Using one of the best Ethernet cables for gaming is essential if you regularly play PC or console games online. Having the fastest-possible connection to the internet will lower the latency (lag) between what you’re seeing on your screen and what’s happening in real time. A very slow internet connection will allow fellow gamers to attack you (in player vs. player games) without you even realizing they’re coming. 

If you don’t play online multiplayer games (yours truly falls into that category), connecting your game console to a cable modem or router will allow you to download digital copies of games more quickly when compared to WiFi. This benefit carries over to downloading DLC (downloadable content) packs and patches. We highly recommend using one of the best Ethernet cables for gaming based on our personal experience with testing PC and console games using a wireless and wired connection. 

— Best Overall: Monoprice Flexboot Cat-6 Ethernet Patch Cable
— Best Braided: Amazon Basics BraidedCat-7 Gigabit Ethernet Cable
— Best Long Ethernet Cable: Cable Matters Snagless Long Cat-6 Ethernet Cable
— Best Flat Ethernet Cable: UGREEN Cat-7 Ethernet Cable

How We Picked The Best Ethernet Cables For Gaming

Our recommendations for the best ethernet cables for gaming are based on a mix of research and hands-on testing. Below are the factors we considered most highly when deciding which Apple Watches to include in this buyer's guide. 

Speed: The maximum speed of your Ethernet cable is actually less important than you might think because  its performance will be limited by the download and upload speeds provided by your internet service provider’s plan.  

For example, a Category 6 Ethernet cable is capable of transferring data at speeds of up to 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second), which translates to 10,000 Mbps (Megabits per second). According to the 2021 issue of the FFC’s Measuring Fixed Broadband Report, the average download speeds advertised by internet services providers who offer DSL, cable, and Fiber internet connections were 21 Mbps, 178 Mbps, and 447 Mbps respectively. 

Additionally, most gaming PCs and all game consoles have a Gigabit Ethernet port, which means their data transfer speed is limited to 1 GBps. All of the Ethernet cables we’re recommending in this guide are Category 6 cables or above, so using any of them will futureproof you for several years.

Category: An Ethernet cable’s category refers to how many pairs of copper wire are twisted inside of it, how much shielding it has, and its bandwidth (measured in Megahertz; shortened to MHz). 

Length: In general, Category 6 cables (and above) can maintain their top speeds at lengths of up to 100 feet. Larger cables will have lower maximum transfer speeds, but again, you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of those top speeds for gaming anyway. 

Shielding: Most Ethernet cables are covered in a thick rubberized material, but we’ve also recommended options with more durable sleeves for specialized cases.

Best Ethernet Cables for Gaming: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Monoprice Flexboot Cat-6 Ethernet Patch Cable

Simple is Best. Monoprice 

Why It Made the Cut: Monoprice’s Flexbook Cat-6 Ethernet Patch Cable will supply the level of performance necessary for online gaming.

Specs:
— Category: 6
— Length: .5 feet to 75 feet.
— Shielding: PVC

Pros:
— Reinforced connectors
— Ultra fast
— Available in multi-packs

Cons:
— Not all sizes are available

Monoprice has been one of our go-to cable companies for years because of its remarkable consistency; every cord we’ve tested, whether it’s for charging or networking, has never failed. That’s why we can easily recommend its Flexboot Cat6 Ethernet Patch Cable to gamers everywhere. 

The basic-looking cable has a couple of niceties you wouldn’t expect for a tech accessory that can cost as little as $1.59. It has thick connectors, which are less likely to break if you tug on them a little too hard (repeated strain will damage any cable), and a prominent tab that makes removing the cable from your console easier. If you tend to move your game system or PC around a lot, those little touches will make a bigger difference. 

One of the biggest benefits to Monoprice’s gear is the company’s generous discount when buying tech accessories in bulk, and that’s true here. A single 7-foot Ethernet cable will set you back $4.43, but a 12-pack costs $28.15. Unfortunately, this bulk discount isn’t available for every size of Ethernet cable Monoprice offers. In fact, certain lengths of cable aren’t available period, which is something to look out for. 

If Monoprice has an Ethernet cable that’s the appropriate length to connect your game console or PC to your cable modem, don’t hesitate to pick one up.

Most Durable: Amazon Basics Braided Cat-7 Gigabit Ethernet Cable

Pet Proof. Amazon Basics

Why It Made The Cut: Amazon Basics’ Braided Ethernet Cable has a tougher outer casing to prevent it from getting punctured. 

— Category: 7
— Length: 3 feet to 50 feet
— Shielding: Braided nylon

Pros:
— Extremely casing
— Reinforced connectors
— Ultra fast

Cons:
— Slightly harder to maneuver

If you share a home with pets that always chew through your cords, it’s worth investing in Amazon Basics’ Braided Cat-7 Gigabit Ethernet Cable. The cable is encased in a layer of tough nylon that’s harder to cut (or chew) through than the PVC cover found on most Ethernet cables. That said, the connectors on this cable are a little smaller than the ones found on Monoprice’s cables, and it doesn’t look as though their tabs are as easy to pinch. 

The tradeoff to using nylon-braided cables is that their durability comes at the cost of flexibility. You may find yourself having to put a little more effort into snaking this Ethernet cable through a hole in your media center, but it’s designed to handle the stress. We can also highly recommend using this cable if you’re planning on running it on the inside of your wall to bring wired internet into another room in your house. 

Snaking a cable through your wall almost always requires you to put additional stress on the cored as you try to avoid obstacles and snags. You’ll want to choose an Ethernet cable that can handle a couple of extra scrapes without tearing if you plan on undertaking that job.

Best Long Ethernet Cable: Cable Matters Snagless Long Cat-6 Ethernet Cable

Get the Stretch. Cable Matters

Why It Made The Cut: CableMatters’ Ethernet Cable is sensibly priced at lengths up to 150 feet.

— Category: 6
— Length: 7 feet to 150 feet
— Shielding: PVC

Pros:
— Available in ultra-long variations
— Ultra fast
— Pair separator reduces losses in bandwidth

Cons:
— Thin cable shielding

CableMatters is another company whose cords have impressed us over the years, and this Ethernet cable was designed for long runs. This cable doesn’t have the same nylon braiding as the Amazon Basics one we recommended earlier, but it’s available at lengths up to 150 feet. You’ll need that much cable if you plan on running an Ethernet line from one floor of your home to another, which is a project we’re all too familiar with. 

The PVC coating on CableMatters’ Ethernet Cable should be flexible enough to get around obstructions in your walls, and its reinforced connectors won’t get damaged on their way down. The large tabs on this cable’s connectors also inspire confidence. Longer Ethernet cables can be less effective than shorter ones, but CableMatters has reduced the potential for bandwidth loss by segmenting the sets of twisted pairs inside this cable to reduce interference. 

We don’t expect your game console to take full advantage of the Cat6 speeds today, but the systems available in five to 10 years might be able to, and you don’t want to have to replace this cable at that point. If you need a long Ethernet cable to accommodate your gaming setup, CableMatters has you covered.

Best Flat Ethernet Cable: UGREEN Cat-7 Ethernet Cable

Hide and Speed. UGREEN 

Why It Made The Cut: UGREEN’s Cat-7 Ethernet Cable is a subtle way to speed up your gaming experience.

— Category:  7
— Length: 3 feet to 50 feet
— Shielding: PVC

Pros:
— Slim
— Ultra fast
— Foiled twisted pair construction

Cons:
— May tear more easily

Cleanliness is one of the primary reasons many gamers prefer using WiFi instead of an Ethernet cable when connecting their console or PC to the internet. It’s true, you’ll need to string a cord from one place to another, but UGREEN’s Ethernet cable is so thin you probably won’t notice it’s there. It’s so small that you can snake it behind furniture or under a rug without it protruding out awkwardly.

If your game system is in the same room as your cable modem, you can easily snake this cable along the molding, and most people won’t notice it’s there. This cord’s thinness doesn’t impact its performance, so you can’t use that excuse either. Our only concern with this Ethernet cable is that a pet (or errant robot vacuum) is more likely to break through its PVC coating. We’re confident in the shielding used on the inside of the cable, but a direct puncture might break its seal. We don’t recommend using this Ethernet cable on the inside of your wall.

We feel the benefits of using an Ethernet over WiFi when gaming are worth the clutter that comes with an extra cable or two, but UGREEN greatly reduces the biggest downside of a wired connection.

Things to Consider Before Buying Ethernet Cables For Gaming

Is Ethernet really faster than WiFi?

This is a common question, and while the short answer is a definitive “yes!” it’s worth understanding why. Data between your computer and a server on the internet is carried in packets. When your gaming PC or console is connected to the internet with an Ethernet cable, the largest number of packets can pass between your computer and the internet with the fewest interruptions. 

When your system is connected to the internet over WiFi, factors such as the distance between your rig and the WiFi access point (aka router), and the materials your walls are made out of come into play. Any physical barriers between your gaming system and WiFi router will reduce the number of packets that can be transmitted between the two. These concerns are especially relevant if you live in an older home, which wasn’t designed with wireless data transmission in mind. 

The WiFi connection between your PC or game console can also be disrupted by wireless interference from other devices — anything from a wireless landline phone to smart-home accessories can have an impact on the quality of your gaming experience. The advantages of choosing a wired internet connection instead of a wireless one applies to using the net for any reason, but the difference is most obvious when you’re performing a high-bandwidth task, whether that’s streaming a 4K video or downloading a large game. 

Number of Consoles: If you have a lot of game systems, and want to connect all of them to the internet with an Ethernet cable, your cable modem may not have enough Ethernet ports to keep them connected simultaneously. If that’s the case, you’re going to need an Ethernet Switch, which acts as a splitter. 

You can connect all of your game consoles to the Ethernet Switch, connect the Ethernet Switch to your cable modem, and all of the systems will establish a wired connection to the internet with no loss of Bandwidth. We recommend this 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch from Netgear because of our previous experience with the company’s networking hardware, which has always been excellent. 

FAQs

Q: Are gaming ethernet cables different from regular ethernet cables?

No. The Ethernet cables we’re recommending can be used with any electronics you have.

Q: How do I responsibly dispose of my old Ethernet Cable?

If you're replacing an old Ethernet cable, we recommend reading our guide on how to responsibly dispose of e-waste

Q: I’m using one of these Ethernet cables and my connection is still slow, what should I do?

If you’re not getting the internet speeds you’re paying for from your game console or PC, and you’re using one of the cables we’re recommending, you should contact your Internet Service Provider for more information. 

Q: Are gaming ethernet cables durable?

The Ethernet cables we’re recommending shouldn’t break unless you bend them on a continual basis, which could cause their shielding to break. In general, you can solve that issue by getting a cable that’s the appropriate length for your room. 

Q: Is Cat7 better and faster than Cat6?

Yes, but the difference is going to be negligible in almost every circumstance. 

Final Thoughts on Ethernet Cables For Gaming

The Ethernet cable you ultimately choose for your gaming PC or console is less important than making the move from WiFi to a wired connection. You’ll end up with a gaming experience — whether you’re playing online or downloading a new title — that’s far superior. Your personal experience will be highly dependent on the internet plan you have, but using an Ethernet cable will always be superior to relying on WiFi when gaming.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.


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