How to reduce Ping - End your lag issues with these tricks!
You’ve found the enemy, you point your weapon towards his face, you pull the trigger and take the shot… and then the opponent teleports behind you to kill you. Is he hacking? Not really, it’s just a lag probably. You know, connectivity issues because you either live in a poor network region, your computer is running stuff in the back, or simply, your internet service provider is just the worst. It happens. People wonder how to reduce ping to improve the overall gaming experience. It shouldn't surprise anyone.
That’s the nature of online games. It doesn’t matter if you are a PC gamer, console gamer, or even a mobile phone gamer. Every single gamer in the world has experienced Internet connection problems at least once in our life. Internet connection issues are our worst nightmares, and sometimes it feels like there is not much that a gamer can do to improve them.
But that would not be completely true. There are a number of available ways you can try to improve your ping in any game. Some require proper PC setup or upgrade, others will ask you to download some third-party services. Try all these tips and methods, and each step before throwing in the towel; you don’t have to keep living with high latency and high ping for far long. End years of network connection issues! Fight hard for lower ping today.
What are ping, lag, and latency?
Before jumping into it all, let’s get this cleared up. We will be using these terms interchangeably, is that 100% correct? No, but we already use them like that to refer to the same things even though they share the same meaning most of the time. Ping is the signal (packets) your computer sends to another computer; your PC will navigate the internet and “ping” another PC (or server) and the destination will respond with a “ping” of its own. The time it takes for the ping to return from the server is called Latency, and you measure it in milliseconds. A high latency, or a high response time, it’s called Lag.
How much Ping is a good Ping? Anything at around 100 ping and you should be good to do most of your gaming; the lower the better of course. Again, when reaching for Ping into a game servers or vice versa, you want the shortest response time in the process. In order to lower it, you’ll need to reduce the distance/route between the computers, or increase your internet speed. Based on this, a number of solutions might be popping into your head.
For example good gaming routers will first prioritize gaming over streaming services like Netflix, if you have a roommate that just like you can’t seem to put the Internet down, you have an easy solution right there. Your location matters, but geographically and in your house; not all places in a single house have the same “signal”; and you will get better ping playing on a local game server instead of a foregin game server. Ergo, location definitely matters.
But that’s not all ways to increase your internet speed.
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Do a Speed Test
If you are playing on Wi-Fi, try to do a speed test. You’ll be checking the latency between you and your ISP (Internet Service Provider). The whole point of it is to discover your signal strength and the best place to play if you are using WiFi. Or to uncover lag spikes at different times of the day when you are playing on Ethernet. The closest you move to the source, the better quality signal you’ll get.
Try to do the test it in different rooms if you are on Wi-Fi. Do it at every hour you can see yourself playing. There will always be a difference, and if you are a quick thinker, you could probably pinpoint some of the issues after this. Maybe you are too many rooms away from the router or your roommates are pushing your bandwidth at certain hours of the day. If you think for a moment, you’ll find the issue. Just don’t jump into wild conclusions.
What action can we do now that we have considered signal strength?
Drop the Wi-Fi, play with an ethernet cable
The thing is, stop relying on wireless so often and switch to a wired connection. Your ping will improve immediately. That’s because everything will affect your Wi-Fi signal; from other devices to walls, and even other network signals. Usually, it is not a big deal when streaming a movie or watching a couple of videos, but when you are asking your connection to be stable enough to land every single headshot… Well, yeah.
A bad Wi-Fi network will increase the latency, packet loss, and flicker due to its unreliability for every TV, smartphone, or gaming device connected to it. A wired connection is helpful and might be the answer to most of your problems. That’s a fact.
Then again, an Ethernet cable might be impossible for some houses or apartments. Nobody likes a cable crossing through the whole place, and if you have pets or kids near, that’s just a recipe for disaster.
In case you own a laptop without an ethernet dock, there’s always an adapter, but that means at least investing some extra dollars. In our opinion, a good online gaming experience is worth the price.
Lower your ping with simple tricks
If you don’t want to spend money on hardware or software, or if your budget is a little tight, there are a couple of simple tricks to lower your ping without the use of an additional device.
Close background programs
For PC Gaming, closing up programs running in the background might do the trick. Sometimes, a site in your browser might cause issues, as certain pages constantly update themselves while opened. Open up the Windows Task manager menu to see which applications are opened and click them to stop them. If you are playing LoL and you have Steam running in the background, well, that’s more work for your router. Close unnecessary websites like your google email or any other web page for that matter.
Whitelist your video games
Another free and easy trick is to whitelist your games. Firewalls don’t like applications that connect to other computers; they do scan every package exchange between you and the game servers, meaning a higher Ping. Whitelisting your video games might be enough to turn a horrible horrible online gaming experience into an amazing one. We recommend you restart the PC afterward.
Remove other devices from the net
Next let's cover the most common solution: the fewer people connected means less delay causes. If you live alone, or if your roommate is a gamer, they might understand that having multiple devices at home connected to a single network might lead to high ping. Make sure to disconnect devices from the network, from smartphones to smart TVs, every helps in your quest to lower your ping. If it is impossible, try to adapt to your roommates' internet usage. Trust us, you’ll lower ping at 3 AM with almost no device connected at the cost of your precious sleeping cycle.
Optimize your online games
Now for last, try to optimize your game settings. Even if you have a high-end PC, asking the game to deliver every single input made in an extremely high frame rate with detailed shadows… might be doing you more harm than good. Making sure that a game runs on a proper frame rate without a decrease in ping will ensure your online gaming success.
That’s just some of the stuff you can do to make sure you have a noticeable lower ping and minimize your investment with your current internet connection. But if you are still having high ping issues after that, try the following steps.
Use a VPN
VPNs work. Not only will they help you protect your private information like your IP Address, but they will reduce the response time between your PC’s (or gaming consoles) ping and the game servers' ping. Basically, they’ll be able to skip or find shortcuts through mapping the set travel distance your ISP offers and finding better routes.
While there are a lot of VPNs around, some were created to improve your gaming experience. Consider ExitLag for example, with no additional device installation, it is able to map the fastest travel route of a data packet and deliver it to its intended location. ExitLag will also let you use two different internet connections at once, maximizing the use of your bandwidth. Thanks to in-house developed technologies, ExitLag is able to create many routes in case it finds a problem.
Again, ExitLag is completely dedicated to improving gaming and getting you low ping. But if you already have another VPN in check or want to try out a different VPN, you can’t go wrong with the following: NordVPN, Express VPN, or Bulldog VPN.
Most agree these are the best programs, if you have another option or notes, let us know. You’ll need to pay for all these programs, before investing on them, use the trial on the store and see if you find any specific difference when connecting before and after using them.
Buy a new router / change your data plan
If you have tried all of the above, or else don’t want to go to the trouble of trying out all these connection fix-ups. Just asks for a better data plan. Increase your bandwidth directly by contacting the ISP in your country. Make sure to select a plan that suits your needs and especially your wallet.
Some internet providers will get you a modem of their own, but it is known that you’ll be better off upgrading it on your own. You won’t go wrong with a more powerful router, including an Asus router, TP-Link Router, ZyXel router, or an Eero router.
Out of the two ways, buying a new router or changing your data plan; the second will likely bring you direct results. At the end of the day, the speed and bandwidth of your internet company make a higher impact on your in-game ping. Remember that a longer distance does matter and if you are still trying to play on another region server or can’t get close to the router or connect an ethernet cable to it, you will have the same issues in your games.
Did that solve your Connection Speed problem?
If you have used everything to solve your internet connection problem and it simply persists, it might be time to call in a technician. Bad ping is horrible, and we assure you that at least one of these similar methods will provide a solution for your high ping.
Remember that some things are just out of your control, like a server crashing down, so don’t go out of your way if that is the case. We get it, you hate high ping, but remember that true gamers don’t give up.
Got any other method that we didn’t mention? Show it to us in the comments and allow us to share it. We hope you found a suitable solution for your ping problems. See you on your way to the top, players!
How do you lower ping in online games?
Use a VPN like Exit Lag, whitelist your games from your security firewall, or simply get closer to where your router is located. There are many more methods that will lead you to lower ping and an increase in your device's connection speeds. Try using all of them and see which one goes faster for you. Or just read our guide.
Will a better PC reduce my Ping?
Yes, but it won’t be an insane increase unless you had a really slow gaming PC, to begin with. It comes down to optimization of online games and resources; it’s important to optimize your old “toaster” performance to lower your ping.
How do I improve my internet Connection?
Remove tech devices from the network traffic, check your cables for potential damage in the house or simply choose a plan with more bandwidth to your favorite Internet Provider.
Will a better router improve my bandwidth connection?
Yes. A better router will prioritize certain activities like gaming on any gaming console (like an Xbox) reducing your ping. Getting a good Powerline product or gaming router does matter, and there are routers designed for gamers.
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