What’s a good ping for gaming?
The lower your ping, the faster your connection and the more competitively you can play. That’s the general rule. But let’s see what you should really aim to have for your style of gaming…
For competitive gamers in battles and tournaments, the slightest mistake could be game over for you and your teammates. You’ll want the lowest possible ping, so you’re not dropping points or shots because of lag or glitches.
If your idea of fun is streaming your gameplay to Twitch, aim for a ping as quick as this. You’ll enjoy crisp visuals and quick, instant actions, no lag or choppiness.
Try to get below 40ms for ultra-competitive Apex Legends. But for almost all first person shooter and racing games, under 50ms would be ideal, whether you’re switching weapons on Fortnite or playing Valorant.
Connecting to international servers? You’d expect this range and the occasional lag, depending on your game and settings. A 100ms or lower ping can be tolerable. But when you’re lagging 80ms, you’ll lose the sense that you’re playing in real time. For looting and driving on PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG), you’ll want 60ms or lower.
Long delays are almost guaranteed in this range. In fact, some online games reject your connection when you’re at 170ms or more. Massively multiplayer online games are playable with a high ping, but still, you’ll want to stay below 250ms. Under 150ms for your real time player vs player or strategy games.
How to test your ping
So, how good is yours right now? And how much room do you have for improvement? Let’s find out. There’s two ways you can do this…
Check your ping in your game
For an accurate measure of your network performance, specific to the game and server you’re playing on, go to your game settings and find something like ‘Display performance stats’ or ‘Display network options.’ Most games, especially first person shooters, let you check your ping and some even colour code your connection, green being ideal. Yellow, average. Red, tragic.
Use an online ping test tool
Take your pick of the online tools and run a few tests at different times and in different rooms. SpeedTest.net is one of the most popular for gamers. Or there’s SpeedSmart to measure the ping to servers all over the world and SpeedOf.me which includes a latency measurement.
For your first test, connect your computer or games console to your Hub with an Ethernet cable and measure your ping. Afterwards, unplug your cable and retake the test around your home to see how the numbers change. This will help you get a sense of your average ping, while showing you where your gaming set up could get the fastest connection. Ping in milliseconds also appears on our broadband speed test.
What impacts your ping?
Unhappy with your test result? Perhaps your ping is higher than you’d like for one of these reasons…
When your broadband is busy with a lot of devices or windows, your gaming can lag. Whether you’re in a shared home with Netflix streaming in the next room or a smart home on your own, having too much connected at the same time, competing for bandwidth, will slow down your gaming. You’ll probably notice your commands taking longer to play out on screen, especially if your home broadband isn’t at least as fast as our M100 speed.
If your internet isn’t the fastest, you might have to schedule some one-on-one time with your Hub or wait for the house to go to bed before you challenge your mates to a rematch or start winning, level after level, on a lower ping. Wait, better still – you could switch off as many devices as you can while you’re playing or pop them in aeroplane mode. And remember that closing the programs and websites you have running in the background will also free up memory and bandwidth for your game.
The further away your gaming set up is, the more you could be adding to your lag time as the data’s journey, from the gaming server to your device, is that bit more complicated. If your computer or games console really can’t be in the same room as your Hub, is it as close as it can be?
Alternatively, your ping could be high because your broadband provider is having problems with their network in your area or your device is disconnecting and reconnecting to the internet for another reason. When this happens, the gaming server won’t get the information sent by your computer or console, which could feel like a high ping.
Meanwhile, have you considered that maybe a virus or worm has infected your device and that’s what’s slowing down your game? Perhaps your antivirus software or firewall? It’s worth a check. Perhaps your ping isn’t to blame for your frustrating gaming experience after all.
A gamer 10 miles from the server will have a better ping rate than you if you’re 100 miles away. So for a lower ping rate, always choose the closest to you.