7 Tips to Reduce Lag when Online Gaming
Imagine that you make an intensive move to keep your integrity intact in the Battle Royal Mode of Call of Duty, but before the move can be initiated your game freezes subsequently killing your gaming morale along with your avatar. This screen freeze is on account of your network lag, which is the ultimate arch-nemesis of any avid gamer.
The amount of lag that you experience during a game is because of the latency of your internet, which is the rate at which data transfers from network to server. As such, if your internet’s latency is high, you will experience lag for a longer time.
This means that even if you press the right buttons at the right time, you might just lose if your game experiences network delays and does not register your moves in real-time. Consequently, this also means that playing games online can be essentially impossible for players with a poor internet connection. While you might not always find definitive solutions to resolve this lagging issue, here are some of the best tips to reduce lag when gaming online.
- Understand your connection type
What most people do not consider is that different internet technologies have different reactions when it comes to lag. This is the reason that professional gamers prefer fiber optic cables for online gaming. When selecting an internet plan, you must go through all the providers in your area and find out the ones that offer different connection types.
In the event that you live in an area where a fiber-optic connection is not available, you should go for the second-best option which is cable internet. Fixed wireless and DSL connections are much better than satellite internet; however, you can still experience lagging with them.
- Subscribe to the right internet plan
Most internet issues stem from the very fact that the majority of people are unaware of their requirements when it comes to bandwidth and internet speeds. The first step for a better gaming experience is to estimate and correctly evaluate your internet needs. Below is a table that holds the minimum and recommended requirements of internet speeds for online gaming:
|Upload Speed||Download Speed||Ping Rate|
|Minimum Requirement||0.5 to 1 Mbps||03 Mbps||< 150 ms|
|Recommended Requirement||5 Mbps||15 to 25 Mbps||< 50 ms|
The above table shows the internet requirements for one player and if you want to play a multiplayer game with all the players using the same connection, you would need a lot more internet speed. Moreover, the bandwidth is distributed among all the connected devices and so with multiple devices attached to your connection, each device will get a lower bandwidth. For example, if you currently have an internet plan of 100 Mbps and have 10 devices connected to it simultaneously, each device will receive bandwidth of approx. 10 Mbps only.
On this note, make sure that the internet plan that you opt for is able to resonate with your requirements. Internet providers like Grande help you in evaluating your bandwidth needs and offer a wide range of affordable internet plans for you to choose from. Once you subscribe to an appropriate internet plan, things would start turning up instantly.
- Limit the internet usage on other devices
For gamers, this is common knowledge: you need as much bandwidth as possible for a decent gaming experience. Even if idle, other devices connected to your network might be hogging your bandwidth. In other words, you will get less bandwidth for your online gaming. To counter this issue, all you need to do is limit internet usage on other devices. If you want to go extra deep in freeing up your bandwidth, you can also turn off the additional devices connected to your network. If turning off seems somewhat excessive, you can always put your devices on airplane mode. This practice can help greatly in reducing lag during your gaming session.
- Close all background apps and programs
Video streaming and heavy file-sharing applications have a great tendency to affect your latency and ping rates. When starting a new online game, you should always close all the tabs on your browser as these idle sitting tabs can also influence your gaming performance.
You should also be careful about the applications running endlessly in the background, like Skype and Windows updates. While these background apps take up less bandwidth, they can still affect your online gaming routine.
- Reposition your router
While this might come across as a surprise, your internet signals can get disrupted because of physical obstructions like walls and floors. Moreover, if there is an electronic device like a microwave nearby your router, it can also hinder the signals.
As such, it is recommended to always place your router in a central and slightly uplifted position away from electronic devices like on top of a wardrobe. On the other hand, keeping your router in a closet is far from ideal. You should also make sure that your router’s antennas are positioned perpendicularly. This would allow the signals to reach out to all the corners of your home.
To minimize lag during an online gaming session, you might also want to move closer to your router. If possible, connecting with your router through an Ethernet cable is also a better approach since wired connections are more secure and reliable.
- Upgrade your supplementary gear
If you think that only having a great internet plan guarantees a good service connection as well, then you are sadly mistaken. The truth of the matter is that even with a reliable and high-speed internet connection, you still need good supplementary equipment like a router and modem.
Furthermore, recently manufactured routers have better range and bandwidth supply systems. They can also prioritize your network bandwidth in terms of web traffic. Another thing that you should know is that single-band routers are prone to getting disturbed and so for gaming and other intense online activities, you should always use dual-band or tri-band routers.
If you have upgraded tech, make sure to update their settings as frequently as possible. You can also enable the auto-update settings of your equipment so you do not have to exercise it every time manually.
- Change your gaming settings
If nothing else works, you can always lower the graphic settings in your game. While your game might start looking more pixelated and grainier, you can always rely on this to increase the quality of your connection.
Some settings that you might want to change are:
- Lowering in-game resolution
- Switch off Anti-Aliasing (AA)
- Lowering shadow quality