HughesNet Internet Resources

FAQs: HughesNet Gaming

An increasing number of people are using the Internet to play online games. HughesNet Internet subscribers are no exception. Many features offered through gaming services such as Xbox LIVE® and the Playstation Network will work with the HughesNet satellite Internet service.

However, there are some inherent aspects of the technology that can limit what games are played and, more specifically, how they are played online. Currently, the majority of real-time multi-player games will not work over any satellite Internet service.

Question: What are real-time online games?

Real-time online games consist of users playing with or against one another at the same time via the Internet. Some examples of popular titles that provide online multi-player gaming include Call of Duty™, Battlefield™, and Madden™.

Question: Why don’t real-time games work?

Data must travel approximately 45,000 miles with satellite Internet – from dish to satellite and back again. This creates a fraction of a second delay in Internet responsiveness. While browsing for a website or downloading content, this delay goes unnoticed. But during real-time multi-player games, this delay creates game latency (high ping) and an unreliable connection with the gaming server. Many game servers will auto-kick players who have a high ping, as it creates “lag” and disrupts gameplay for others.

Question: Playing real-time games is one of the main reasons I called to order HughesNet. Why don’t real-time games work?

With satellite service, the data must travel up to the satellite and back (about 45,000 miles). This round trip adds about a half-second delay to the total time your computer takes to communicate with a Website or host server. That will prevent real-time, multi-player games from establishing or maintaining a reliable connection with the gaming server.

Question: Can I play multi-player games that do not require real-time connections?

Yes, “turn-based” games, such as casino games, and strategy games, such as chess, will work fine via HughesNet. Role-playing games and popular Facebook games generally work with HughesNet. You can use the Xbox and PlayStation consoles to download games to play offline, and use the streaming video and music services offered through your gaming system.

Question: How do I use video and music services through a gaming system?

Many gaming systems are capable of connecting to video and music services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora®. You will need to refer to your gaming system owner’s manual to determine which services are supported with your particular console. In addition, these are often subscription-based services that require you to have an account or monthly subscription package directly with that video or music service provider. It is also important to note that streaming services often use high amounts of data, so be sure to set up your free HughesNet Usage Meter to monitor your usage so you don’t unexpectedly exceed your monthly Service Plan Data.