How to reduce lag when gaming

Whether you’re mastering Minecraft or conquering Call of Duty, lag can ruin your game at the crucial moment. Find out how to reduce lag so you can enjoy great gaming.

What is lag and how do you identify it?

Lag. Three letters that strike fear (and frustration) into the heart of every gamer. But what is lag and how do you spot it when online gaming?

Ever pressed a button on your controller, then experienced an irritating delay before the game responded? That’s lag. Its tell-tale signs (delays, decreased speed) are not just frustrating, the freezing and stuttering caused by lag can affect a player’s performance. In some cases it can even crash the game entirely.

Lag is usually a sign that you’re suffering from high latency and/or high ping issues. Let's look at how to improve latency and reduce lag in PC games.

What is the difference between lag, latency and ping?

Lag. Latency. Ping. They’re all linked but how? In short, high latency leads to a high ping rate which can mean you experience lag. Let’s look at each one in a bit more detail.

How to improve latency and lag

Most people think bandwidth is what makes or breaks a great online gaming experience. But there’s far more to it. Good latency is crucial for gaming. So by addressing that, you’re likely to improve any problems you may have with lag.

Try our top tips for improving latency, reducing lag and ensuring an altogether smoother experience while gaming on your PC. There’s only one problem – if you lose, you can’t blame it on a poor internet connection anymore!

How to reduce lag in PC games

Imagine you’ve been gaming for hours, working your way up the rankings in a Twitch tournament. You take your winning shot but nothing happens on the screen. There’s a lag. It's only a slight delay (feels like eternity), but your opponent takes advantage and it is ‘game over’ for you. No gamer wants that.

There are a number of different recommendations out there on how to reduce lag in PC games. The big question is: which one will solve your poor performance issues? While there’s no one size fits all answer, the following tips should help you get the best performance from you tech so you can play at the top of your game.

  1. Make sure your PC or gaming console meets the minimum requirements recommended by the game. For example, download the latest version of the web browser you’re using and check your graphics card meets the system requirements.
  1. If you’ve ruled out any issues with your PC or games console, your internet connection might be at the root of the problem. Use an online checker to test your download and upload speeds. If these seem fine, check the signal strength in the room you’re gaming in and consider moving closer to your router if needed.
  1. Often the best option for improving latency and reducing that high ping rate is to consider at updating your broadband package. Keen gamers should look for an internet service provider that can deliver decent bandwidth and superfast speeds – just like Virgin Media. Check out our broadband deals that are perfect for gamers.

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