How to Lower Your Ping During Online Games
Online games have been on the rise for the last few years, with millions of people playing titles like PUBG, Fortnite, and Overwatch every day.
These games are different from traditional single-player games in many aspects, but probably the biggest among all is their reliance on a solid internet connection.
No matter how powerful the CPU and graphics card you have in your PC, there will be lags if you have high ping and latency.
For those who don't know, lag is the time duration between a player's actions in a game and the reaction of the game server based on those actions.
The signal your computer sends to the game server for communication is called ping, and the time it takes for your PC to send a ping to the game server and receive it back is called latency. This round-trip is calculated in milliseconds.
Although ping and latency are different terms, most people use them interchangeably. And for the sake of simplicity, we'll do the same here.
Although ping requirements vary from one game to another, most of them are unplayable beyond the 200ms mark. The 100-200ms is what's considered poor ping. You'll be able to compete with this ping, but there will be frequent lagging.
The 50-100ms ping is acceptable, but only for RTS and MMO games. For fast-paced FPS titles, you should aim for the 20-50ms ping.
8 Ways to Lower Your Ping During Online Gaming
In case you're experiencing high ping, below are some of the ways you can improve it.
1. Reboot Your PC
The first thing you should try is restarting your computer. You'll be surprised to know that many programs occupy tiny space in the RAM even after they've been closed. These small memory leaks can accumulate over time, causing your PC to slow down after continuous usage and subsequently increasing your latency.
To avoid this situation, you should restart your PC at least once a day as it will clear your system cache and flush the RAM.
2. Close background programs
There are a lot of background programs running on your PC at any time. You won't necessarily notice, but many of them eat your internet bandwidth in small chunks continuously.
Therefore, you should force-close apps like Skype and Google Chrome using Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) before playing any online game.
3. Temporarily Disable Windows Updates
Enabling Auto-Updates for Windows OS is a good step in improving your PC's security as you get updates and patches as soon as possible. But these updates can also consume a lot of your internet bandwidth, causing your game to lag.
That's why you should temporarily disable Windows and other software updates when starting a gaming session.
4. Change Router Settings
WiFi is the preferred internet connection type these days because of its convenience. But it also comes with many downsides such as signal interference, dependency on router's range, and security risks.
The WiFi router's range is crucial because the farther you move away from it, the lesser internet speed (and subsequently high ping) you get. To avoid this, you should place the router in a central location of your house.
In case you're using a single-band 2.4GHz router, make sure to change your WiFi channel as your WiFi signals can get interference from other routers in your area. Ideally, you should select any one among channels 1, 6, and 11, as these are only non-overlapping WiFi channels on the 2.4GHz band.
If you use a dual-band or tri-band router, you can switch to 5GHz, which is much less cluttered and provides faster data transfer.
Some other things you can try are removing less important devices from your WiFi network, restarting your router, and using QoS to prioritize gaming traffic in your network (only available in high-end routers).
5. Switch to Ethernet connection
If you've tried the above settings to your router and are still experiencing high latency, you can try using an ethernet connection. These connections provide faster data transfer than WiFi internet, have no risk of signal interference, and are also more reliable.
You can also try a hybrid solution where your PC/console is connected directly to the router through an ethernet cable. And your other devices, such as smartphones/tablets, are using the WiFi connection.
6. Change your game server
The physical distance between your computer/console and the game server also plays a huge role in deciding how high/low latency you'll get. For example, if a game server is in the US, then a US-based player will have lower latency than a SEA-based player.
Therefore, you should switch over to a server that's closer to your location physically to improve the ping.
7. Adjust your in-game settings
Many times your frame-rate can drop due to non-optimized in-game settings. Features like Ray-Tracing, Motion Blur, and Anti-Aliasing can make the in-game graphics even more stunning but will also put a heavy load on your graphics card and processor.
That's why you should tone down these settings a little and then retry playing your game.
8. Upgrade your internet connection
If you have tried all the above tweaks and still experience unusually high ping, then it's your ISP's fault. Try contacting your ISP regarding this issue and ask them whether it can be solved by upgrading your internet speed.
This guest article was written by PCBuilderz.com.