There is no shortage of factors to consider when looking at cities in which you could potentially live. If you’re a gamer, in addition to all the other factors, you are probably considering what the best cities for gamers are in the U.S.? Which gaming cities have the best internet infrastructure? Where is it easiest to buy physical games?
Even though most cities have a solid selection of reliable and fast internet service providers, not all of them have plenty of video game stores, gaming conventions or even small-scale organized meetups. Last but not least, if you’re a student, you may be considering video game college programs or a career in game development.
The PrivacyJournal team did the research, and after looking at the 100 most populated cities in the United States, we came up with a list of the best cities for gamers, ranking them overall and in several categories. Overall there were 17 factors considered, such as internet quality, availability of video game stores, gaming environment and culture, and study and career opportunities.
7 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 forblazing-fast mobileinternet 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 US Gaming Cities: Overall Rank List
|Overall Rank||City||Overall Score||Livability||Internet structure||Gaming Community & Retail Access||Gaming Career & Education|
|1||New York City, NY||55.1||45||30||3||3|
|4||Los Angeles, CA||49.0||80||65||8||1|
|13||Las Vegas, NV||45.0||31||51||4||74|
|15||Jersey City, NJ||44.1||1||5||88||14|
|16||San Antonio, TX||43.8||82||14||20||16|
|18||San Francisco, CA||42.8||97||38||28||2|
|20||North Las Vegas, NV||41.9||48||36||13||57|
|22||Virginia Beach, VA||41.2||6||12||39||86|
|25||San Diego, CA||40.1||35||44||19||47|
|31||Kansas City, KS||38.9||65||3||73||79|
|39||Fort Wayne, IN||38.2||24||26||50||64|
|42||San Jose, CA||37.6||55||43||30||51|
|43||Oklahoma City, OK||37.5||69||32||32||59|
|45||Santa Ana, CA||37.1||78||23||96||8|
|49||Colorado Springs, CO||36.7||53||34||42||65|
|55||Fort Worth, TX||35.7||39||40||46||82|
|59||Long Beach, CA||35.4||86||21||93||30|
|66||Corpus Christi, TX||34.2||61||58||55||67|
|67||Chula Vista, CA||34.1||74||49||75||56|
|72||San Bernardino, CA||33.5||79||54||66||63|
|75||El Paso, TX||32.9||15||77||62||95|
|84||Port St. Lucie, FL||31.5||20||63||94||87|
|85||St. Petersburg, FL||31.4||63||61||91||78|
|87||St. Louis, MO||31.4||100||86||25||24|
|90||St. Paul, MN||30.5||83||39||99||77|
|95||New Orleans, LA||27.5||66||95||67||55|
- 1 = Best
- Livability: Cost of living + safety + average salary
- Internet Infrastructure: Mobile internet speed + fixed broadband internet speed + fiber Coverage + cost of internet + number and percentage of households with internet access + number and percentage of households with computers
- Gaming Community & Retail Access: GameStop Store (per 100K residents) + Best Buy stores (pre 100K residents) + video game convention + video game meetups + ages of 15 to 44
- Gaming Career and Education: Video game job openings (per 100K residents) + university programs related to gaming + number of video-game companies
When researching our data for the list and rankings, we made some interesting observations. For example, even though New York City has a rather high cost of living, the solid internet infrastructure and excellent gaming community make it home to hundreds of game development studios, including Take-Two Interactive, WB Games and Avalanche Studios.
Miami is home to plenty of GameStop stores and has a fair few Best Buy locations. This, and the fact that it’s home to plenty of conventions, such as OtakuFest, and Florida Supercon, ranked it fairly high in the gaming community category. Unfortunately, the high cost of living and atrocious internet infrastructure tanked its ratings.
Last, but not least, there is Los Angeles. Despite the city’s bad livability ratings and mediocre-at-best internet infrastructure, it’s home to prestigious universities such as the University of Southern California and UCLA, both of which have plenty of educational opportunities for prospective computer science students. For that reason, the city ranks high on our list.