Cox launches Elite Gamer add-on for internet customers. Do you need it?

Joe Supan

Jun 23, 2020 — 5 min read

Considering adding Cox Elite Gamer to your internet service? Learn more about the $14.99 a month gaming add-on and whether you’ll benefit from it.

  • Cox claims new PC gaming add-on decreases ping, jitter and lag spikes
  • Only available to Cox Internet customers with Preferred 150 plan or above
  • Customers with Panoramic Wifi Gateway get one game connection for free
  • Non-Panoramic customers can subscribe for $6.99/mo.
  • Additional connections can be purchased for $4.99/mo. each, for a total of four

Every avid PC gamer knows that a high-speed internet connection is at the top of the list of tools you’ll need to maximize your performance — including both upload and download speed.­­­­­­­ But would you pay extra to optimize your connection for gaming without actually increasing the speed? Cox thinks so, and it’s rolling out a new add-on for all of its internet customers.

The Elite Gamer service has been in development for over a year, with Cox testing it out in select markets before its nationwide rollout to Cox customers this week. While the add-on won’t increase your internet speed, Cox says the add-on provides customers with 38% less ping, 45% less jitter and 55% less lag spikes. Let’s dig into what that actually means.

So, what is Cox Elite Gamer?

The Cox Elite Gamer service focuses on providing the best PC gaming connection possible. Once you get access, you download an app on your windows PC that uses an intelligent server network to route your computer’s server on the fastest path to a game’s server. This “shortcut” system should reduce slow game performance, also known as lag, and reduce the response rate between your device and the game, commonly called the ping rate.

Subscribers also have access to real-time performance tracking, courtesy of the PC dashboard reporting. So if your ping rate were to spike, the service would note the change in your report. One Cox Elite Gamer connection is included for free for Cox customers with a Panoramic Wifi Gateway. If you don’t have one, you can still add Elite Gamer to your service for $6.99/mo.

FAQs on Cox Elite Gamer

Can I use my Cox Elite Gamer subscription on multiple computers?

Your subscription only includes access on one PC, but you can add up to three additional active game connections for $4.99/mo. for a total of four PCs.

Will Cox prioritize my gaming traffic over others on the network?

No. Cox will not reprioritize user internet traffic. Cox Elite Gamer technology is designed to cut back on network congestion by finding the fastest route from your computer server to the game server. Network traffic on your general internet account will remain unaffected.

Do I need Cox services to get Cox Elite Gamer?

Yes. You’ll need to be a new or existing Cox customer in order to add the Elite Gamer service. Cox services like TV or home phone are not required.

Will Cox Elite Gamer increase my internet speed?

No. It does not increase internet speed. However, you could experience a lower ping rate due to a more direct pathway to your game’s server. This “shortcut” may result in a higher quality connection.

Can I uninstall Cox Elite Gamer?

Yes. You can uninstall it at any time using your Windows Control Panel. Simply, enter the Control Panel and click Uninstall a program and select Elite Gamer from the list. Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall.

Does Elite Gamer work with all PC games?

Elite Gamer works with hundreds of PC games, but there are some you won’t be able to use it with. To check if your favorite game is supported, Cox has a complete list on its Elite Gamer page.

Pros and cons of Cox Elite Gamer

The Cox Elite Gamer service is marketed to gamers that want to “become unstoppable”­ and experience “less lag and more winning.” Here’s a quick, condensed look at what you’ll really get out of the add-on, as well as some drawbacks to expect.

Is Cox Elite Gamer worth it?

It’s easy to see why the Cox Elite Gamer service would be appealing to gamers. A good internet connection is the foundation of a good gaming experience, and an add-on that promises to maximize that connection is enticing. But a closer look at the fine print of the service paints a different picture.

For starters, the Preferred 150 Cox internet plan required to install Elite Gamer is more than enough upload and download speed recommended for online gaming on most devices, but you won’t get any increase in speed with your subscription. You’ll simply have to trust that the service is finding the fastest route from your computer to the game server. Because it routes your gaming traffic more efficiently, this add-on is really best for houses that have multiple devices connected to the internet at once. If you live alone, you won’t see as much benefit.

The game you’re playing will also have to be included in the Cox Elite Gamer catalog as well, or else, you won’t play with the help of the service’s “shortcut” technology. The list of “supported games” can be altered at any time by Cox, so don’t become too attached to any game that’s currently included.

Elite Gamer won’t work with other gaming consoles or the Mac operating systems, so Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo and Apple users cannot subscribe.

Non-gamers may be wondering if this type of monthly charge for a “faster” connection is just the first sign of what’s to come since net neutrality rules were voted down by the FCC in 2017. However, Cox representatives continue to reinforce that the Elite Gamer add-on is not a “fast lane” internet service, and there will be no reprioritization of users by the provider.

Should you sign up?

The promise of less lag, a better connection and an app that lets you monitor that connection is a good selling point, but there’s no guarantee that subscribers will actually benefit from the Cox Elite Gamer service.

The required Cox Preferred 150 plan comes with more than enough speed for a gaming household, but a lesser guarantee of enough data. All Cox internet plans come with a 1 TB data limit each month. Additional data can be purchased in 50 GB blocks.

Cox won’t be increasing upload or download speeds, and they aren’t reprioritizing your gaming traffic either, so it’s hard to say whether those improvements will be worth the increase in your monthly bill. Of course, if you’re a PC gamer who already has a Cox Panoramic Wifi Gateway, you have nothing to lose by trying out the Elite Gamer service.

For more ways you can maximize your internet connection and gaming experience, read our guide on the best internet providers for gaming.

Joe Supan

Written by:

Joe Supan

Principal Writer, Broadband Content

Joe is a senior writer for CNET covering home technology and broadband. Prior to joining CNET, Joe led MYMOVE’s moving coverage and reported on broadband policy, the digital divide, and p… Read more