The Playstation 4

Hmm. A challenge based on where the router is and the PS4, I’ll assume nothing I can do about the terrible download speed (I used a 2.4GHz device just to check, and it’s speed was still over double that of the PS4.)

I always got low download speeds with the PS4 until I wired it. I keep my cable modem and Router at the TV for this reason.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a game that can be played in 5-minute bursts on PS4? Because sometimes 5 minutes is all you have… and just getting to the main menu in Hitman 2 takes like 2 minutes.

So something that loads fast and plays quickly too. It’d be nice if it were a game where you can make permanent progress and not just an arcade game, but it’s not worth it if you have to take a long time to remember where you’re at in the game. Maybe a chill management game or something with short levels.

Preferably something cheap too… absolutely no masocore platformers!

First, I’d recommend turning on suspend mode so you can have the same game loaded up allowing you to get back in instantly when you wake up the PS4. Peggle 2 is on PS4. You could play something like Overcooked. The levels are pretty short there. Tetris Effect is on sale right now which might fit the bill. Burnout Paradise remastered is $5 right now, too, and if you suspend it you could come back and cruise around and try a nearby event at your leisure in that game.

Man, I’ve gotta figure out how to wire my house for Ethernet somehow. My router is in my bedroom but my TV, Steam Link and PS4 Pro are downstairs in my living room.

I’m not a handy person and don’t feel like buying a bunch of gear so I should probably just get a contractor to do it.

My son and I fire up Trackmania Turbo sometimes when we have 5 minutes before school. Tracks typically last about a minute each. And you can make real progress through the campaign. It’s not your typical kind of racing game–more like a Super Meat Boy style platformer–the kind of game where you hone your skills through repetition and replaying levels is instantaneous and painless. (There’s a face button mapped to level restart.) Trackmania was free on PS Plus a few months ago, so you may even already have it.

Worth checking out Powerline adapters. Not as fast as wired Ethernet, but fast enough. There are no wires to run, and it’s nearly plug and play:

Is the current state of the art on these powerline adapters pretty good these days? I tried a recommended setup about 10 years ago and it wasn’t much faster than my wireless.

That’s a really good question. I used a Powerline setup for years and finally abandoned it a few months ago and switched to WiFi when I figured out it was the bottleneck in my home network speed. The newer adapters are certainly faster and more robust than the ones from 10 years ago, but I’m not sure to what degree.

If your place is wired with coax, then I highly recommend checking out MoCA 2.0 adapters, specifically this one. I used powerline adapters for a few years but ultimately found them too flaky. The 2.0 spec of MoCA had just come out around that time, so I decided it to give it a shot. It has worked flawlessly every since. I’ve expanded from two to five units over time with no issues or slowdown. It’s a hell of a lot easier than trying to run wire all over the place and more economical, too (if you have a third party do it).

CAVEATS

  • All the coax outlets need to be on the same “line” for one Ethernet source to service them all. Lines you had put in by other providers might not tie in, so make sure you test the adapters in all potential areas before the return window ends.

  • They are designed to work with cable service going through the coax line at the same time. But I don’t have cable, so I can’t confirm.

MoCA 2.0 adaptors work great for me as well. Google Fiber, when they installed at my house refused to go to where my computer gets its hookup from cable. So they installed downstairs near the PS4 and XB1. That’s fine and dandy for the consoles, which are wired into the connection, but what about my PC upstairs? Stusser suggested the MOCA 2.0, and it worked great. It uses the existing cable infrastructure in the house, and even though I only get about 600Mb down/up using MOCA 2, instead of 1Gb down/up, it’s still very good.

So is wifi though.

Powerline and WiFi use approximately the same protocols, so have similar throughput. (Powerline is, to a first approximation, just WiFi with your power wiring as the transmission medium rather than air.) The advantage of Powerline is that it’s not saturated with traffic the way WiFi can be in a densely populated paradigm.

Consider also, if it’s possible, moving your router to the TV setup. Console games are typically fast paced online affairs and their WIFI never seems to be as good as what you can put at your PC. My PCs are just fine on WiFi for anything, where the consoles really benefit from being wired.

@Woodlance I love Downwell for a quick play. It does have some progression to it even though the gameplay could fit just fine in an arcade cabinet. Enter the Gungeon is another one depending how good you get at it.

I think there’s something funky with my house’s wiring because I tried it a couple of years back (when the Steam Link came out) with some TPLink brand ones and they didn’t work at all. 5 GHz Wireless N worked way better.

I have heard that if your house wiring is not all on the same transformer or loop or whatever it’s called, that powerline is useless and won’t work.

That must be it. I’m gonna see if any family members can use them at their places, otherwise I’ll offer them as a freebie here.

I might try that other coax-based thing, though.

By “the same line” do you mean the one line coming from the pole on the street to the house? Because I only see one of those, even though I had two additional cable jacks put in when I bought my house 22 years ago.

Unfortunately, I don’t quite know what I mean. I’m not sure how new jacks are “tied” together with older ones. The previous owners of my house had satellite installed at some point, and those coax jacks don’t work with the others.

I would guess, though, that if you can get your current cable service from each of the jacks in your house, then you’re probably good to go. If you’re like me and don’t have existing to service to test it, then I suppose you’ll just have to give it a shot when you get the adapters.

In the U.S.: power from the utility comes in 3 “hot” power lines plus a neutral return. (Actually this isn’t quite the way it works, but I’m simplifying.) Each line delivers 120 volts relative to the neutral, but 208 volts relative to the other lines. Some appliances require 208 volts (e.g. electric dryers and ranges), so the utility delivers 2 of the 3 hot lines plus a neutral to each house. The 208 volt appliances get 2 hot lines and a special plug and outlet configuration so you don’t accidentally plug things into the wrong outlet. Everything else in your house uses 120 volts, so all of the other outlets (i.e. almost all of them) have a single hot line and a neutral going to them. (The hot line goes on the smaller prong of a standard U.S. NEMA 15 plug/outlet configuration.) But two hot lines are going to your house and many people don’t even have any 208 volt appliances (e.g. if they use gas appliances) so to balance power consumption on each line, the house is wired up with roughly half of the outlets being fed from one line and half from the other. (Usually every other breaker in your breaker box is on a different line.) Powerline across the lines does supposedly work, but it relies on antenna pickup between the phases at the transformer, which seems sketchy to me.