If you want to game, chances are you’ll want to do something via a wired internet connection at some point, and that means using an ethernet cable. Wired ethernet connections provide speedy service directly from your high speed modem or router. These ethernet cables have a lot of numbers, speeds, lengths, and exteriors, the speeds are getting better each year, and every manufacturer claim to have made the best cable the Earth has ever seen. On the one hand, this is good. It means things are progressing and you can get a higher quality connection for your gaming session today than you could just a few years ago. On the other hand, there’s a level of stress involved, now, in picking out even an ethernet cable. Not anything will do.
Luckily, the situation is far more simple than what manufacturers will lead you to believe and picking out the best ethernet cable for gaming isn’t too difficult. It just depends a bit on your preferences, style, and how important it is to you to feel like the things you buy today will still be relevant in 5 or 6 years.
The best ethernet cables for gaming in 2024
- Buy the for a fantastic ethernet cable that has fun colors.
- Buy the if you have equipment in tight spaces.
- Buy the for a futureproof ethernet cable for gaming with a braided cable.
- Buy the if your gaming hub is down the hall from your router.
For an even wider selection, chosen for a broader audience than just gamers, check out our more intensive look at the best ethernet cables overall.
Best overall ethernet cable for gaming
|Durable, protected head
|Fun colors for gamers
While Monoprice has their hands in everything from the best subwoofers to the best 3D printers, they are undoubtedly a wires and cables company. The Monoprice Cat6a is a highly affordable cable that features a protective hood over the connector head’s prong, protecting it from snags. These cables also come in nine colors, with one sure to match your style. As you shop for your cable, be sure to check each color for your selected size, as you’ll often find one of the colors heavily discounted. Unfortunately, you’re also likely to find some colors and sizes out of stock as this cable has some stock issues which likely stem from its combination of affordability and high overall user experience.
|0.5 – 100 foot
Cable Creation Cat6 90-degree
Best for tight spaces
|Connects at tight angles
If you put your consoles in a cabinet, you know that horrible feeling of a rear-facing cable jutting out into that cabinet, forcing you to pull it by inches. Getting an angled ethernet cable, like this one, can alleviate that issue without messing up your setup. This cable is somewhat basic, with no braiding or advanced shielding and using the Cat6 standard. What advantage it does have, however, is that you can get one up to 10 foot in length, which is a rarity in the angled ethernet cables world. If you can handle 3 feet or less, try the
as a solid upgrade.
|3.3, 6, and 10 feet
Ugreen Cat 8
|Still affordable at Cat 8
Cat 8 ethernet cables are futureproof choices that should be good for many many years to come. Fittingly, this one from Ugreen has a very nice protective braid and equally important protected connector tips on its head. It’s admittedly hard to find bad things to say about this cable. As a Cat 8, it is somewhat overpowered, but it isn’t like this is an overly expensive ethernet cable for gaming that you’re paying extra for. Instead, this just confirms that the Ugreen Cat 8 is the best futureproof ethernet cable for gaming.
|1.5 – 65 foot
Snowkids Cat 8
Best for long connections
|Affordable lengthy cable of quality type
|Suitable for being under carpets and floors
|Nice, silver-colored braid
If you’re the gamer down at the end of the hall, try out the Snowkids Cat 8 to get something down to where you are. These cables are some of the longest reliable ethernet cables, are made for running under your carpet and rug if need be, and have the strong anti-interference design that comes with being a Cat 8 ethernet cable. Plus, the parts that show are a delightfully shiny silverish color that pops in a way that other ethernet cables simply do not.
|Up to 100 feet
How we chose these ethernet cables for gaming
Choosing the best ethernet cables for gaming, from a tech perspective, is a bit like a journey to the art store. First, you need to pick out your medium and then you get to the colors. Here’s a step-by-step on the process we took to arrive at the above.
Cat 6 and Cat 8
Ethernet cables are divided into “Cat” ratings, which is an internet-suitable abbreviation for “category.” These are standardized categories that give certain speeds. Our exhaustively excellent ethernet cable explainer will go into the ends and outs of each spec for those interested, but our discussion here will focus on Cat 6 and Cat 8 ethernet cables, both of which are the most idea for gaming. There’s a Cat 7, too, but for complex reasons we aren’t recommending you buying one new at this time (see the explainer). It’s the Dark Souls 2 of ethernet categories — if you have one go ahead and try to use it, but don’t buy one new. The same goes with Cat 5e.
Within these two broad categories, you’ll see Cat 6, Cat 6a, and Cat 8 cables being the most highly recommended as gaming ethernet cables. Cat 6 cables can handle 10Gbps (that’s over a gigabyte) for cables up to 55 meters. Cat 6a cables are better for longer distances, are shielded, and somewhat thicker. Cat 8 cables can handle up to 40Gbps at 30 meters, which is super powerful. Cat 6 and Cat 6a cables will be fine, speed wise, for most gamers today but Cat 8 will help you out in the long run, should you get a new gaming system, internet plan, and modem that can all utilize 40Gbps (that’s 5 gigabytes per second).
So, knowing that Cat 8’s usability over Cat 6 is still somewhat of a pipedream for ordinary consumers, why do they get recommended so highly? Part of it is, indeed, the flashiness. It’s easy to recommend something as the best when it is, technically, the best. Cat 8’s are also quite futureproof, so that’s high value.
But the main reason is that, today Cat 8 ethernet cables are not expensive at reasonable lengths. In fact, most ethernet cables are not very expensive, including the best ethernet cables for gaming.
Shielding, durability, and braiding
To loop back to the art store analogy, you’ve picked your medium between 6, 6a, and 8. Now’s the time to get the color. Sometimes literally. Shieling, durability, and braiding are often what really distinguish ethernet cables for gaming.
Shielding keeps a cable from suffering from negative effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI) but makes a cable thicker. All Cat 8 cables are shielded, often quite heavily so, which can actually make Cat 8 cables worse for tight gaming cabinets. You’ll want durable heads on your ethernet cable, with tough components that won’t break when being removed. This is especially so if this cable isn’t a plug-it-in-and-leave-it sort of cable. Finally, braiding on the outside can increase the durability of the cable, especially if it moves. It’s totally okay to look for a cable with a colored braid that fits your aesthetic.
This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.