How to reduce lag in online games
If you’re playing games online via a console or laptop connected to the internet, you could try…
1. Closing down competing applications
Even if you have ultrafast internet speeds, you still may notice lag if you’ve got lots of devices and lots of applications all competing for bandwidth. For example, if you’re trying to play World of Warcraft while someone else in your home is trying to stream the latest blockbuster on Netflix, neither of you is going to get the best speeds. Try closing down any high-bandwidth activities like streaming services before playing, ensuring as much bandwidth as possible is available for gaming.
2. Moving closer to the router
The further away you get from your router, the more your WiFi signal suffers. And if there are walls, doors, or furniture between your console and your router, it can be even worse. Online experiences are typically best when your WiFi signal strength is 60dBm . However, for gaming, it’s even better between 30dBm and 60dBm (when it comes to signal strength, the closer to ‘0’ the better). Moving to a part of your home where the WiFi signal is stronger could be the solution you’re looking for.
3. Upgrading your router
How old is your broadband router? Something that many people don’t realise is that routers don’t last forever. As WiFi protocols evolve in line with advances in digital technology, older routers become less capable of delivering high speeds, good signal strength, and consistent reliability across your home. Fixing your lag problems while gaming could be as simple as upgrading to a new router. The latest routers are powered by WiFi 6 technology which offers optimal performance for gaming enthusiasts.
4. Playing on a local server
In some games, the player is given the option to choose the server that they want to connect to. To reduce the risk of experiencing lag during gameplay, it’s often recommended to select the server closest to your location. This means that the data has less distance to travel, resulting in lower latency, a lower ping, and subsequently improved gameplay. However, if you want to play with specific players, remember that you may not always be able to choose the nearest server.
5. Keeping your home network secure
Although it’s unlikely, if you’re experiencing lag while gaming it’s important to rule out the possibility that unauthorised users are logged into your WiFi, sharing your bandwidth. This can happen if you haven’t properly secured your home network. For example, you may have used weak passwords, or shared these passwords openly, resulting in them getting into the wrong hands. You can enhance WiFi security by using strong passwords, and tracking the devices connected to your network.
Don’t let lag spoil your gaming experience
Lag is every gamer’s worst nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be. Lag is frustrating, but it’s not something you have to sit back and accept. There are many different ways to reduce lag, and the easiest way is simply to ensure your PC or console is able to run as quickly and smoothly as possible.
There are two great ways to do this: eradicating things that are slowing your devices down, like background applications, and ensuring your internet speeds are the best they can be and consider options such as gaming broadband.
Article Updated: 20th February 2023