The T-Mobile Rocket 4G USB Stick Makes PC Gaming Truly Portable!
Portable typically refers to a handheld game console- the likes of the Nintendo 3DS or Sony PSP. However, gaming on the go just became a lot more accessible thanks to T-Mobile’s Rocket 4G stick. This easy to setup USB device grants near instant access to the 4G network in all its glorious speed. While it might not equate to a superb wired connection, it does offer a viable alternative. I talked previously about the T-Mobile Rocket and its features, but this time I’ll be focusing on the gaming aspects of the device.
If you’re out and about and dying for some multiplayer gameplay on your laptop, the T-Mobile Rocket might be just what you need. Gamers considering gaming over 4G, look no further than my testing below to determine if it is for you or not.
Any avid online gamer knows that other players are not the enemy. Lag is the true enemy. A sudden stutter or delay can mean the difference between dealing the final blow and being handed a harp and halo- or horns and an accordion. With so much hanging on a fast, reliable connection, it’s no wonder so many are holding their breath and awaiting the capabilities of the T-Mobile Rocket. With my Dell Latitude laptop and the T-Mobile Rocket provided to me by Yahoo, it was time for the tests to begin. To start things off, let’s take a look at Dynasty Warriors Online.
This fast-paced hack and slash series requires strategy, skill, and capable allies. Dynasty Warriors Online continues this trend, although with massively multiplayer online play. After logging in as my wandering swordsman, I decided to hop into a battle and test out the connection. As I and the other vassals of Wu were teleported to the battlefield to face off against Shu, I found myself initially disappointed.
There was apparent lag that caused both clipping and stuttering. While it was certainly manageable, it was more than a stone’s throw from being perfect. A few minutes of slashing and slicing showed some improvement. The frame-rate recovered and my attacks became more fluent. By the second half of the battle my connection had stabilized and I was easily clearing the Shu pretenders out of their bases. The following battle, a clash with Wei, proved to be a bit more difficult. Despite all the action on-screen and the frenzied nature of play, the connection remained stable. Not by any means perfect, but certainly enjoyable.
Champions Online was the second game to see play time with the T-Mobile Rocket. I must attest to how convenient it is to simply plug the device in and start up a multiplayer game no matter where I am. In the case of Champions Online, the initial results were similar to Dynasty Warriors Online. The first couple of minutes were marred by stuttering and clipping. After facing off against a few baddies menacing the city, I was relieved to find the connection stabilizing. Some adjustments to the performance options was necessary, but did a world of good. My hero was soon soaring above the streets with general ease. Again- not perfect, but manageable.
As a final test, I decided to see how the T-Mobile Rocket handled something that wasn’t as demanding as an MMORPG. I popped in my all-time favorite FPS, Unreal Tournament 3. I had briefly tried this game prior with the Rocket’s connection, but now it was time for a full-on field test. The arcade-style arena shooter is famous for its expertly designed netcode. For those not too familiar with technical jargon- this implies that the game does a fantastic job minimizing lag even on the weakest connections. How did it perform?
Starting things off I entered a battle on Facing Worlds. This CTF match takes place atop a mountain with two temples atop it. Each team assumes control of a temple and must defend the flag inside. The ensuing battle was relatively lag-free when using the 4G network. Rockets soared through the air without clipping and the controls were extremely responsive. The following battles took place across a variety of locales- from frozen wastelands to maze-like castles. No matter where we battled or how many players joined us, it was always reliable. The only issue I found was a one-time, unexplained disconnection.
After successfully testing out these and several other titles, I can confidently give a thumbs-up to gamers unsure of how big an impact 4G makes on gaming. While a wired connection is still the preferred method, I’m pleased to find T-Mobile’s Rocket is a more than worthy substitute. I must sincerely thank both Yahoo and T-Mobile for the opportunity to use and review their service and USB device. The T-Mobile Rocket utilized in this review was provided free of charge and I was compensated for my article.