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Best gaming modems in 2024 – our top picks

The best modems for low latency gaming
Last Updated on February 6, 2024
The best gaming modem, a black router, shines on a blue background.

If you are looking for the best gaming modem, then we have you covered right here.

Now, having a fast internet connection is not enough to get you a smooth gaming experience. Along with high speed, you need to have a stable connection and minimal lag, to make the most of your internet connection while gaming. To get that uninterrupted gaming experience, you need a capable router and modem – and in this article, we will be talking about modems.

Ideally, for gaming, you’d want a modem that can support high internet speeds, runs on the latest modem technology, wired Ethernet connections, and other features that would make your online gaming sessions easier.

With that being said, there are quite a few modems that can support high-speed internet for gaming. To help you get the right product, we have put together a list of what we think are the best gaming modems.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

For this guide, we have looked at several modems from different brands, compared them, and then chose the ones we thought were the best. The modems have been selected based on speeds, modem technology, and other important factors. Further, we are always looking to add new products to our guide, so check back here for more.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

  • DOCSIS 3.1 modem
  • Up to 2.5 Gbps
  • 32X8 channel bonding
  • Not many ports

If you want the best cable modem for gaming, then you should check out the Netgear Nighthawk CM2000 modem. As this is just the modem, you will have to pair it with a router, so you can also check out the best Netgear routers.

To start with, this is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that comes with 32X8 channel bonding and OFDM(A) 2×2, which means you should expect high-speed internet connectivity with minimal interference.

More specifically, the modem is suitable for cable provider plans up to 2.5Gbps, which means you can use it for your gigabit plans. And for gaming, you also get a 2.5 Gig Ethernet port, which should let you plug in devices.

The Netgear modem is compatible with Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and other major ISPs in the US. However, the device does not work with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, or any voice service, so we recommend you double-check compatibility before buying.

  • Modem-router combo
  • Up to 6 Gbps
  • Keeps up to 30 devices connected
  • Expensive

If you want a modem router combo that can support your online gaming sessions, then you should take a look at the Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 model. In fact, we think this is one of the best modem router combos available on the market.

To start with, this is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem with a 32×8 channel bonding configuration, so you can expect good downstream and upstream speeds. To be precise, this device can support up to 6Gbps, which means you can use it for gigabit plans.

Along with the modem, the device also packs in a WiFi 6 router, which means you don’t have to buy one separately. The device covers up to 2,500 sq. ft. area and can keep up to 30 devices connected, which should make it suitable for spaces with limited users.

As far as setup is concerned, you can get your WiFi network started with the Nighthawk app. Plus, you can change settings, test speeds, set up guest networks, and do much more through the app.

  • DOCSIS 3.1 modem
  • 2x2 OFDM
  • Widely compatibility
  • No fancy features

If you want a gaming modem within a reasonable price range that does the job, then you should check out the Hitron CODA modem.

It is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that works with Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Cox, and a few other ISPs, so you should be able to get it running without any issues. Plus, the modem is compatible with most routers and even mesh systems, so you don’t have to worry too much about compatibility.

Coming to performance, the modem can support plans up to 1Gbps, which should make it suitable for gigabit plans. Plus, the device offers two downstream and two upstream OFDM channels, so you should experience low latency.

As far as setup is concerned, the modem can be set up in a few minutes. All you have to do is plug the ethernet cable into a compatible router.

  • Speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
  • 32x8 channel bonding and DOCSIS 3.1
  • AQM for low latency
  • Only modem

If you want a modem for low-latency gaming, then you should check out the Motorola MB8600 cable modem. In fact, we think this is one of the best DOCSIS 3.1 modems available on the market.

As mentioned earlier, this is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem with 32×8 capabilities, so you can expect fast downstream and upstream speeds. To be more specific, the modem supports plans up to 1,000 Mbps, which should make it suitable for gigabit plans. Further, the modem has Active Queue Management (AQM), which should reduce latency while gaming online.

Coming to compatibility, the modem has been approved by Comcast Xfinity and Xfinity X1, Cox, and CableOne, so it should work well with these ISPs. However, we’d recommend double-checking compatibility before buying. Further, this modem is compatible with most routers and even mesh systems, so you should have no trouble setting it up.

How to pick the best gaming modem

So, what sets a gaming modem apart from a regular modem? It’s all in the details and centers mainly on prioritizing traffic to gaming devices to reduce latency, lower ping, and funnel that precious bandwidth to where it matters. Gaming modems do this even when other devices are connected to the network.

Much of this is done via integrated technologies and quality-of-life features such as Beamforming to ensure an uninterrupted route-optimized connection to gaming servers, band and channel wizardry, bespoke operating systems, a dashboard for fine-tuning the gaming experience, and so on.

Here are a few things to consider before buying a modem for gaming –

Types of Modems

If you do anything before buying a gaming modem, check whether it is indeed compatible with your chosen ISP. Most will work with all the major internet service providers – Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox in the US, Sky, BT, and TalkTalk in the UK – but there are different types of modems that can throw a spanner into the works.

DSL Modem – the most common type of modem out there, DSL modems use phone lines to beam internet to a home. Most consumer modems are DSL-type devices.

Cable Modem – more popular in the US, this type of modem uses cable television networks to allow homes to access the internet.

Satellite Modem – as the name implies, these modems communicate with a satellite transceiver.

Gigabit Modem – High-speed modems geared towards large businesses and expensive professional-grade ISP plans.

Modem technology

Considering that you want a modem for gaming, you’d want to invest in a modem that can deliver high speeds and low latency. With that in mind, a DOCSIS 3.1 can deliver much better performance than a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. Theoretically, DOCSIS 3.1 can reach maximum downstream speeds of 10Gbps.

Ports and Connectivity

Any self-respecting online gaming enthusiast swears by a wired Ethernet connection when firing up their game of choice. Wi-Fi has its place for web browsing, content consumption, smartphones, and home appliances but doesn’t cut the proverbial mustard for those who need a lag-free, low ping experience, especially if jumping in on more than a casual basis. Despite some major improvements in recent years, Wi-Fi is still prone to the occasional issue, so go wired if given the option.

To that end, look out for the number and type of ports built into a modem before committing to a purchase. Most tend to offer at least a duo of Ethernet LAN ports, ideal if you’re running a simple setup with a single desktop gaming rig and possibly a gaming console. For those with more elaborate setups, it’s possible to find modems with more ports, but expect to pay a bit more for that extra connectivity.

Wireless standard

If you are set on a wireless connection, consider modems that offer the latest and fastest 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 standard. It’s impressive tech that irons out many of the issues of Wi-Fi 5 and provides the most reliable wireless gaming experience to date. Naturally, you’ll need a compatible device, so don’t spend more on a redundant feature if your PC doesn’t support the standard.

Do you need a good modem for gaming?

If you are into graphically intense video games and if you are subscribed to high-speed internet, then yes, you’d benefit from a good gaming modem. If you go for a DOCSIS 3.1 modem with maximum channel bonding configuration, then you will be able to make the most of your high-speed internet plan and get an uninterrupted gaming experience.

Do gaming modems make a difference?

A typical or standard router is more than enough for most online games, but if you want to take things to the next level, you’ll want to get a gaming modem. It’s really the faster speeds that’ll result in smoother gameplay that’s the main benefit here, so if you’re playing fast-paced first-person shooters, you’ll benefit from a gaming modem.

Our Verdict

If you want a simple yet capable modem for gaming, then we think that the Netgear Nighthawk CM2000 modem is a good pick. The modem works with many major ISPs, so compatibility should not be much of an issue. It is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, so you can expect it to deliver faster performance than DOCSIS 3.0. Plus, it supports high-speed plans up to 2.5Gbps, so you can use it for gaming.