As you are about to make that killer headshot on your last opponent, your game freezes. Split seconds later, you’ve been shot, and the lights are getting dim; I can imagine how pissed you will be.
At such moments it will take more than self-control to stop you from entering into the game.
We’ve all been there once or twice. Although we can’t guarantee 100% that our games will never lag, we can still profer some solutions that will drastically reduce this menace from occurring.
Before we give out solutions, let’s define some terms.
What is Game Lag?
From our little example above, we can divulge that Game lag is the delay between the gamer’s command or action and the server’s reaction or response due to the presence of high latency.
Our example further showed that your computer’s high-grade features are not enough to stop you from experiencing game lagging. It is often a network issue.
However, other factors around you may be in play, as you will see below. Aside from experiencing lagging while gaming, there are different ways to confirm that there’s a lag of some sort; they are;
When the download or upload speed of files seems to decrease.
Your browser window takes time to open, or it starts sending error messages.
Programs that require an internet connection take time to load.
When there’s a flicker or stutter of your Game or application’s graphics and a frame rate drops.
When you encounter any of these, I’ll suggest you take cover with your gaming character then check to be sure the lag isn’t severe so you may not experience the lag in a critical gaming stage.
Keep reading to find out how to fix the lag.
What is Latency?
In the course of me defining Game Lag, I made mention of Latency. Most of us believe all you need to enjoy a seamless online game experience is bandwidth. Yes, we need adequate bandwidth, but latency plays a significant role.
Latency is the time interval the traffic from your system takes before getting to the gaming server and back again. If your game needs a quick response from the server, you need a good latency for gaming.
What is Ping?
Another term that comes into play while playing an online game is “Ping”. As opposed to popular belief, Ping and Latency aren’t the same things. Ping is a test your network carries out periodically to measure latency.
It does this by sending a ping message to the gaming server then measures how long it takes for the message to reach and return. The lower the ping, the better.
In this article, too, you will see how to lower ping.
Different Ways to Improve Internet Speed
In this section, we have documented thirteen different ways to improve internet speed for Gaming. Before you try every solution here, you should start seeing positive results.
First, we need to check our internet speed. The whole lagging menace is in conjunction with our internet speed, so we need to check how fast we are going. You don’t need up to 900Mbps to enjoy a seamless game; anything between 15 – 20 Mbps is more than enough.
If you’ve been enjoying a fantastic game time, and you suddenly start experiencing this lagging, you should check your bandwidth. Assuming someone suddenly joins you on your network and starts doing an internet-based intensive activity like video chatting, downloading large files, or streaming movies. In that case, there’s a chance you’ll experience an internet lag.
Suppose you are wondering how to make your internet faster for gaming. It would be best if you considered purchasing internet plans or packages that offer more incredible speed and enough bandwidth to carry your household.
2. Check your signal strength
This solution is almost similar to the one above and is a peculiar solution to Wi-Fi connections. So, to improve your Wi-Fi for gaming, I’ll suggest you visit a site like speedtest.net or download an app like NetSpot to find out the best position in your house to receive the best Wi-Fi signal.
3. Restart Your Modem and Router
We often don’t have to go too far; just a simple restart can solve things. Locate and use the restart button for both your modem and router and you are good to go. After doing this, check to see if the lagging occurs or use the internet speed tool I mentioned above. This almost always fixes the latency issue.
4. Switch to a Wired Connection
Most gamers can attest to the motion that it is a cardinal sin to play online games on a wireless connection. These connections may seem reliable at first, but you discover that they aren’t stable along the line. When it comes to online games, connection stability is something integral. So, to improve internet speed for gaming, you should consider switching to a wired connection.
With the right Ethernet cable, your speed and connection should be stable, and they are seldom any connectivity disruptions. It would be best if you tried a hard-wired connection to avoid the problem faced in wireless dead spots of your home.
5. Improve your line connectivity
If you connect to the internet using fiber, do the following things below to help boost your connectivity.
Try reducing noise from other devices. You can do this by moving your gadgets away from your modem, appliances like your mobile charger, microwaves, Bluetooth speakers, etc.
It would be best to consider using microfilters on the line that connects the wall Jack to your modem and system.
Suppose you use an old router or/and cable modem. In that case, you should consider replacing them as there’s a possibility they can’t handle the latest or modern web traffic.
Let your modem be plugged into a wall Jack that is closest to your system.
Another thing is, keep a close eye on the ADSL light on your modem. If the light occasionally blinks, this may be an indication that your ADSL configuration is unstable. In this case, you should reach out to your ISP.
6. Boost your Wi-Fi signal
A weak Wi-Fi signal and a Wi-Fi signal that doesn’t have a broad enough reach are different. If you keep experiencing this internet lag, another cool way to improve Wi-Fi for gaming is to consider boosting the weak Wi-Fi signal. Below are things to consider.
Consider moving from the basic 2.4GHz band to the 5GHZ band; this is the speed at its peak.
It would be best if you considered upgrading your router to the latest model.
If your router has antennas, reposition them and check if the lag persists.
Check your Wi-Fi management platform for tips and tricks.
7. Reduce Background Apps
Some background apps/software on your system might be sharing your bandwidth with your game. It would be best if you quit these apps to get the best results. This is advisable, especially when using a router that is specifically designed for online gaming.
For Windows PC, press the Ctrl + Alt + Del shortcut keys, then select the list’s Task Manager option.
For MacBooks, open the Activity Monitor by pressing Command + Spacebar keys to open Spotlight, then start typing Activity Monitor and select the app when it shows.
When in the Activity Monitor or Task Manager, locate all the running programs in the background and are likely sharing the bandwidth with your game, then quit them.
8. Get a Wi-Fi extender
This is almost similar to boosting your Wi-Fi, only that you’ll be using a tool for this. What you’ll be doing here is getting a Wi-Fi extender. If your gaming setup is far from your router, this solution will help. What Wi-Fi extenders do is pick-up your Wi-Fi signal and broadcast it again, increasing the Wi-Fi’s range.
They aren’t expensive. When you get a Wi-Fi extender, you’ll now be connecting to it and not your router.
It is quite common to have satellite connections in remote areas. As this may be suitable for basic uses, it isn’t advisable to play online games with it. They are big culprits that increase latency and ping rate. Weather conditions quickly affect satellite connections. This often causes a spike in latency.
Aside from the weather, the positioning of the dish could affect your connection. So if it’s possible, switch to Ethernet or good Wi-Fi. If you can’t, try positioning the dish at an optimal position as advised by its manufacturers. I’ll suggest you avoid playing critical missions when the weather is bad if you use this type of connection.
10. Reduce The Space Between Your Gaming System & Router
The distance between your gaming setup and your router could cause high latency. If you don’t have a Wi-Fi extender, you should try reducing the space between both. Also, the floor, walls, furniture, and many other physical objects can affect your wireless connection.
11. Play via Local Servers
I am always under the urge to challenge people from different nationalities. I usually get that ego boost when I win someone away from another country, and I believe you can relate to this.
As cool as this may be, we need a good internet connection to enjoy this since we are gaming from servers miles away. Besides that, international servers are often overloaded, which may cause lag, especially at critical parts of the game.
Although this isn’t entirely your fault, it’s best you play on your local servers. If you were looking for how to reduce ping, then stick to your local servers because the closer a server is to you, the better the connection or the ping.
12. Use a Shorter Ethernet Cable or Power Line Adapters
Yes, using a wired connection for online gaming is preferable to a wireless connection; nevertheless, there are things you should consider. It is best you use a shorter Ethernet cable because;
The shorter the cable, the faster the connection.
It is somewhat awkward to be using a cable connected from one corner of your house to a different corner.
However, the cable length doesn’t cause a dramatic issue; it is still, in fact, way better than gaming over a wireless connection.
If connecting to your Ethernet via a shorter cable won’t be possible, you can get a powerline adapter. It is quite annoying hiding long cables or having a long cable lying around your house; the powerline adapter should get on board.
What they do is they make use of the existing electrical wiring in your home as a means to move internet signal. Once you get these fantastic items, connect the Ethernet cable from your router to the adapter, then plug it into the nearest wall socket.
Next, plug the second power line adapter into any outlet close to your gaming setup and connect the other Ethernet cable from the adapter to your computer.
The internet connection will flow through your house’s electric circuit. No doubt, this is way better than a wireless connection. An Ethernet cable is still the best as it was made for the internet. Your house’s power line was created to conduct electricity.
13. Disable Automatic Updates and Firewall
Generally, automatic updates are fantastic, but most of them involve downloading large files. These large files consume a tremendous amount of bandwidth. So, while gaming, you should turn off all automatic updates. You can set a reminder to turn them on later.
Also, consider disabling your firewall temporarily or whitelist your game by instructing the firewall to bypass the game during scanning.
In this section, we answered a few frequently asked questions.
How to Improve ping on Xbox?
Here, you will see how to decrease ping on your Xbox. Although solutions are in the section above to save you the stress of searching for them, I have briefly summarized it here with a few more tips. If, for any reason, you feel the ping rate on your Xbox has increased, keep reading to find out what to do.
First, you should test your ping rate by visiting this site. To do this, you have to reboot all your hardware, then connect your Ethernet or Wi-Fi to your laptop, and run the test. From this, you’ll have an idea of what consumes your internet speed.
The distance from your gaming system to your servers could lead to a higher ping rate. So, if your gaming servers are located continents away from you or the route your signal takes to reach the server is not straightforward. You can bet on your ping rate increasing. We seldom have power over this, but if the game allows you to pick a server, you should choose one closest to you. An overcrowded server could cause a high ping rate.
They are routers explicitly built for gaming; if you can get one, that will be awesome. What these routers do is, prioritize your gaming over your sister’s Netflix account or your brother’s video call.
Most of them claim they’ll direct your game signal through routes that will give the best results; however, before you go shopping for new routers, be sure the gadgets others use in your household are the cause.
Don’t forget that it’s a cardinal sin to use a wireless connection with an online game – if you can avoid one, that will be great. Also, turn off background apps and ensure your connections are well configured.
How To Improve Internet Speed for Gaming?
To enhance your internet for gaming, you should consider using an internet connection that puts gaming activities above every other action like Netflix streaming, video chatting, etc.
If possible, you should avoid wireless connections and stick to an excellent short wired Ethernet. However, if you use a Wi-Fi connection, ensure the space between you and the router isn’t too large; if possible, get a Wi-Fi extender. Try to temporarily disable all automatic updates and switch off your firewall or bypass your game during a periodic scan.
Why is My Latency So High?
So many factors come into play that could cause high latency. Your broadband connection is a major player here, alongside the network hardware and the distance between your gaming setup and your router. Aside from these three, if your game’s server is far from your location, your latency will likely increase.
Other factors, including your Firewall, its constant background scanning, could cause high latency. Also, if other users share your connection, especially with network-intensive services like streaming videos, downloading large files, video chatting, and much more, you could experience high latency.
Does Fast Internet Reduce lag?
Yes, it does. It doesn’t matter how equipped your laptop is to run resources intensive games; if you have a slow internet connection, you will likely experience an internet lag. In reality, you don’t need a business like fast internet; you don’t have to go for a 940Mbps internet source, so many games will play perfectly well with a 15 – 25 Mbps internet speed.
Since internet speed affects both latency and ping rate, be aware that a ping rate of 20ms or less is the best optimal value for your gaming experience. If you have a 20ms (or less) ping rate and you experience any lagging after carrying out your ping test, then your network is likely not the culprit. 20ms – 50ms is considered okay too; it is the most popular range most gamers use.
50ms – 100ms is considered average, and you might experience lagging in this range. 100Ms to 300Ms is quite poor, although you will play games at this ping rate but expect to curse your network a lot. At this rate, you’ll experience fast internet but slow gaming as you can use this ping rate for other internet activities but not gaming.
Over 300ms is highly unsuitable for online gaming.
5. Why is my internet slow when gaming?
So many factors could contribute to a slow gaming experience, as we listed above. But the most common are these.
– You are using an incompatible gaming device. They are specific devices that are compatible with some high-end games, and if you experience constant lag, this is why. – An overloaded server is another major culprit for a slow gaming experience. – Finally, a slow internet connection. This is the most common cause.
The reason your internet connection is likely the cause is, before choosing a game, you will probably have checked to see if your system meets the requirements, so this isn’t often a case, but it could be.
PlayStation, Steam, Origin, and many other popular gaming platforms make gaming servers big enough to deal with many gamers, so this is a rare cause.
Internet connections are often the #1 culprit. From when you start playing the game till you shut down, your game keeps exchanging data packets with the servers, so the slightest alteration with your network could make your game lag. Other factors in this category are wireless connection and outdated internet devices; they could also contribute to a slow internet connection.
We can agree on one thing; nobody loves a slow game or whenever there’s a game lag. Although we can’t guarantee a seamless gaming experience, they are so many things you can do to help reduce high latency and constant game lagging. In this article, we have stipulated 13 ways to improve internet speed for gaming. We also answered frequently asked questions related to internet speed and game lag.
If you think we have missed out anything that you think can improve the internet speed or reduce the lag, do let us know.