From education to employment

The Best University for Gamers revealed

  • The University of Warwick is the best university for gamers, with a total of 4,282 associated gamers[1]
  • University College London comes in second with 3,544 gaming members[2]
  • The University of Manchester ranks third[3], followed by Swansea University in fourth[4] and The University of Southampton in fifth[5]
  • Three London-based universities rank in the top ten[6] 
  • For more information about eSports and online gaming, see the Uswitch broadband statistics page.

Going to university can be a daunting experience for many new students, as studies suggest one in six students feel they don’t have any ‘true friends’ at uni[7]. However, with the average gamer making five new friends through online play[8], and 92% of students playing regularly[9], gaming could be an accessible way for students to grow their social circle and enrich their life at university. 

To discover which university gave the most social opportunities to gamers, Uswitch broadband experts examined factors such as the number of members in each university’s gaming society discord server (a free communications app that lets you share voice, video, and text chat with friends, game communities, and developers), the number of Twitter followers for each gaming society, and the number of Esports players from National Students Esports (NSE), to see which university was the best for online gamers[10].

Table 1: The best university for gamers

UniversityDiscord membersTwitter followersActive Esports playersTotal associated gamers
The University of Warwick2,3591,4354884,282
University College London2,9643861943,544
The University of Manchester1,8341,2431633,240
Swansea University1,5141,3173143,145
The University of Southampton2,1954103612,966
Imperial College London2,4612122252,898
University of Durham1,6996242902,613
The University of Bath1,9334092052,547
King’s College London1,7244042252,353
The University of Bristol1,9161542112,281


With a total of 4,282 associated gamers, the University of Warwick was found to be the best university for gamers. Among all universities, Warwick has the most Twitter followers (1,435) and the most active Esports players (488). However, Warwick ranks third in terms of discord members (2,359), behind University College London (2,964) and Imperial College London (2,461).

Following the opening of a dedicated Esports gaming centre on campus in 2021[11], Warwick’s Esports scene has grown in popularity, with the university ranking second in the world for the Esports collegiate programme of the year[12] as well as hosting a tournament later this year[13].

University College London (UCL) ranks second with 3,544 associated gamers. UCL has the most gaming discord members of any university, with 2,964 students registered to gaming society channels in total –  23% more than Warwick and 19% higher than Imperial College London. UCL is the top-ranked university in London, with Imperial College London and King’s College London also ranking in the top ten.

The University of Manchester ranks third, with 3,240 associated gamers. The university has the third-most Twitter gaming society followers (1,243) amongst all universities, as well as 1,834 discord members and 162 active Esports players. Gaming appears to thrive in Manchester, with a recent study claiming that Manchester is the best city in the UK for gamers[14].

Table 2: The worst university for gamers

UniversityDiscord membersTwitter followersActive Esports playersTotal gaming members
University of Cumbria150015
The University of Wolverhampton530154
Canterbury Christ Church University3343067
Buckinghamshire New University650671
St. Mary’s University810081
Middlesex University820183
Leeds Trinity University810586
University of Suffolk702111102
Bath Spa University372063120
University of Wales Trinity Saint David102390141


The University of Cumbria ranked lowest out of all universities, with only 15 members in total, all of whom were discord members. The University of Wolverhampton and Canterbury Christ Church University[15] obtained the next lowest scores, with 54 and 67 associated gamers, respectively.

Nick Baker, online gaming expert at Uswitch broadband, comments on the positives of gaming and why it can help students at university:

Several studies have shown that gaming can be good for you, encouraging skills such as teamwork, strategy, critical thinking, visual memory, developing social skills and improving response time. Gaming can be especially beneficial for university students as it not only allows them to relax in between their hectic daily lives, but also allows them to form friendships with other students by playing with them or bonding over specific gaming interests

“Gaming societies should be treated in the same manner as any other typical university society. It makes students feel accepted and a part of a community, which undoubtedly improves their social connections and mental health. Also, since the Esports world shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, it can provide future career opportunities to students who want to compete professionally in tournaments.

“Whether you’re playing casually or professionally, a poor internet connection is an ordeal for any gamer. However, there are steps you can take to keep your gaming experience lag-free while also increasing your download speeds:

  • Check your broadband speed: technically, a minimum speed of 3mbps is all you need to play online. However, that figure doesn’t take into account others in the home sharing the internet connection and some games requiring large downloads. With this in mind, a download speed of 50mbps – 100mbps is more appropriate for gamers, especially those interested in streaming their gameplay.
  • Switch to a wired connection: currently, a wired connection is the only way to get the fastest speeds in the UK. While a wireless connection can allow for a cleaner set-up, a wired connection can better ensure that your online play runs smoothly.”
  • Don’t play games while downloading: whichever device you’re using, playing games while simultaneously downloading a new one will use up both bandwidth and processor power. So not only will your game take longer to download, your gaming experience will suffer too.
  • Make sure you have good ping for gaming: one of the biggest factors to impact your gaming experience is lag and latency which are caused by having a slow ping rate. Your ping rate is the reaction time of your internet connection and the speed at which you get a response after you’ve sent out a request. This is usually measured in milliseconds (ms). For example, if you have a ping rate of 100ms, your device takes 100ms to respond to a request by another device.
  • How to lower your ping: in addition to upgrading to a faster, more reliable broadband connection, you can reduce your ping rate by reducing the number of devices connected to your home network. If you’ve got laptops, tablets, phones, smart watches, smart fridges, and a hundred more devices all feeding off the same broadband connection, your console’s reaction time will ultimately be slower.”

You can read more information about online gaming at Uswitch broadband statistics.

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