming a game may also drain your data plan and run your internet at the same time.
There are many streaming services that you can choose from, but most will have a different pricing structure for gaming, like Netflix. Some services are free to stream a game but you may be limited on the data you can stream.
The more data you use, the more data charges you will be paying. Some services are a one-time charge and there is no monthly fee.
9. Game streaming can still be a waste of data
Many games on streaming services are optimized to play on a mobile device.
Sometimes when you play the game on a device other than a desktop or laptop, the game will be slowed down so it will play at a more manageable pace on a smaller screen.
Because it’s optimized for the mobile device, the data and streaming will be consuming faster, so you will be using a lot of data, instead of running the game more efficiently.
10. No one is watching you play video games
Depending on the game, you might have to use a headset, microphone, or some other type of headset.
Sometimes these types of headsets are considered audio devices, so using them can help avoid any network traffic.
When you play online, you want to be as quiet as possible. So if you are playing online, you need to make sure you are using headphones or a headset.
Some games won’t allow you to use anything other than your headset to chat with your friends or other players, but others won’t really care.