An Ultimate Guide to Reducing Lag in Online Games

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Online Games

Being a high-end gamer means that you need blazing-fast internet speed in order to play your favorite online games. No matter how fast you press the keys or push the button and wave around the controller, you would be disappointed if your gameplay is not fast enough. When playing games online, you may face problems like lag – other players appearing, fading or constantly jumping around – if this happens, there is a high probability that your ping is too high. 

When lag hits, it can hurt an in-game friend, destroy a group of players and worst of all, it can cause the character of a player to die. It is beyond impossible to avoid lag, but what we can do is try to minimize it as much as we can. 

What is Lag?

In the world of online gaming, lag is one thing that gamers are most concerned about. Now you must be wondering what is lag? So, here is a brief definition for you:

Lag is a delayed response in data from one network device to another. If your computer, your friend’s computer, or a gaming server is taking longer to respond than expected, then it will be termed as lag. Also, it is usually referred as the length of time in a game between when the player takes an action and expect something to happen, and when the reaction of the game server finally happens.  

If you are an avid gamer, you must be familiar with lag and know how frustrating it can be. A slow or delayed response can certainly ruin a game or severely cripple the entire gaming experience. Let’s paint a scenario: You are playing a wrestling game, your competitor comes around the corner and you press the right button to punch him the moment you see him, but he doesn’t get hit. In fact, it throws you away. It happens because of your lagging connection. In some cases, chances are, you end up pulling your hair out due to lag or latency.  But, you don’t need to worry, there are different things that you can do to minimize lag when gaming. Read on to find out how you can reduce it.

Gaming Servers

Always make sure that you select the closest gaming server for your geographical location whenever possible. There are a variety of games out there that allow you to choose a specific server. If you are connecting to a server that is in Spain, and you are an American resident, it is quite obvious that you will not get the best speeds between your locations. 

What you need to keep in mind is that enough time is required to transmit data over distance, no matter how fast the speed of your existing local connection. In case, you are using an overseas server and still experiencing lag, then it would be ideal to go for a local server or any other server that is in close proximity to your country.

Your Internet Connection

You don’t necessarily have to have the fastest internet connection for an enhanced gaming experience. When it comes to online gaming, what matters the most is the ping to which you are connected. Even if you have invested in the blazing-fast internet connection, but you are experiencing high ping times, then you should consider reaching out to your ISP. 

There are various DSL providers which usually enable a form of error correction called interleaving on your connection. This type of error correction is responsible for checking transmitted data. This is one effective way to ensure the integrity of data as it is transmitted. Not only that, it is also useful for error-free file transfers and browsing but the only downside to it is that can slow down your gaming. 

So, if you are currently using a DSL connection, you can ask your ISP to turn this feature off. They might charge a small fee in order to do so. But, if you want to avoid yourself from paying extra money, then AT&T internet service would turn out to be ideal for your gaming needs, 

Wi-Fi Connections

Are you currently using a Wi-Fi connection to your router? If yes, then you need to know that it’s more like adding another layer on the network that can slow your game down.

If possible, try connecting directly to your router using an Ethernet cable if it is possible. Even if you have the best router, it would not be able to offer maximum signal over Wi-Fi, especially in large steel and concrete homes.

Background Programs

Before you dive into playing an online game, you need to take a moment to check that there are no programs running in the background that would be using the internet connection. If you are downloading a movie using Torrent software while you’re playing an online game, it would end up causing lag. 

Also, make sure that you check if your Windows or any other software updates are running in the background. If some software is being updated on your PC or laptop while you are gaming, you are more likely to experience lag. 

Anti-virus and Firewalls

While it is extremely crucial for you to keep your PC and personal information secure and protected via different programs like anti-virus and firewall, they could also be the cause of lag as they slowing down your connection.

So, when you start playing, make sure that any such programs are already disabled.  In case, you notice that the lag is minimized, you could do this every time you’re playing. Once you are done playing, don’t forget to turn them back on for normal use.

Ending Note

If you want your online game to run smoothly, but lag makes it a bit slow and eventually makes you lose a match, then the aforementioned tips will come in handy. When you use these tips while playing an online game, you will be able to lower your ping and reduce lag in online games instantly.

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