Best Ethernet Cable for PS5

Best Ethernet Cable for PS5

The PlayStation 5 is a cutting-edge gaming console featuring the latest hardware, the latest accessories, and the latest games. But just because it can operate with wireless controllers and wireless internet access, doesn’t mean there isn’t an advantage to playing with a classic wired Ethernet connection instead.

Ethernet cables, plugged into a games console like the PS5, or a gaming PC, hold several advantages over Wi-Fi. The first is that it tends to be faster. Yes, the latest generations of Wi-Fi can be as fast, or even faster than some Ethernet connections, but you’ll need conditions to be perfect. You’ll need the device located within close proximity of the router, with no other devices nearby or dominating the local network, and no obstructions. That’s not impossible, but you can do away with all those concerns with Ethernet.

That’s because Ethernet is more reliable, and more secure, too. It’s a lot harder to interrupt or snoop on your internet connection when it’s a wired cable, and you can’t obstruct a cable once it’s plugged in.

All that means that when gaming on your PlayStation 5, you can enjoy a faster, more secure, more stable connection with an Ethernet cable. But which one should you pick? There are a lot to choose from, so to help, we’ll talk you through all the different types of Ethernet cable, from Cat5 through Cat8, and everything in between, and why you might want to use one of them over your typical Wi-Fi connection.

Understanding Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but they also come in a range of generations. Different generations of Ethernet cables are named Categories, so a Cat5 Ethernet cable is about the oldest cable you’ll find in use today, while Cat8 is the newest and most capable solution. The cable types we’ll be discussing here include:

  •   Cat5
  •   Cat5e
  •   Cat6
  •   Cat6a
  •   Cat8

We will also briefly touch on Cat7 cables (and why you shouldn’t use them) but they’re such a niche design you needn’t pay them much mind.

There are a number of features of the different generations, or categories of cable, but the most obvious difference is their performance. Higher categories of cables tend to offer better performance over longer distances, although that’s not always the case. Higher-end cables tend to perform their best at shorter distances, even if they are still better than, or competitive with, older cable designs over greater lengths.

Cable quality can affect performance too. If a cable is produced with aluminum-clad copper wiring rather than solid copper cores. Similarly, if you buy a cheaper higher-end cable it may not have the shielding required to maintain the sanctity of your data – though that’s more of an enterprise consideration than something to worry about when picking the best Ethernet cable for PS5.

You also need to factor in the PlayStation 5’s limitations when picking an Ethernet cable. The PS5 has a native Gigabit Ethernet port, which means it supports network and internet speeds up to 1,000 Megabits per second (Mbps), or around 125 Megabytes per second (Mbps). That’s far faster than the average U.S. household’s internet speed of around 256 Mbps, so most PS5 gamers won’t need to push their network performance to such heights just to play games online or to download games as fast as they can. However, even if your internet connection can’t make full use of a Gigabit Ethernet connection, local data transfers on your network, such as transferring games from one PlayStation to another, or reading from networked drives for media and game installs, could make using a fast Ethernet cable a really good idea for PS5 owners, regardless of their internet speed.

That said, if you are mostly just interested in maximizing your gaming performance, then we have a guide to the best Ethernet cables for gaming.

Benefits of Using Ethernet For PS5

Ethernet connections might have some stiff competition from Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6, the latest Wi-Fi 6e, and the upcoming Wi-Fi 7, but it still rules supreme when it comes to raw performance, latency, and reliability. It’s not as convenient, and having wires snaking through your home or office isn’t particularly attractive, or practical, but Ethernet is still king when it comes to a number of important networking factors.

Those same benefits can be beneficial to PlayStation 5 gamers, too. If you want the absolute fastest, lowest latency, lag-free connection, then you can’t get better than an Ethernet cable. As fast as the latest generations of Wi-Fi can be, they still have, at their absolute best, a 1-2 ms latency delay. The latency of a wired connection is closer to 0.1 ms delay.

Cable Matters Latency vs Other Cables

You can also rely on the performance of a wired connection in ways you can’t with wireless. You don’t have to worry about your connection dropping because someone turned on a leaky microwave or other device that introduces electromagnetic interference to the local area – that’s what Ethernet cable shielding is for. There’s also less concern with other people using the network because while it is possible that enough other users could slow down your internet connection, they won’t inhibit your performance just by taking up your Wi-Fi frequency band – because you aren’t on one.

As long as there’s enough bandwidth for your connection – and gaming typically doesn’t use much outside of cloud gaming – then you needn’t fear your network becoming a bit busy. For Wi-Fi users, that’s a very different story.

Gaming on Wifi vs Gaming with Ethernet

For more reasons why gaming on Ethernet is better than gaming on Wi-Fi, check out our in-depth guide.

Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Ethernet Cable

If you’ve settled on using an Ethernet cable for gaming, great! You’re on your path to a faster, more reliable gaming future. But how do you go about picking the best Ethernet cable for PS5 gaming? Let’s take a look at some of the different types of Ethernet cable you can use, and which one might be best for you.

You could start your Ethernet cable journey by just finding any old Ethernet cable you have lying around and giving it a go. Chances are it’ll be Cat5 at best, which has a maximum bandwidth of just 100 Mbps, so around a 10th of what the PS5 is capable of. You will absolutely notice that difference when it comes to downloads, though in actual day-to-day gaming – outside of cloud gaming – it probably won’t make a huge difference.

However, there’s a reason no one uses Cat5 Ethernet cables anymore: They’re slow, and not built to the same quality standards as newer cables. Even a Cat5e cable, which isn’t much more advanced, can manage the full Gigabit Ethernet a PlayStation 5 console is capable of utilizing. That makes Cat5e a perfectly viable solution for PS5 Ethernet gaming, but it’s not the only one.

The next cable up, Cat6, introduces greater performance – up to 10 Gbps over shorter cable runs, and Gigabit Ethernet speeds over cables up to 100 meters. If you want to run a really long Ethernet cable to your PS5, then opting for a Cat6 is probably a good idea. It not only gives you greater performance, but Cat6 cables tend to be built to a higher standard, meaning greater reliability, and better shielding against EMI.

For even greater performance, Cat6a cables are an option. They are capable of bandwidths up to 10 Gbps up to 100 meters – though that’s not something the PlayStation 5 can take advantage of with its Gigabit Ethernet limitations. However, Cat6a cables are built to a higher standard, with tighter twisting of the copper pairs within the cable, which can make them more resistant to interference and provide greater durability of the cable. That can be useful if you have a particularly busy household in terms of interference, and if you expect the cable to receive physical stresses during use.

Cat7 cables are a niche design that is technically usable for PS5 gaming, but they’re not recommendable. They use non-standard components and aren’t built with certification from major electronics organizations. They’re best to avoid, as there are plenty of better-performing and better-supported alternatives.

The best Ethernet cables available at the time of writing, are Cat8. They offer speeds up to 40 Gbps, which the PS5 isn’t even close to saturating, or even making real use of, though they are more limited to around 30-meter lengths due to that high-end performance. They do offer the best shielding of any Ethernet cables too, although you’d need to buy a specific Cat8 cable with certain types of shielding, as there are some unshielded versions too.

Best Ethernet Cable For PS5 Gaming

The best Ethernet cable for PS5 gaming for most gamers, is Cat6. These cables offer excellent Gigabit Ethernet performance, at a range of lengths, without being too costly. Although there are faster cables and cables with better shielding, you aren’t going to get much better performance out of them because of the PlayStation 5’s maximum 1Gbps connection speed.

Cable Matters Gaming on PS5

Alternatively, a Cat6a cable will give you almost the same results when it comes to performance, with a thicker, more durable cable. That can be useful if your PS5 will be in a high-traffic area and you expect it to be plugged and unplugged regularly, or pulled and stressed in different ways. The added quality of Cat6a cables can also help prevent any interference if your PS5 is in a very busy environment with lots of other devices and potential sources of EMI.

For the ultimate cable choice, Cat8 is an option, but it’s an expensive one. You’ll be sacrificing maximum length too, all in the service of not much improvement. Although Cat8 cables do support speeds up to 40 Gbps, you can’t utilize that on a PS5. That means that despite its impressive specifications, a Cat8 cable will function just as well as a Cat6 or Cat6a cable. If you want to use it interchangeably with a connection for another device, like a desktop PC, that can take advantage of that added bandwidth, then it might be worth using a Cat8 cable.

Ultimately though, you’re better off with a Cat6 or Cat6a. In a pinch, Cat5e can work too, but you’re better off buying a newer cable design.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my existing Ethernet cable for the PS5?

Yes, absolutely. If you have a Cat5 Ethernet cable or better, you can just plug that in and try out wired gaming for yourself. However, bear in mind that Cat5 and earlier cables will not be able to take full advantage of the PS5’s Gigabit Ethernet connection, and will download games more slowly, and may even lead to lag during gaming if your connection can’t keep up with the game.

If the cable you have lying around is a Cat6 or better, then you can just use that without any problem. The only downside might be if the cable has been used for a long time it may have wear and tear that could interrupt your gaming. Your best bet will usually be to buy a new cable to guarantee performance, but that does mean added cost.

How long of an Ethernet cable do I need?

You only need an Ethernet cable that can reach your router and your PlayStation 5 or other device. Any added length will only add a minuscule amount of latency, but over certain lengths (think over 55m) it can also reduce overall performance. When it comes to most cables, shorter is better when it comes to bandwidth, but with most Ethernet cables you can get the full performance at very long lengths – certainly big enough for connecting a games console in your home.

Does the brand of the cable matter?

Quite considerably, yes. Cheap cables are often made without shielding, with loosely twisted pairs of copper wiring. They often use copper-clad aluminum, too, which leads to a lower-quality cable, and a greater chance of signal attenuation.

All Cable Matters cables are built to a high standard, with solid copper cores, and a range of additional quality-of-life features you won’t find with other cable manufacturers. If you’re buying an Ethernet cable for your PS5, you can rest assured Cable Matters cables will give you a quality experience every time.


Wired gaming might not be as fashionable as it once was, and it’s certainly not as convenient as wireless to set up, but once it is, you don’t need to worry about it. For static devices like the PS5, Ethernet gaming is still king. It gives you the best latency, best performance, and best reliability, and if you pick the right Ethernet cable, you can guarantee a great experience well into the future.

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