How to reduce the ping for online games

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There is nothing worse than playing your favorite online game and suddenly you begin having issues. Perhaps other players in the game move randomly, jump about randomly, disappear and reappear. Your own character might be responding slowly, and the game may be stuttering. If you encounter issues such as these, it could be that your ping is too high. Thankfully, there are ways you may be able to reduce the ping time for online games.

We are going to show you some different measures you can take to help reduce ping and reduce the lag in online games. By combining different measures, you can get the best results. The lower the ping rate the better your online gaming experience.

To help reduce the ping time when gaming online, you might want to:

  1. Connect to the internet via an Ethernet cable
  2. Change your ISP
  3. Reduce hungry bandwidth services in the household
  4. Use a VPN
  5. Close down un-needed background programs
  6. Optimize your computer
  7. Move house.

Now let us look into these measures in more detail.

Connect the computer via Ethernet cable

If you are using a laptop for online gaming and you have a wireless internet connection you might consider connecting the computer via an Ethernet cable.

A wireless internet connection is not as fast as a cable connection and this can help to reduce the ping time as it does away with issues caused by the poor signal strength on WiFi.

If you already have an Ethernet cable attached you might want to check the cable to ensure that it is plugged in correctly. Even a slightly loose connection can make a difference.

Change your ISP

It might be worth giving your ISP a call to find out if any issues in your area are causing speed drops. If there are any issues, the ISP might be able to fix them remotely.

You might also consider changing your ISP and go with one offering a faster service. Search online for the fastest speeds for the best prices.

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Reduce bandwidth-hungry services

If other people in your household are using the internet at the same time, they might be contributing to your issues.

As a rule, the more people using the internet connection the higher your ping is going to be. While you cannot monopolize the internet, you might want to ask them not to stream in 4K on Netflix at the same time as you intend to play a game online.

Another cause of high ping times is caused by downloading large files. Therefore, check if anyone is downloading at the same time as you are trying to play online.

Sign up with a VPN

You might be able to reduce ping times using a VPN, aka Virtual Private Network. In addition, with a VPN, you could gain access to online games that are restricted in your own country or purchase restricted online content. This is possible by changing your IP address.

In regards to helping to lower the ping rate, a VPN may help as the packets take a route that is more direct than the packets of your ISP. In essence, it means it may provide a smoother and faster connection when connected to a server close to you offered by the provider.

The key to using a VPN to reduce pings is to choose a provider as close as possible to your actual location. Providers offer access to servers from around the world, but the fastest connection is going to be with the server closest to where you live.

Close down un-needed background programs

This is a simple solution, but one that is easy to overlook. Close down any programs running in the background of your computer before you go online to play games.

Some background processes can use a great deal of bandwidth without you realizing it. Programs that are hogs of bandwidth include Spotify and Netflix. Programs that update automatically in the background also steal bandwidth without you knowing. These include Steam and even Windows Update.

So check what is running in the background of your computer before an online gaming session. Close off any programs that may be still running, close any open web browsers and go into the task manager and end any processes that are not essential.

You might also want to search online for a program that will allow you to end all non-essential processes and programs that are open, in just one click.

Optimize your computer

Another trick you could try is to optimize your computer every day and just before you go online to play your game.

There is plenty of software out there, free and paid, to clean your computer and remove files, along with cleaning the registry of your computer. It can be surprising how much a computer can lag if it is full of junk and obsolete files.

While this will not change your internet speed, it can make your computer less sluggish, which also affects how a game performs.

Consider moving home

Finally, a solution for only the most hard-core of gamers is to consider moving home to a location that has better internet services and strong WiFi connections.

Yes, we know, this is extreme. However, you might already be considering moving home, so this is why we have mentioned it.

If you are intending finding a new place to live, you might consider choosing a location where the internet signals are superb; higher ground is better than the lower ground. Being closer to a big city or actually living in the city is better for connection speeds than being way out in the remote countryside. Better still, move next door to the internet service provider.

To summarise

It is possible to reduce the ping for online games, and it does not hurt to try any or all of the above, apart from moving, of course, unless you had already planned a move.

By reducing your ping times to the best, they can possibly be, you will never again lose a battle in an online game because you could not react fast enough due to a high ping time.