Edge Computing Use Cases in Gaming
March 12, 2024

Edge Computing Use Cases in Gaming


Gaming has come a long way since the first PC games and consoles like Playstation and Super Nintendo in the 90s. Today, gaming is an industry worth over 200 billion USD, encompassing 3+ billion players worldwide. New, successful gaming technologies are necessary to accommodate this enormous and rapidly growing user base. Gaming companies are searching for real-time gaming solutions to give players the flawless experience they deserve.

Achieving such goals in a highly competitive gaming market with dozens of new games daily is challenging. Gamers value two things the most: top-quality immersive games and a smooth, enjoyable gameplay experience. One can’t work without the other. This is especially true in the contemporary cloud-based gaming environment, where cloud gaming shifts the responsibility for high-end hardware from gamers to gaming companies. 

However, traditional cloud gaming is already experiencing many issues because it’s essentially centralized. Big-tech cloud gaming services use massive centralized data centers that stream games to end-users. On the player side, they just need a stable internet connection to play the games they want. Unfortunately, with the rapid expansion of cloud gaming services, scalability, and high latency are becoming issues in cloud gaming. That’s where gaming edge computing comes into play. 

Thanks to its decentralized nature, there are already numerous success stories of edge computing in the gaming industry. With edge computing, studios have a powerful tool for gaming performance optimization at their disposal.

Let’s look at some critical use cases for real-world edge computing applications in game development.

Implementing Edge Computing for Gaming Performance Improvement

A fundamental limitation of traditional cloud gaming services is that they use centralized hardware resources. To stream games to their users, such services maintain massive data centers with thousands of GPUs ready to stream on demand. The servers facilitate all of the data processing required to run games successfully. Then, the network delivers the game to the user’s device and streams it just like a show on Netflix.

This was a viable solution during the early years of cloud gaming during the 2010s. However, the gaming market has exploded in recent years, with a particular focus on cloud-based gaming services. The massive influx of new users considerably strains centralized cloud providers. When there’s high network congestion, cloud networks often struggle to deliver optimal performance. That’s because many players aren’t very close to those massive data centers, and it takes time for the game stream to reach their devices.

The cloud infrastructure has to move physically closer to the user by implementing edge computing for gaming performance improvement. The GPUs responsible for rendering and processing the gaming experience use decentralization in gaming edge computing. Instead of basing data centers in just the capital city and a few other metropolitan areas in a country, edge computing is way more decentralized. 

Case Studies on Reducing Gaming Latency With Edge Computing

Edge technology case studies show promising gaming performance optimization results. For example, according to industry leader NVIDIA, edge computing can essentially process data in real-time. On the other hand, cloud computing is non-time sensitive. This means that there’s always some degree of delay with centralized clouds.

Gaming edge computing is the solution for latency issues in cloud gaming. The distance between cloud servers and users can be an incredibly frustrating factor in regard to latency. The data needs to travel physically from the processing device to the player. If the latency is just a few tens of milliseconds higher than the acceptable 20 - 40ms, players can have a poor gaming experience. 

The internet connection is essential for game streaming, but a fast web connection isn’t enough. Nowadays, when a solid internet connection is relatively widespread, cloud services need the proper hardware to take advantage of user connectivity. If the service provider’s hardware isn’t top-notch, users can experience lagging despite good internet. However, distance is another important factor.

Cloud networks must shift closer to users to ensure a flawless gaming experience. For gaming performance optimization, gaming edge computing provides the shortest route from the cloud to the user. Edge computing’s decentralized cloud infrastructure moves processing power to the network’s edge and minimizes latency.

More and more gaming companies are beginning to explore edge computing solutions because of its superiority to traditional clouds. The fact that a decentralized cloud infrastructure provider like Aethir already has deals with 10+ high-profile gaming studios is a testament to the growing prominence of gaming edge computing.

Enhancing Multiplayer Online Games With Edge Technology

Multiplayer online games are a whole different story compared to single-player gaming experiences. With single-player cloud gaming, service providers must stream the game efficiently to a single user. On the other hand, multiplayer games require providers to effectively stream shared experiences to multiple users simultaneously. 

When gamers play a multiplayer FPS or co-op RPG, for example, they need to experience the same content smoothly from a different perspective. The cloud infrastructure must deliver a much more demanding, lag-free experience in these cases. 

That said, lag is an even bigger issue in multiplayer games than in single-player titles. Imagine playing a Call of Duty or Fortnite match, and the game suffers a half-second delay while you have the opponent in your crosshairs. You’re about to drop him at one moment, but in the next, you’re the one getting dropped because of network lag. Such experiences infuriate players but can often happen due to high latency. 

Luckily, enhancing multiplayer online games with edge technology is now a realistic possibility. Gaming companies have the possibility to implement successful gaming technologies that leverage edge computing. This can effectively improve multiplayer gaming and make frustrating latency and network congestion a thing of the past.

Furthermore, gaming edge computing allows studios to introduce Web 3.0 features such as blockchain-based microtransactions with cryptocurrency. Edge computing can leverage cryptocurrencies instead of relying on slow and complex centralized payment channels. The compatibility of edge computing with blockchain technology is ideal for tokenizing in-game items like weapon skins as NFTs.

Gaming Performance Optimization for AAA Titles

AAA titles represent the apex of video gaming, and many of these games cost tens of millions of US dollars to develop. AAA titles generate billions of dollars of revenue and account for most of the gaming industry. To put things in perspective, Grand Theft Auto V, one of the most hyped games in history, made almost 800 million USD on its first day of global sales. 

The stakes are incredibly high in AAA game development. The studios behind such titles can’t afford to lose profits because of game streaming infrastructure issues. Some of the most prominent global gaming titles, such as Valorant, depend on adequate cloud gaming infrastructure to satisfy millions of users. 

The case of Valorant shows the importance of shifting from the traditional cloud to implementing edge computing for gaming performance improvement. Riot Games, the developer of Valorant, chose one of the largest global centralized cloud providers for game streaming services. However, the rising popularity of Valorant and its other flagship game, League of Legends, considerably increased scalability demands. 

To meet the needs of clients like Riot Games, the big-tech cloud provider introduced server Outposts. These Outposts are essentially edge computing mini servers positioned at the edge of the cloud network to provide increased scalability and effectively solve latency issues.

This case shows that even major big-tech cloud providers are beginning to realize the potential of edge computing as the future of cloud solutions.

Boosting the E-Sports Industry With Gaming Edge Computing

Similarly to casual multiplayer online gaming, the e-sports industry can tremendously benefit from edge computing gaming performance optimization. Games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and Fortnite are just some of the leading e-sports titles. Available e-sports data shows that there are over 800 e-sports leagues around the globe. 

Latency issues during an e-sports event can create irreparable damage. A whole team can lose a vital tournament match because of a few milliseconds of lag. With centralized clouds, such issues are always a looming threat. Players always have the “what if?” question in their minds, and if it really happens, there’s no way to fix it. 

Some countries, such as South Korea and the US, even recognize certain e-sports categories as official sports disciplines. E-sports are one of the most dynamic real-world applications of edge computing in game development. That’s because edge computing can ensure super-low latency during massive e-sports competitions. 

Real-Time Gaming Solutions for AR/VR Games 

Gaming edge computing is an example of how decentralized, successful gaming technologies can power futuristic game forms. Metaverse gaming experiences that leverage AR/VR tools and headsets are projected to grow in popularity rapidly. However, such gamified experiences depend on an extremely high data streaming bandwidth. 

Edge computing has a competitive advantage over traditional clouds when it comes to AR/VR game streaming. That’s because edge networks can process the necessary data through GPUs closest to the end user. 

Artificial Intelligence is an essential component of Web 3.0 metaverse experiences that require significant real-time data processing. In AR/VR gaming, the ability to instantly respond to user decisions heavily depends on advanced AI algorithms. The processing power of edge computing is a game-changer for real-time gaming solutions that require immense GPU power.


Success stories of edge computing in the gaming industry are just starting to amass. That’s because real-world applications of edge computing in game development are relatively new, and the cloud computing sector is just beginning to recognize its potential. Edge computing is the Web 3.0 upgrade of traditional, centralized cloud computing. 

The listed use cases of edge computing in gaming are just some of the key areas in which this powerful technology can benefit the gaming industry. With the evolution of Web 3.0 gaming and the rising prominence of blockchain solutions, we will likely see significant developments in gaming edge computing.

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