PS4 essentials: can you connect PS4 to a hotspot?

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Between travel and spotty home internet, mobile hotspots are incredibly convenient for those that need to hop online in a pinch. They allow your phone to serve as a wireless router and function very similarly to one that an ISP would provide.

Can you connect a mobile hotspot to consoles like the PS4?

Thankfully, yes. Using your hotspot with the PS4 will be like any other use case. The only difference is that its usefulness will depend on what exactly you’re doing on the PS4.

You can also use a mobile hotspot to play online on the PS5.

Mobile hotspots perform similarly to regular networks

There’s nothing too fancy about running a hotspot to play online. A temporary network is leveraged off of your existing mobile data plan (4G LTE, 5G, etc.) and used to help other devices connect to the internet.

The PS4 does not require a special setup of any kind. It will connect just as your laptop, desktop, or smart TV would.

Differences only occur in so far as what you’ll be doing on the PlayStation network.

Why use a hotspot for gaming?

Using your phone as a router makes sense when without regular internet access, but it’s also handy for those with a traditional ISP.

For some, mobile internet is more reliable and faster than home internet. And apart from downloading games and updates on PSN, mobile connections are plenty good for online gaming in games like Fortnite, Warzone, and Destiny 2.

This also depends on how good your data plan is and what you’re reception is like at home, but for many players it’s an excellent option.

When a hotspot might not work well for PS4

Unfortunately, I tend to get pretty crappy reception at home using T-mobile. The signal is weak and there is a lot of congestion. It’s a bit unreliable to say the least.

And this is one of the biggest downfalls of using a hotspot for PS4 – tethering suffers the same drawbacks as conventional networks. Different carriers have varying levels of reliability depending on location, phone model, and network load.

This is something you’ll have to test out and there may be times of the day/week where tethering may be more reliable (off peak for instance).

You may also find that your hotspot is giving your horrible performance or not working at all due to using a plan that doesn’t support tethering. In this case, speeds and network performance are limited to old standards such as 3G.

How much data will PS4 gaming use?

Most games aren’t too network intensive and won’t gobble up bandwidth. Bandwidth consumption usually falls between 50 MB to 300 MB per hour.

On the higher end, a game like Destiny 2 will use about 300 MB per hour. Comparatively, Rocket League will only consume around 40 MB.

A game will generally consume more data the more it relies on networking, syncing, and matchmaking players. In the case of Destiny 2, you’re constantly entering new instances, loading different builds, and matching with small and large pools of players.

Game downloads will use significantly more bandwidth. For those that can, it might be a good idea to only download when hooked up to your home internet.

The digital installation of Red Dead Redemption 2 requires 99 GB of space with an additional 50 GB during the process of installation.

This is a bit of an outlier but if you’ve been playing PS4 since release you know just how huge game sizes have gotten.

Is mobile data fast enough?

In ideal conditions, mobile internet like 4G LTE and 5G are more than fast enough for online gaming. The only instance where speed will be the limiting factor is when using your PS4 to download games, patches, or stream with services like Netflix.

On T-Mobile, certainly not the best for my location, I’ll get about 20 megabits down with 34 ms of latency on a Sunday evening.

The real pain point of your hotspot gaming experience is the latency your network offers. Ping is especially important in competitive play and this will differ based on location, network, and current load.

While still growing, 5G aims to offer much lower latency when fully rolled out.

In summary

Just as with other internet connected devices, the PS4 fully supports mobile hotspots.

And for some, it offers online gaming in ways otherwise unavailable.

Yes, you might not want to resort to using a hotspot for downloading titles off of PSN due to data caps, but they’re more than enough for multiplayer experiences.

5G capable phones will only accelerate this convenience as development and infrastructure continues to build out.

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