Investigating the Impact of Latency in Mobile-Based Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) Games

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Chin Ike Tan
Wee Hoe Tan
Siti Fazilah binti Shamsudin
Sujata Navaratnam
Yiing Y'ng Ng


The mobile games industry dominates across Southeast Asia, a region reportedly with the highest smartphone ownership in the world and surprisingly, a below world average Internet speed in general.  This begs the question then, how much latency is required for mobile games especially in competitive gaming? This research aims to examine players' perceived experience of latency in mobile games and how much latency drop would affect the players overall gameplay experience. Through a controlled testing environment and a variation of latency through a throttling system, the research was able to determine at which point the players perceived a drop in game playing experience. A group of 29 participants played nine rounds of popular MOBA game - Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) sessions which were randomly conducted in a dedicated physical location. Each play session was around two hours, and all participants played a minimum of two games within that session. After each play session, the participants were given a survey of six questionnaire items to rate their perceived latency and the overall game playing experience. One-way ANOVA tests were run to determine whether there was significant difference across nine latency rates. The findings revealed that the optimum latency for playing MLBB was 55ms. However, the players’ game performance was affected beyond the 55ms range, in which negative game playing experience may start to build. Thus, the research found that the optimum latency range for enhanced player performance and experience can be set at the 55ms rate and below when playing MOBA games on a mobile platform.

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How to Cite
Tan, C. I., Tan, W. H., binti Shamsudin, S. F. ., Navaratnam, S., & Ng, Y. Y. (2022). Investigating the Impact of Latency in Mobile-Based Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) Games. International Journal of Creative Multimedia, 3(1), 1–16.