Post Menu and Details.
- See What You're Currently Working with First
- Speeding Up Your Internet Service for the Optimal Gaming Experience
- Consider Using an Ethernet Cable
- Change the Location of Your Router
- Use the Quality of Service (QoS) Feature
- Power Down Other Devices (and Close Anything Running in the Background)
- Try to Stick to Servers within Your Region
- Use the Multi-User MIMO Feature
- Switch to a DNS Server (and Reboot Your Router)
- Final Thoughts (and One More Tip)
Reading time: ~5 minutes
Serious gaming requires serious speed and reliable internet service. Even if you’re not a super-avid gamer, any disruptions or interruptions can have a big impact on the gaming experience – and tarnish your rep with other players. Plus, if your internet connection or service is on the slower side, your gaming options could be somewhat limited. Opting for a plan with higher speeds is a more obvious solution, but not one that’s always workable for every budget. If this also applies to you, there are still some other things you can do to speed up your internet service for an optimal gaming experience. We offer tips below.
See What You’re Currently Working with First
Before we get to our tips, take a moment to see what’s going on with your current internet service provider’s internet quality first. Pay particular attention to ping and bandwidth. Also referred to as latency, ping is a measure of how fast packets of data can be sent to any given IP address. Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can be transferred via your connection. Speedtest by Ookla is one of the tools you can use to check your bandwidth. Ping can be checked with GameServerPing.
With ping speed, you want the lowest ping figure – expressed as milliseconds (ms) – possible, which means the ping speed is faster. What’s considered accessible depends on what’s recommended for the game you wish to play that requires an internet connection. With GameServerPing, enter the IP address for your preferred game to see what your ping speed is and if it’s sufficient for the game. This particular tool gives you ping speed for various countries, which tells you what game servers you can reliability use based on country of origin.
Speeding Up Your Internet Service for the Optimal Gaming Experience
Ping speed recommendations for gaming fall into the following ranges:
- 20ms or less: Anything in this range is great for optimal gaming, meaning you won’t have any lag time.
- 20-50ms: Generally, this is what’s recommended for a good gaming experience with most popular games.
- 50-100ms: With ping speeds in this range, you’ll likely have a fair gaming experience, but you may experience some lags.
- 100-300ms: Gaming is technically still possible in this speed range, but the experience is often frustrating due to the higher lag times.
- 300ms or higher: Ping speeds in this range are not good for online gaming on any level due to the much higher lag times.
With bandwidth, 30 Mbps is what’s typically recommended. You actually don’t need high bandwidth for online-based gaming. However, greater bandwidth may be necessary if it’s common for other internet-using activities to go on in addition to gaming. For instance, if you normally play games when a brother or sister is streaming movies, more bandwidth is better – think somewhere around 100 Mbps or so.
Consider Using an Ethernet Cable
You’ll get a more consistent and high-speed internet connection if it’s wired rather than wireless. All you’ll need is an Ethernet cable. The drawback with this option is that you won’t have wireless convenience. Still, it could be done if you’re able to place your router near your PC, laptop, or game console. Just be sure to use ports and cables (category 5 or 6) that can handle higher speeds.
Change the Location of Your Router
If you really prefer to stick with a Wi-Fi connection for gaming, try repositioning your router. Put it as close to the device you’ll be using for gaming as possible, or at least in an open space that’s free of obstacles like walls and furniture. If your router has antennas, try positioning one horizontally and one vertically.
Use the Quality of Service (QoS) Feature
Most routers have a Quality of Service (QoS) feature. It’s a handy feature that gives you the option to prioritize certain types of network/online traffic. Activate this feature by going to your router’s settings and looking for the QoS tab. Typically, the main options with QoS modes are:
- Adaptive QoS
- Traditional QoS
- Bandwidth Limiter
Both traditional and adaptive QoS apply to wired and wireless connections. Adaptive QoS is what’s recommended for gaming. It gives you more options for prioritizing traffic based on various categories that apply to your preferred gaming experience. In this instance, you’ll make “gaming” the top category. With “bandwidth limiter,” you’ll be able to set limits on upload and download speeds.
QoS can be especially helpful with gaming if you normally have other people tapping into your connection for other tasks. Your router will give those other tasks a lower priority while keeping gaming as the highest one.
Power Down Other Devices (and Close Anything Running in the Background)
It’s not unusual today for a single household to have multiple devices that draw from the same network connection. Even things like smart TVs and appliances can be tapping into your connection. If this applies to your home, try powering down as many non-essential devices as possible. You can even (temporarily) turn off network connectivity on certain devices to do this. If you regularly game on your PC, be sure to close anything that’s running in the background. Even seemingly minor things drawing from the same connection can slow down your gaming experience.
Try to Stick to Servers within Your Region
Depending on factors such as how many players are involved in your preferred game at any given moment you may have a higher latency period if you’re linking to servers from multiple regions. When possible, choose a game that connects you to servers in your region. Some games allow you to specify this preference in the settings.
Use the Multi-User MIMO Feature
Multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) is a feature that boosts speed by decreasing the signal wait time for each device. It’s an option typically found on newer or more up-to-date routers that improve your router’s capacity to handle more Wi-Fi-demanding activities – like gaming.
Switch to a DNS Server (and Reboot Your Router)
Rebooting your router is a simple way to speed things up since it gives you a fresh connection. Before you reboot, though, adjust your network settings by changing to a domain name system (DNS) server. DNS servers typically offer faster speeds and more security. Make the change in your network settings by:
- Going to Priorities
- Choosing “TCP/IPv4 internet protocol”
- Entering “22.214.171.124” for the preferred DNS server or “126.96.36.199” for an alternate server
- Changing the default for your router to DNS servers if you want all devices that use your network covered
Final Thoughts (and One More Tip)
Enjoying an optimal gaming experience comes down to several factors, including the nature of the game, latency, and the reliability of your connection. So, yes, it will take some time to find a combination of solutions that works for your preferences with gaming. One other option to consider is investing in a gaming router. The high-end models have features that enhance the gaming experience and performance.
Thank you for reading!