“Can I play video games on Viasat Internet?”
It’s one of the questions we hear most often, and one of the most complicated. The real answer is, it depends – on where you live, which data plan you have, which games you want to play, and a whole lot of other factors.
Matt Ahern, who streams video game content on YouTube under the name MakoRuu, has spent thousands of hours playing PC games on Viasat Internet (formerly Exede). He put together the following list of games he’s tried over the past two years, and rated each on how well it performed over the service.
Remember, your gaming experience may vary. But if you’re interested in gaming with Viasat Interent, Ahern’s YouTube channel is a great place to start learning what to expect.
All ratings are out of 5, and refer to the game’s performance on the Viasat Internet network, not the quality of the game’s actual content.
In open beta, the game itself ran well enough with occasional lag and sluggish performance when loading into a new area, or a heavily populated city.
However, after revisiting ArcheAge some years later the performance issues where nonexistent. The community remains incredibly toxic, so it is kind of unfriendly to newer players unless you join a guild.
A revisit to Archeage after nearly two years and half a dozen patches has shows that optimization is better than ever. All the issues with latency and lag I experienced before have been fixed, and the game runs better than ever.
However, due to the same unfriendly community, and massive soft-pay wall that requires you spend a great deal of money to advance, I have elected to avoid it once again.
ARMA 3 is an incredibly complex and sophisticated war simulator. It’s not something you can pick up with friends and play a few matches after work. It takes months of dedication and has a massive learning curve. And do all the various DLC and mods, finding a match can be very difficult and frustrating.
Having said that, the online performance is comparable to other shooter games such as Battlefield 1 and Overwatch, so it is playable if you have the time and patience.
After several patches and months of updates after release, Battlefield 1 continues to be one of my weekly go-tos for fast-paced action combat. And the World War 1 setting is both interesting and engaging.
Latency is never a problem, as I am often at the head of the leader boards for each map in terms of ranking score. However, there are times when I shoot first, but still end up dead because my opponents’ bullets reach the server half a second faster than mine.
And that can be the difference in a competitive shooter like Battlefield. Thankfully, I am patient and only play to have fun, and not be number one in the world.
Dice’s popular online shooter Battlefield 4 ran amazingly well, and was very well-optimized for high-latency internet. I was able to operate vehicles and use a myriad of weapons and guns without issue.
I only experienced lag when trying to play in data restriction.
Another actiony MMORPG that runs very well over high-latency Internet. I did experience some desyncing issues, but they were very rare and always outside of large heavily populated cities.
Even when riding on horseback at full speed, I was able to easily traverse the terrain without lag or issues with latency. And combat was fast and virtually lag free.
Player versus player combat (PVP) was also enjoyable, but there was a more noticeable issue with latency when fighting other people.
One of my favorite MMORPGs, the action-oriented combat and adorable characters made this game enjoyable and friendly to new and even older players. The combat felt fast-paced and required a great deal of skill to master.
I only ever experienced an issue with lag while in hubs with more than 20 – 40 other players on the screen at once, which is very rare. I was even able to lead raids and groups against bosses without a problem.
Let me first start off by saying this game is not for children. It features nudity, gore, and you can take slaves to work for your fortress. The game is fun, and requires a great deal of time and effort to do anything and survive, but has no end-game content other than bragging rights for being the best on your server.
The newest iteration of Counter Strike is currently the worst optimized for satellite internet due to its extremely competitive atmosphere and a system that rewards fast-twitch reflexes – and blazing fast internet.
I was not able to connect to official servers, and unofficial servers are full of hackers and an extremely toxic community.
If you have satellite internet, I would avoid this game at all costs.
Crossout is a mix of death match and capture-the-point modes, except with Mad Max-style battle cars. You can upgrade and customize your vehicles with dozens of pieces of armor and a variety of weapons.
The game is free to play on Steam. However, its “pay-to-win” revenue model and severe input latency keep it squarely in the middle of the competitive online shooter pack.
The MMO Defiance was designed to run across multiple platforms, backed by a huge development budget, so its netcode is really solid. The game runs virtually lag-free, even against other players in PVP and in-world boss battles.
An action game based on the anime Dragon Ball Z, this game requires very twitchy fingers to pull off combos and attacks against enemy AI or other players.
Moving around the map is lag-free, and the combat is fun and engaging, even paired with other people helping you. I’ve only noticed lag very rarely when attacking the same person at the same time as someone else and we both mix up our combos. Otherwise it’s very playable. I was even able to compete in PVP.
Dreadnought, a futuristic battleship simulator, is one of the only games I’d give a 5/5 connectivity rating. The gameplay is solid, the graphics are nice, and it’s virtually lag-free over Viasat Internet. A perfect of example of a modern game that’s fully playable over satellite.
Another shining example of how amazing video game optimization can be when the devs put in the effort. Elder Scrolls Online continues to be one of my regular games, and I maintain several high-level characters that participate in dungeon raids and map events.
Even against 20-30 people in the same area, I have only ever experienced lag and latency issues while in data restriction, however the new Liberty Pass has fixed that.
A multiplayer arena shooter set in the future where you and a team of four other people try to track down a giant monster and trap it, and then kill it. The game ran amazingly well, and was very well optimized for my PC.
I never had any issues with latency moving around the map or shooting at things. However, finding a match and players had an exceptionally long wait due to a low player base.
This was one of the first games that I decided to test on Exede after having played for several months. I was genuinely impressed with the performance, so I took it upon myself to share it with others via YouTube.
The game ran almost flawlessly, even in large hub areas. I would only ever experience minor lag while in data restriction. An occasional lag delay is noticeable in large open raid bosses and events when more than 20 – 40 players are visible in the same area.
An incredibly optimized and smooth game play experience the entire way through that was 99% lag free. I never ran into an issue where my Internet felt like it was a problem, even in large open raids with multiple people or running dungeons.
The game is fun, and the community is amazing and helpful.
A game designed to run on dial-up, that was originally a mod for 2002’s Wacraft 3, the ever-popular League of Legends plays flawlessly with no noticeable latency issues. However due to my inability to play the game well, and the toxic community, I did not get very far.
One of the games that I still play to this day, Overwatch continues to run smoothly and without latency issues during Priority Data. However, in data restriction, the game becomes very laggy with noticeable input delay.
I remain a high-ranking player with competitive scores using all the heroes and continue to play this game on a weekly basis.
A game in the style of Overwatch, yet far shorter on charm and polish, Paladins runs extremely well, even on older PCs. Latency was never a problem, as I was able to completely dominate the player base for weeks before quitting due to it being bland and lackluster in comparison to Overwatch.
This top-down dungeon crawler, similar to the Diablo franchise, was fun and fast-paced, and required a great deal of clicking. However, at the time I played there was a noticeable amount of lag from when you clicked to when your attack would register.
This did not make the game unplayable for me, but others would notice it immediately. The game even performed well in data restriction, and only had a few hiccups when moving from one zone to another.
The popular online first-person shooter by Sony Online Entertainment, now Daybreak Games, was the first example of an FPS I tested over Exede. I was able to play, join a clan, and dominate the game as a high-ranking player.
The game is very playable, except while in the older form of data restriction. I will have to test this game on the Liberty Pass, as I stopped playing after a patch ruined the balance and the game was no longer appealing to me.
Rainbow Six Siege is completely unplayable on satellite internet due in part to Ubisoft’s restrictive coding on high-latency connections. Even some rural DSL connections will choke on this game.
The game itself runs acceptably well over satellite internet and has only a few issues with latency involving slow weapons such as the bow and arrow. Guns work just as well as they do in any other first-person shooter.
However, due to the extremely buggy performance of the game and the hostile community, I have elected to avoid it further.
Rating: 4 performance (0 personal score)
Another MOBA in the fashion of League of Legends, matches against other people had some latency issues that resulted in my death quite a few times. But playing with friends against AI was lag free and felt great. The game has a huge fanbase and over 80 historically inspired god characters to pick from.
Star Trek Online is another example of an older MMORPG designed to play over lesser internet, which helps it run extremely well on satellite. The ship combat and customization is fun and rewarding, and the away missions felt responsive and action-packed.
I only ever ran into problems while trying to play in data restriction, which is no longer an issue due to the Liberty Pass.
This Star Wars MMO is another exceptional title from Bioware. Having played several characters to end-game and logging almost 800 hours of time into the game I feel confident letting people know that this game was almost completely lag-free on priority data.
However, during full-on data restriction, the game was almost unplayable. Thankfully the newer, faster Liberty Pass fixes this problem.
Most of the lag happens during “warzones,” which are Player Versus Player matches. The rest of the game is completely lag-free.
Tera Online is another action-based MMO featuring fast-paced combat requiring the player to attack and dodge in real time. The game itself runs extremely well and is very well optimized, even for high-latency internet.
However, due to the unpleasant, borderline offensive community, I have decided not to return to this game.
One of my favorite MMORPGs that I continue to play to this day, The Secret World was able to run amazingly well with virtually no latency issues, even while playing in data restriction.
The brilliant Lovecraftian writing and amazing setting and environment still holds my attention, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming update in 2017.
Testing for The Division actually made me go out and buy it, and it’s one of my most-played games to this day.
It played flawlessly, with only a noticeable delay in the older data restriction that is now gone due to the Liberty Pass’s updated speeds. Even the competitive DLC The Last Stand runs well, and I dominate at max level with top-level gear.
A top-down MMORPG similar to Ragnarok Online that requires the player to move and attack using only the mouse. There was no noticeable input delay, but the skills and damage notifiers would display with a slight delay due to the latency.
However, it never posed a problem for me as a player, and I was able to make it to high-level content without difficulty and take part in Dungeon Boss fights without an issue.
Another fast-paced action game that requires you to aim and dodge actively that runs incredibly well over satellite internet. Warframe is a multiplayer co-op arena-based game that pits you against waves of enemies that you can take on by yourself or with friends.
I only experienced lag during the old data restriction, and was more than able to reach max level with several characters alongside my friends.
Not much needs to be said about World of Warcraft. An older game designed to work over dial up, I had no problems with lag or connection issues, even while in data restriction. I didn’t make it far enough to play any kind of Battlegrounds PVP (Player vs. Player) due to the subscription and free to play restrictions. But the main game and story content was flawless.