If you’re getting a high ping and it’s hurting your in-game performance, in this guide, we’ve listed eight methods you can use to help you fix the problem.
Playing online games relies heavily on your ping. The higher your ping, the longer it is going to take for your screen to update, and your button presses to register.
As you have likely experienced, having a high ping on an online game can be very annoying, especially if the particular game requires a fast reaction time. It can make the game nearly unplayable.
You can always upgrade your internet plan to improve your ping. But, if that’s not an option, there are a handful of other methods you can use to try and lower your ping. In this guide, we’ll explore eight ways you can decrease your ping.
Not sure on whether or not your internet speed is adequate for gaming? Check out this guide to find out if your internet plan is good enough to game on.
1. Move Closer to Your Router
If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, the easiest and cheapest option for improving your ping is to move closer to your router. The distance from your computer to your router directly affects the strength of your Wi-Fi connection, which in turn affects your ping.
Walls, floors, and other similar obstacles can also slow down your Wi-Fi signal. So, one thing you can try to do to decrease your ping is to move into the same room as your router.
This option probably won’t improve your ping by a considerable amount. However, depending on the distance you move, it can make your gaming experience much more enjoyable. Plus, it’s free!
2. Play on the Nearest Server
Whenever you play an online game, always select the nearest server. Most, if not all, online games have multiple servers in many different locations. Select the server closest to your area for the best connection and ping. The closer the server you choose is to you, the faster your computer will be able to communicate with it.
Many games make choosing the closest server even more accessible by displaying the ping next to the server name. If this is the case with the game you’re playing, choose the server with the lowest ping. While the server’s ping might vary while you’re playing, selecting the lowest one will provide you with the best starting point.
3. Close Background Updates and Programs
Even if you don’t have any other windows open, many programs will run on your computer in the background, sucking up your computer’s memory and CPU utilization. To solve this problem, head to your task manager and force close these programs.
Also, check and see if your computer is running updates in the background. While you need to update your computer regularly, downloading updates can increase your ping while gaming. You can temporarily pause your computer from updating while you’re gaming and turn them back on when you finish playing.
4. Decrease the Number of Devices Connected to Your Router
Most routers today are powerful enough to handle multiple devices. However, this doesn’t mean they can handle dozens of computers and smartphones without impacting your connection to gaming servers.
If you’re having severe problems with your ping, consider disconnecting devices that you aren’t currently using. Even if nobody is currently using a specific device in your home or on your network, if it’s connected to the internet, it can still impact your connection in a negative way.
Avoid streaming Netflix and other videos while you’re playing as well, as these can cut into your connection.
5. Reset Your Router/Modem
If the previous fixes don’t improve your ping, you can try restarting your router. It’s helpful to restart your router and modem now every once in a while.
Unplug both your router and your modem or press the restart button (if they have one). Wait a few seconds, and then plug them back in. It may take a few minutes for your internet to come back online, so be patient while the system reboots.
6. Use a Hardwired Connection
If possible, consider plugging your computer directly into your router using an Ethernet cable. A hardwire connection can decrease your ping considerably (especially if you have a low-end router) as it will cancel out any latency from the Wi-Fi signal.
If this step does not decrease your ping, your router or your internet package is likely the problem.
7. Replace Your Router
Assuming the culprit for your high ping is not a cheap internet plan, if you’ve tried all of the steps above to lower your ping and the problem persists, it is probably your router’s fault. An inadequate or outdated router can gravely affect your ping. Of course, upgrading your router will cost you a bit of money, but you will likely notice a huge difference in your internet speed and reliability if you do. For the hard-core gamer, this cost is more than worth it.
If you’re considering upgrading your router, do your research beforehand to ensure you get the best one for your budget. Take a look at our router review article for a guide to the best options out there.
One Last Option… Clean Out Your Computer
Over time, the interior of your computer will accumulate dust. This dust can create poor ventilation and even electrical shorts, which can gravely affect your computer’s performance.
Too much heat can affect your computer’s performance, including its connection to a gaming server. Clean your machine regularly if you want to get the best performance out of it.