Do I Need A Hardwired Network Adapter For Gaming?

Do I Need A Hardwired Network Adapter For Gaming

Last updated on June 4th, 2021

The more technologically creative and advanced gaming becomes the faster and more demanding the games people play become. And in order to keep up with, and play the latest video games, you’ll need a computer that can handle all the action and gameplay with ease.

If you want to just tune straight into, and play your chosen games, then the path of least resistance is always the easiest one to follow and to make sure you stay the course, you’ll want to add a purpose-built gaming laptop to your arsenal. Armed with one, as long as your internet connection is fast enough, all you’ll need to do is connect to your home network, sign in and start blasting away. 

And if you want to be mobile and game on the go, connecting to WiFi hotspots and networks whenever the mood takes you, then all you really need is your laptop, as the wireless connection in it will enable you, as long as you have permission and the required password, to connect to any network and play whatever game you want to, wherever you are. 

However, if you’re just intending to play at home, or want to build and use your own computer for gaming, there are a number of advantages to using a hardwired network connection. The first of these is that just about every motherboard and chassis (regardless of whether it’s tower or laptop-based) has everything that you’ll need to hardwire your machine straight into the network.

You should, as a wise old gamer once said, be able to plug straight in and play. 

There are other inherent advantages to using a hardwired network adapter and connection. The first, and most notable of these is that you’ll get a much more stable connection that won’t suffer from signal drop off, degradation and loss and won’t be bumped off the network if the signal from your router dips.

That means that you won’t be plagued by any of the ongoing issues that can be problematic with a Wi-Fi connection, such as interruptions in gameplay and constant buffering as your network and your computer or gaming console try to keep up with each other. 

The second, and possibly most important reason for using a hardwired network connection and adapter, is that regardless of the leaps and bounds that WiFi technology has made, and continues to make, the simple truth is that an ethernet connection is still faster than a Wi-Fi connection is.

By hardwiring your system straight into the network, you’ll be able to take advantage of every Mbps (megabits per second) of your internet connection speed, instead of losing some of it to Wi-Fi transfer and connection. And as long as you have an ethernet cable, a working router, and can plug the cable straight into your machine and your router, you’ll be good to go. 

Having said that, you don’t actually need a hardwired adapter for gaming. Most modern laptops and gaming consoles are already WiFi enabled, as is just about every home router in use in the United States, and if you use a WiFi adapter, it should be strong enough to let you game to your heart’s content, providing you internet connection is strong and stable enough.

So no, you don’t need a hardwired connection. But sometimes, it’s nice to hook one up and turn everything up to eleven when no one else is around to spoil your gaming fun.  

Is A WiFi Adapter Good For Gaming? 

They can be. We know it seems like a very vague answer but like so many other things in life, whether or not they’ll actually fulfill all your gaming requirements is dependent on a number of different factors, all of which are pretty crucial to the gaming experience.

The most obvious is the signal strength of the adapter that you’ll be using, your internet connection speed, and where your router is located in relation to where you’ll spend most of your time playing. The further away from your router that you are, the weaker the WiFi signal from it will be, and conversely, the closer to it that you are, the stronger the signal will be.

And, even though you probably know this already, the more obstacles (furniture or walls for instance) that there are between you and your router, the weaker the signal will be. 

And the other factor that you’ll need to consider before either choosing a WiFi adapter, is the speed of the games that you’ll be playing. The higher the speed of the game or games (which is measured in FPS, or frames per second) that you want to play, the less likely it is that a WiFi adapter will be able to cope and keep up with the game. 

How Do I Choose A Wired Network Adapter? 

The easy answer? By doing a little homework first. Choosing a wired network adapter is relatively easy, but finding the right one for your machine and network is slightly more difficult. You’ll need to know the speed of your network, as it makes absolutely zero sense to choose a network card that can’t cope with the speed of your network or one that’s designed to cope with a much faster network than the one you’re using.

Our best advice? Choose one that’s been made to work with a slightly faster network than yours, as that way it’ll easily be able to handle everything that you’ll need it to. 

You’ll also need to be aware of what connection type (i.e USB) you’ll need a WNA (Wireless Network Adapter) to run from so that it can plug straight into your machine, and the system requirements that your machine will need the adapter to have in order for it to run and work properly when you connect it.

Being fully armed with the principal things that you’ll need to know before selecting one should make it relatively easy to choose the right wired network adapter for your machine that’ll have you up and running and fully connected, in a matter of minutes.