A comprehensive study from Privacy Journal identifies the most attractive cities for U.S. gamers. The site meticulously compared the 100 largest U.S. cities by considering 17 key gamer-friendly indicators. These spanned from livability and Internet quality to gaming community involvement, video game store access, education, and career opportunities.
In the realm of video games, New York City, Raleigh, Tampa, Los Angeles, and Orlando emerge as prime havens for gamers, while a drastically different narrative unfolds in Memphis, Toledo, Laredo, Anchorage, and Stockton, recognized as the most challenging. New York City secures the first position among the best U.S. gaming cities, claiming the top spot as the ultimate destination for gamers. While not leading in livability and Internet infrastructure, it shines with an impressive 3rd rank for both gaming community access and education-career prospects.
Texas shines in gaming, with three cities making the top 10: Frisco at 7th, Austin at 8th, and Plano at 10th. Houston follows at 12th, Garland at 14th, and San Antonio at 16th. While some cities like Fort Worth (55th), El Paso (75th), Lubbock (86th), and Laredo (98th) rank lower on the list, gaming in Texas remains strong.
SEVEN KEY TAKEAWAYS: BEST CITIES FOR GAMERS
- New York City is the top city for gamers in the U.S., offering a thriving gaming community with a wide choice of conventions and meetups, and plenty of job opportunities.
- Raleigh, North Carolina’s excellent livability and impressive Internet infrastructure make it a prime choice for both at-home and on-the-move gamers who want speedy Internet wherever they are.
- Plano, Texas, also has an excellent infrastructure and great livability, but the lack of gaming communities and low number of professional opportunities push it lower on the list.
- If you’re looking for blazing-fast mobile Internet speeds, the cities that lead the pack are Kansas City, Missouri; Glendale, California; Scottsdale, Arizona; Columbus, Ohio; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ensuring seamless online gaming experiences.
- If you want affordable Internet, Aurora, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; and Indianapolis, Indiana, offer cost-effective Internet plans without significantly compromising on quality.
- For prospective students, Los Angeles, New York City and Houston lead the way when it comes to gaming-related university programs.
- The biggest names in the game development industry are established in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City, making them prime locations for career growth and professional development.
BEST CITIES FOR GAMING RANKED BY CATEGORY
Even though the overall rank list above should be a solid indicator for which cities to pay closer attention to, looking into the specific categories chosen to be considered is somewhat interesting. Here is some data, starting off with the cities that have the best Internet infrastructure.
A good Internet connection is crucial for online gaming. This includes Internet quality, average Internet speed on fixed broadband and mobile, and the cost of the Internet connection. If Internet quality and infrastructure is your highest priority, these are the five best cities for gamers: Plano, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Austin, Texas, and Jersey City, New Jersey.
Plano, Texas, leads the ranks, with a median Internet speed of 225.56 Mbps for fixed broadband connections and 142.42 Mbps for mobile connections. The city has 91% fiber coverage, which ensures excellent internet quality, and the most affordable Internet connection will set you back USD 48.70 per month. Frisco, Texas, tops both the rankings for the highest percentage of households with computers, at 96.8%, and highest percentage of households with Internet access, at 99.1%.
When it comes to a gaming environment, gamers care about the best and worst cities in regards to video game conventions and meetups. They’re also interested in a young population and the availability of video game stores that have games and gaming hardware. For the gamers who have gaming environment as a main priority, the best cities are: Miami, Florida; Orlando, Florida; New York City, New York; Las Vegas, Nevada, and Houston, Texas.
If you care most about gaming conventions, there are four cities that have multiple conventions per year each: Jacksonville, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Houston, Texas; and Atlanta, Georgia. When analyzing meetups, players should check out Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco. When it comes to cities with a high population of young individuals aged 15 to 44, New York City is first with over 3.5 million. Los Angeles is a not-so-close second, with over 1.7 million.
Other elements to consider are interest in buying video game equipment and games in a store. Miami has the best GameStop presence, whereas Boston and Washington have no GameStop stores at all. Best Buy shoppers will be best off in North Las Vegas or Orlando.
College students and young gamers considering a science degree related to gaming will love Los Angeles and New York City, which have six and five university programs related to gaming, respectively.
There are also those passionate gamers thinking about starting a career in the video game industry. In this case, they will find plenty of job opportunities in cities like Los Angeles, California; San Francisco, California; New York City, New York; Austin, Texas, and Irvine, California.
Finally, regarding gaming development, San Francisco is an absolute mecca for video game companies, with 78 of them choosing to call it home. Los Angeles comes in second with 59, and New York City is third with 53.