One of the main killers of online gaming is lag. You’re all doing great, beating the current high score and your opponents, and the game is running smoothly when all of a sudden your character stops responding, your shots are missing, and you end up losing a match because of the lag.

You may be frustrated about how you need to purchase a more reliable Internet connection, but that may not be true all the time. Below are some significant ways to determine if your connection is solid enough to play online and what you can do to improve things regardless if you’re playing on a PC or your phone.

The Importance of Ping

Most online games do not need more than one megabyte per second, and three will suffice for anything on the higher end. Instead, gamers need to check their ping. Ping measures how quickly your computer can respond to data requests through the Internet. If you have a very high ping of 1000 ms (milliseconds), it means you are essentially playing a full second behind what everyone is doing. That spells catastrophic if you’re playing games like Counter-strike or Call of Duty.

In addition, servers will often boot people whose ping passes a certain threshold. While that threshold varies from server to server, 100 ms is a common number. If you have a high ping, then playing online games will be difficult regardless of what your download or upload speeds are.

Finding out your Ping levels

 

It doesn’t require any Internet subscription plan in order to find ping numbers, which means you need to find it yourself. The easiest way to go is to just use Speedtest.net. Click the Test button, let it run, and then see what your ping is. A ping below 20 ms is ideal, while above 100 ms indicates that you need to change things to properly game online.

If you want to test your computer’s connectivity while playing a game, a lot of games, specifically first-person shooters, will show you your ping while you are playing. Even if it does not, the presence of overwhelming lag almost always indicates that your ping is too high to play that game, especially if you can play the game just fine offline. If you’re still having problems with its connection even when offline, then it could mean that your computer does not meet its system requirements to play the game.

Fixing Online Connectivity

 

If you have confirmed that your ping results is too high, how do you resolve it? There are several things you can do for both your computer and phone. The first thing you can do is to remove other programs or factors, which may be burdening either your device or Internet connection in addition to the game. If you’re using a computer, close down any unnecessary background processes such as Internet browsers and torrent or streaming software. For a smartphone, close down any background apps that may be running. And if you’re living with someone else, their Internet usage can cut the bandwidth and degrade your ability to run online games. If several people are streaming or playing online games at the same time, the result can be that no one is actually having a good time playing them.

If cutting these programs did not resolve the issue, you may have to consider cutting down on what the game is demanding for your computer. Lowering the visual settings means that your computer is sending less information to a server, which should reduce the amount of time it needs to get back data.

The second step is to take a look at your wireless router. As a general rule, avoid surrounding your router with metal objects, as well as from concrete or brick walls, that can interfere with the signal. Also, try placing your gaming device near the router or within a direct line of sight in order to get a better and more stable signal. If possible, it would be better if you can connect your PC directly to your router using an Ethernet cable to overrule any wireless interference.

 

If these options still don’t work for you, then you can look at other programs, both for your phone and computer, which can give a boost. Some examples of such programs are LagFix for Android and GameBooster. However, take note that programs like these should only be used as a last resort. One disadvantage is that such programs can boost your computer past its limits, which can have bad long-term results. But the bigger issue is that there are lots of existing programs that promise to boost your computer but really plant malware. And it can be a tricky business to determine which programs are legit and which are not.

Lag is definitely a killer and an ancient enemy for online gamers, and it can be a frustrating case to buy a new online game only to find out that you’re unable to play it properly because of the high ping. With the options mentioned above as a workaround, you’ll have a better chance of getting to play the game without lag and have a better gaming experience.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 6:28:17 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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