With the advent of the internet, many gamers now prefer to play their games online. There is a wider variety of games there and the cost of access is much less than buying the actual DVD of a particular game. However, there is the cost of the internet itself.
Most people prefer to use WiFi with unlimited access, but for those who game on cell phones especially, a mobile data plan is more affordable. Depending on which games a gamer is interested in, a suitable plan is required to enjoy a complete online gaming experience.
It’s agreeable that some games such as Call of Duty are dissipating when it comes to data usage, while others such as Clash of Clans are more conservative.
In accordance with how data-consuming a game may be, you need to know and understand data packs offered by various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Telkom, MTN, Vodacom, etc. All of these ISPs do break-down their offerings so that you can gauge which package is best for you.
Check out this week’s Telkom catalogue for a comprehensive outlook on their contract specials. If you purchase a Huawei YP7 for example, the monthly contract comes with 500MB data per month, as well as 150MB for Whatsapp and 150MB for streaming. This is what you then use to decide whether or not you will have enough data for your gaming and all other internet requirements.
It may sound a bit daunting to compare all these plans from various service providers, so here’s a little help on what to consider when choosing the most suitable plan for your gaming needs.
Know your game.
As a gamer, you probably are consistent with the type of games you play online, or better yet, you stick to only one or two. If this is the case, it will be easy for you to gauge how much data you use per gaming session.
Games like Call of Duty, FIFA and Assassins Creed are high-end graphic games that are pretty hefty on data. Whereas, games such as Minecraft or Clash of Clans or online Chess have lower graphic quality, thus they use less data.
Weigh out your deal breakers
A crucial aspect that should not be forgotten when selecting a data plan is weighing out your deal breakers. For example, if you travel a lot and you still want to enjoy your online gaming, you might want to consider a plan with free or budget international roaming.
This is so that you continue to play without having to overpay for roaming charges.
Compare data plans
One of the most important aspects in choosing a mobile data plan is researching different mobile data service providers. South Africa has 4 major internet service providers namely Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom.
Each service provider provides different data subscriptions and prices. Knowing what services, packs and prices a particular mobile service provider offers is crucial as a suitable subscription will go a long way. Consider whether being on a contract or a prepaid plan is best.
If you need to be in control of your spending, a prepaid mobile plan may be better as you can top-up data as and when needed.
It also helps to know which carrier has a reliable network in your area. You do not want to choose the cheapest plan but end up having connectivity issues. The speed of connection is also important to ascertain.
As a gamer, speed is of the essence especially when you are playing against others. You do not want your game to start buffering when you are about to take the winning shot.
Remember to keep in mind that you will not be using this data for gaming purposes only. Unless you plan on having a gaming only phone with its own data plan, your budget should include your other needs too.