How to lower ping and ultimately reduce lag in video games

a man in a red sweater with video game headphones around his neck places his hands on his head, indicating he’s experiencing lag and high ping in his video game
Written by Kyle Chivers, a NortonLifeLock employee
March 15, 2021
What is ping ? Ask any game, and they might say it ’ s the biggest bane to their gameplay. That ’ mho because when video recording games slowdown, the signs most much point to a too-high ping .
Ping is a quantify of reaction time, or how quick a signal is sent from and returned back to your computer. To put it in a gambling context, it ’ s the measure of clock a game takes to recognize your gameplay. For example, when playing Zelda, you want to know proper away if Link slayed his enemies, not wait for your computer to register if they ’ ve even crossbreed paths.

And while pro gamers are able to avoid high pings at all costs, possibly even by upgrading their equipment to the latest and greatest hardware, recreational on-line gamers by and large are left to troubleshoot their own devices. To that end, consider this your ultimate template on how to lower ping and, ultimately, reduce interim in video games .

What affects ping?

an explanation of what ping means for our devices and what ping means for gamers, including that low ping means reduced lag in video games

Internet connection speed, above all else, affects ping. And for on-line gamers, internet association travel rapidly is everything. travel rapidly can besides be affected by how much data a net is juggling and how many users are on that net at the like time .
To put ping in a non-gamer context, think of playing fetch with a pawl. The far we throw the adhere and the pugnacious the terrain the andiron has to take to get to it, the longer it will take them to bring it back. The amount of milliseconds — ping is measured in megabyte — that we ’ re twiddling our thumbs waiting for the frank to return with our thrown stand by is called latency or, in game terms, slowdown for short .
indeed, when gamers are scratching their heading asking, “ Why am I lagging ? ” The answer is often high ping. For this argue, to reduce lag, you need to reduce ping .
How to lower ping ? You can do this by improving the route your internet takes to connect to gaming servers. In other words, you can help establish a better connection between your calculator and gaming servers .

Why is my ping so high and is lower ping better?

an explanation that low ping is better than high ping and that lower ping means lower lag in video games

Lower ping is better than high ping, because abject ping means less lag. And less lag means legato gameplay. On the flip, high ping means a longer slowdown. It besides means you probably have a poor internet connection speed .
Remember, ping is how long it takes a device to “ go fetch ” datum from another server. so, the less time it takes — meaning the lower the ping — the quicker your game can be played .
There are a issue of reasons why ping can be high, many of which you can correct yourself. Some reasons your ping might be high gear include :

  • Routers and how updated they are, where they’re placed, and whether their firmware is up to date
  • Computers and whether they’re outdated,
    un-optimized for gaming, or need to be cleaned
  • Caches on your router or
    modems whether they’re full
  • The number of devices your network is
    supporting
  • A game’s settings and whether they’re
    over-optimized
  • Applications and
    programs
    running in the background on your device
  • Auto-updates that go into effect
    during your gameplay

You might besides be wondering “ Well, what is a estimable ping ? ” Realistically, anything below 100 molarity is playable, but everyday gamers could strive for a pink of 50 ms or lower. professional gamers, on the other hand, might want a ping around 20 m or lower .
You can run a ping test on most computers, though how to do then differs across manufacturers. Some on-line ping tests besides exist. To simplify, an internet focal ratio examination can besides provide context to your ping pace .
At the end of the day, if your game is performing good fine, you credibly don ’ t need to worry about your ping. But if your game is lagging, lowering ping is crucial to level up your bet on operation. It ’ s besides very accomplishable, beginning with a few trouble-shoot steps .

3 steps to improve ping and internet speed

3 troubleshooting steps to lower ping and reduce lag in video games

How can you lower ping ? It all begins with optimizing your internet connection rush, because this is what most often affects pings. american samoa tempt as it may be, you might want to wait to tinker with your game settings or gaming setups until you ’ ve taken the follow steps to improve your home ’ mho network connection. This will help you troubleshoot whether it ’ s actually your net connection that ’ s the perpetrator of your gamey ping or if it ’ s something immediately related to your gaming apparatus .

Step 1: Conduct computer maintenance

Running through a calculator maintenance checklist can go a long way in speeding up your device and how clearly it can communicate with a bet on router. even dust that ’ randomness piled up overtime can cause overheat, because our computers are not receiving proper public discussion .
Another consideration : Are your ethernet cables up to date ? Ethernet cables are available in categories ranging from 3 to 8, or Cat 3 to Cat 8. The higher the category, the better your internet bandwidth and transmission accelerate. Most households have a Cat 5 or greater ethernet cable, which suffices for bet on because it can handle internet speeds of 1,000 Mbps or higher. Outdated cables, however, might not even be able to handle speeds higher than 100 Mbps .

Step 2: Revisit your router setup

Our routers are the mainframe of our internet connectivity and they excessively deserve a little TLC. Consider the following router sustenance tips :

  • Clear your router’s cache: A full internet cache bogs down our devices. Do a hard reset on your router to clear cookies entirely and give your device a clean slate.
  • Place your router in an open space: Objects and even walls can obstruct our wireless internet connections. Evaluate whether your router is in an open space and maybe reposition it to a higher spot, because signals angle downward. Also readjust the antennas.
  • Update your router’s firmware: Think of how our devices slow down when software or security updates are necessary. The same can be true for routers, so make sure your router’s firmware is up to date. 

Step 3: Run an internet speed test

now that your devices are up to snuff, it ’ s meter to do an internet speed test to determine whether it ’ s very your internet connection that is affecting your download speed .
You can conduct an internet travel rapidly test by inputting “ internet speed test ” into Google. Click the “ run accelerate test ” button for a gauge on what your stream download accelerate is. If your speed score is broken — below 100 Mbps — this could be an indication that the internet may be the problem.
Keep in heed that internet speeds vary depending on the count of users that are on your net at the same time. For this rationality, consider doing a few internet speed tests throughout the day to determine if your bandwidth is overwhelmed. You might besides want to plug your calculator directly into an ethernet cable to see how the numbers change .

9 more tips to reduce slowdown and fix ping

9 tips to lower ping and reduce lag in video games for good

An inauspicious truth is we sometimes have to make sacrifices to improve our gameplay, including ditching Wi-Fi all in all, disconnecting other devices from your network, and even lowering the ocular quality of games .
But one thing you should never sacrifice to lower ping is your video game security — even though it can be charm, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate disable your gaming security system software or VPN to achieve a faster connection. rather, consider the following pointers to reduce ping, listed from the least to more conscientious sacrifices .

1. Close background programs and applications

There are a lot of things fighting for our calculator ’ second attention, programs, and applications running being one of them .
By force conclude these, you ’ re directing your device ’ second attention entirely toward what ’ s crucial : your game. You ’ re besides minimizing your internet bandwidth because there are less programs and applications nursing off of its connection. Some common programs to consider closing include Spotify, Zoom, Netflix, and even Twitch, if you ’ ra not live-streaming yourself .

2. Temporarily disable updates

Enabling automatic pistol updates for software and applications is a big way to stay on circus tent of your cybersecurity and ensure your devices are running optimally. still, these updates can require a batch of your calculator ’ s attention. For this cause, if you ’ re experiencing slowdown in video recording games, you might want to consider temporarily disabling your updates so that they don ’ metric ton hinder your gameplay. barely be certain to enable them once you push hesitate for the day .

3. Use an ethernet cord

Think of an ethernet cord like an IV. It ’ s providing address nourishment to your device — in the form of an internet connection — because it ’ mho plugged directly into your device. While it ’ s not the most convenient of ways to lower ping, because your ethernet cord might not be near your gaming frame-up, you can invest in a powerline adapter to connect to an ethernet cable television away from your router .
still, using an ethernet cord most often provides a more stable internet connection versus Wi-Fi, which is being tugged and pulled by many users and devices. In the event Wi-Fi is your only choice, be indisputable you ’ re on a 5GHz network versus 2.4 GHz .

4. Remove other devices from your network

barely like those programs and applications that fight for our device ’ sulfur attention, our connect devices, excessively, are competing for our Wi-Fi. And when you consider the rise of IoT, our routers have to juggle a batch. There ’ s fresh TVs, computers, cell phones, bright watches, tied our radio gaming headsets. then, multiply that by how many people live under one roof and your internet connection might merely be overwhelmed. If you ’ rhenium experiencing lag in your video game, consider disconnecting these early devices or even users from your net — looking at you, roommate who ’ s always on TikTok .

5. Check the game server’s ping

It can sometimes be the case that it ’ s not you or your internet connection ’ south fault for a high ping — it might be the server of the game you ’ rhenium play that has a first gear ping. If you know the game server ’ s IP address, you can check this or you can visit sites such as Game Server Ping that list democratic television games. If the game server ’ sulfur pink is high, that could be a authorize indication of why your ping is besides high while gaming .

6. Select a gamer server closest to you

Another thing to consider is how close a game server is to your device, physically. The far apart you are, the longer it takes for the two to communicate, so the higher your ping will be. Just remember of how fast you can communicate with person sitting beside you versus person in another area. good newsworthiness is some games allow you to choose which game servers your device communicates with. If this is the case for your plot, constantly pick the game waiter closest to your physical location .

7. Adjust your frame rate

Nowadays, gaming visuals are absolute impressive. But the better the visuals — consider HD quality versus standard — the more energy it takes for your device to compute them. If you ’ re experiencing high ping, you may need to optimize your game ’ second settings, beginning with your inning rate. Worth noting is the higher your frame rate, the better timbre your crippled ’ south animation will be. In your game ’ randomness settings panel, try lowering the frame rate on your game and see if it improves your gameplay .

8. Upgrade your router

The fact is equipment deteriorates over prison term, including the router that supports our internet association and, in turn, affects stave in video games. Consider how old your router is and besides consider upgrading it if the rest of these troubleshooting steps and tips seaport ’ triiodothyronine been a success .
A newer device should give you the latest and greatest range and strongest signal for your radio connection. Avid gamers might even want to consider springing for a gambling router that, as the name alludes, is optimized for bet on. Some include a Quality of Service feature that means the router will prioritize gaming traffic above other internet traffic .

9. Contact your internet service provider

If you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate seem to find a solution for the imprison in your television game, it might be time to call in the professionals. Contact your internet service supplier for advance troubleshooting tips to lower your ping and, ultimately, reduce imprison in video recording games .

The bottom line: Lowering ping improves your online gaming performance

While people turn to video games for different reasons, with some considering gaming a human body of relaxation and others determined to beat their competition, no game wants to experience lag — and every game wants to reduce lag. Thankfully, fair maintaining your devices can make a big difference in your bet on feel. so, go forth, lower your ping, and higher those leaderboard rankings !

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