Dissecting the protocol and network traffic of the OnLive cloud gaming platform Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2014

start page

  • 451

end page

  • 470


  • 5


  • 20

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0942-4962

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-1882


  • Cloud gaming is a new paradigm that is envisaged to play a pivotal role in the video game industry in forthcoming years. Cloud gaming, or gaming on demand, is a type of online gaming that allows on-demand streaming of game content onto non-specialised devices (e.g. PC, smart TV, etc.). This approach requires no downloads or game installation because the actual game is executed on the game company's server and is streamed directly to the client. Nonetheless, this revolutionary approach significantly affects the network load generated by online games. As cloud gaming presents new challenges for both network engineers and the research community, both groups need to be fully conversant with these new cloud gaming platforms. The purpose of this paper is to investigate OnLive, one of the most popular cloud gaming platforms. Our key contributions are: (a) a review of the state-of-the-art of cloud gaming; (b) reverse engineering of the OnLive protocol; and (c) a synthetic traffic model for OnLive.


  • cloud gaming; online games; onlive; protocol; reverse engineering; traffic modelling; games; performance; internet; models