5G promises the fastest download and upload speeds to date, reaching 20 times faster than 4G. With 5G, streaming media is faster and in better quality, and you can browse pages, download files, or upload posts to social media at lightning speed.

But what specifically does 5G mean for gaming? Gaming puts mobile tech through its paces as it involves so many functions throughout. We take a look at how the fifth-generation cellular network will change the game (no pun intended).

Faster response times

Latency refers to how long it takes your device to send data to the gaming server you’re on, and then back to your device. 5G promises super low latency speeds, meaning data sent through gaming servers and devices will be sent and received much more quickly, making your gaming experience more instantaneous, with less lag.

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5G has a latency of 4ms (milliseconds) maximum, and 1ms minimum – compared to current 20ms speeds on 4G networks. Not only does this mean your game will run quicker, but it will also be more efficient. This is because a larger share of the processing can be done on the server rather than the device, and the device will be able to receive it more quickly.

5G and the rise of mobile gaming

With 5G, smartphone games are set to become even better, as the bulk of the processing is no longer done by the device, but remotely instead. This means that much more complex, detailed and immersive games for smaller devices is more possible.

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However, it’s not just the gameplay that will be faster – even the largest of apps will take seconds to download. For example, currently on 4G LTE networks, it takes around half an hour to download PUBG, which is a 3GB game, but this can be completed in just 35 seconds on 5G.

5G and immersive VR and AR

5G also has huge benefits on immersive VR and AR. Both of these formats specifically try to mimic reality and environment, and will only improve with 5G. Plus, they will become more accessible, and available to more devices, as remote processing allows them to run more intense VR games.

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Quicker speeds and more remote processing will allow graphics to become almost true to life, and faster responses could eliminate the delay between action and in-game response. This particularly benefits VR, as it means your experience will be seamless. It also enhances AR, as environment mapping can be more frequent and faster. 5G also allows developers to become more ambitious with the VR and AR games they’re producing.

5G and Multi-player gaming

5G will allow this popular gaming trend to continue to develop on smartphones, which are generally more accessible than gaming consoles – plus, they allow portable gaming too.

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Of course, games like PUBG and Fortnite took the world by storm, as they were multi-player games that mobile devices hadn’t really seen before. This trend is set to continue, as low latency speeds allow faster loading, response time, and more processing tackled by the server than the device.

5G is set to be widely accessible by the latter parts of 2019 and into 2020, so it’s good to be prepared – especially if you’re a gamer. However, to access the perks of 5G, you’ll need a 5G ready phone. Discover your ideal 5G contract, upgrade or SIM-free deal, today at mobiles.co.uk.