Online gaming is on the rise. With Apple, Google and Microsoft making big moves in the segment, the popularity and reach of online gaming is expected to expand further. Most online gamers believe that having a fast, responsive internet connection is enough to play games online. Though it is crucial, there is one more thing that determines the gaming experience, and that is ping. The lower ping your device has, the better it is. So, in this article, we will discuss how to lower ping in online games.
What is ping and why it’s important?
Before we go on to detail how to lower ping in online games, it is important to understand what ping is and why it is so important. We can understand ping as the reaction time of your computer or the time it takes to fetch data from a specific server.
For instance, if your device has a ping of 95ms (milliseconds), it means this is the time your device takes to respond to a request of another computer. This other computer is usually the server hosting the game.
In other words, we can also say that ping measures the latency or the time it takes a device to send and receive data with another computer. Or, we can say it is time a computer takes to send information to another computer and also get a desired response on the same network.
Many games show the ping time of your device in comparison to other players or servers. Normally, ping does not affect the games. However, a very high ping time (above 150) is noticeable in the games where timing is crucial, such as first-person shooters or racing games.
Let’s take a simple example, suppose two players are competing in a shooter game. In the game, the player who reacts better to the action of the opponent is usually the winner. Suppose, both players shoot at each other simultaneously. In this case, the player with a better ping score has more chances of winning.
How to lower ping in online games?
Talking of how to lower ping in online games, an important thing to understand is that there is no one way to do it. Also, not all ways will help you to lower the ping. This means, it is a trial-and-error process, and you may have to try all the ways to check the ones that are helping you to lower the ping. These ways are discussed below.
First, do make sure that you close all the background applications when you connect to an online game. Too many processes may increase the memory consumption, and thus affects online gameplay.
Second, if you are using a Wi-Fi connection, then do make sure that no one else on that network is using a bandwidth-intensive app, such as Netflix. Sharing networks results in the bandwidth getting divided among all connected users, and this eventually leads to a higher ping.
Third, do make a habit of refreshing or restarting your router every day before you start to play games. Routers, when they are switched ON for a longer time, their registry tends to fill. Thus, they need to be refreshed to avoid data congestion. Also, do check for loose wires between the router and the wall box to ensure the connection is in place. If you believe that your current router is not working properly, then you may want to change it as well.
Fourth, you should also try to sit as close as you can to the router. For laptop or PC users, it is recommended that they use an Ethernet cable to connect their device directly with the router. This helps you to avoid potential issues with Wi-Fi and poor signal strength.
What’s your last option?
There is one more solution (though not ethical) and that is the use of Gaming VPN. Such VPNs helps to lower the ping by connecting to the gaming server from the closest VPN server location. Gamers nowadays also prefer using DDoS protection owing to the rising number of DDoS attacks. Every now and then we hear gamers on Twitch raising the DDoS attacks issue.
If the above mentioned steps do not help you to lower the ping, then your only option is to call your internet service provider (ISP). The ISP will be able to detect and fix the issues remotely to help you boost the speed and lower the ping. If that also doesn’t work, then it is time to change your ISP.
If you are playing a crucial online game, it is recommended that you first check the ping before connecting to the game. One reliable way to test the latency of your internet connection is to use Speedtest.net.
A ping of less than 100ms is acceptable for online games. However, if your ping is above 150ms, you will start to notice a lag in the game. Thus, gamers must ping the location where they are expected to connect, i.e., their game server. You can ping the game server manually as well after locating its IP address.