Having a stable internet connection is must whether you’re playing online games, streaming videos or making calls from your PC/smartphone. Wireless internet connections such as, 3G, 4G LTE are not recommended for these type of tasks because they cannot make constant connection to the server thus resulting in packet loss.
Also, the time they take to sent and receive data to the server is high, in other words high Latency or commonly known as Ping. It is important not to overlook these factors before setting up your Online gaming marathon. No matter how beefed up your gaming rig is, if you have a bad internet it’s all useless. Today, I am going to show you how to reduce your Latency/Ping in games like Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike Global Offensive.
How to Lower/Reduce Ping in Online Games
I am not giving you a specific solution, instead I am giving you a list of solutions you can try until your ping is improved. This article helps you address network lag, if you think your PC is lagging, you might have to clean it up and look for other solutions.
1. Suspend Windows 11/10 Updates
It is no secret that Windows 10 uses a great chunk of Internet bandwidth to update drivers, and bring so-called optimizations that in turn break down your PC. I have had cases in which my friend’s PC’s CPU and network usage would spike when playing online games. Turns out it was Windows 10 constant background updates that wouldn’t stop.
To temporarily turn off Windows Update, do the following:
- Right-Click Start Menu > Run
- Type “services.msc” without quotes and hit Enter key.
- From the Services list, look for Windows Update and Double-click it
- On Windows Update Properties, change the Start Up type from “Automatic” to “Disabled”
- This will keep the Windows update quiet until the next reboot.
2. Use a VPN Connection
It may sound silly at first but I tell you it is not. Many ISP’s have bad routing to other country internet gateways which ultimately causes high ping between client (you) and server. To solve the routing issue, you need to purchase a paid VPN service which has multiple locations IP’s available. I have seen VPN services having more than 36+ countries at once.
Lets say, You live in Dubai UAE, You want to play Dota 2 in Europe (Luxembourg) server but the problem, you’re getting 250+ ms ping. On the other hand in other European country (Austria) you are getting 150 ms ping. In this scenario, you can reduce your ping up to 90 ms by connecting to Austria VPN server and then play Dota 2 on Luxembourg server. Your final ping would be 160 ms maximum. Using this method, you can define your own faster route hence reducing the latency.
Direct Routing: Dubai to Luxembourg = 250 ms
VPN Routing: Dubai to Austria = 150 ms
Then Austria to Luxembourg = 10 ms
Final results = 160 ms
Latency reduced = 90 ms.
3. Avoid Wireless Internet Connections
Avoid wireless internet connections when you are playing online games. It doesn’t matter if it is 3G, 4G or fastest Wireless internet in the neighborhood. It won’t be stable for long. Environmental factors such as rain, pollution, thick walls can put negative impact on signals strength. And wireless internet devices don’t work that well indoors. That applies to your WiFi hotspot as well. Electromagnetic interference from other devices such as Refrigerators, Air conditioners can cause ping spikes and even packet loss on your WiFi Router based connections.
The solution is to connect directly to your Internet Router/Modem via Ethernet cable for faster data transfer rate. If that is not an option, select the least populated WLAN channel from your Router Wireless settings.
4. Select Proper Game Servers (Region)
Find IP addresses of game servers around the world and find do a latency comparison using the ping tool that is present in every operating system. The best way to do this is to Browse Community servers through Valve’s Team Fortress 2, a free-to-play game. It will show a list of available servers around the world with their latency (ping). Remember that country for future reference. After that make sure you find other games’ servers in that region.
If you are living in India, you might want to connect to UAE and Singapore based game servers. Because internet relies on undersea fiber optic cables to transfer data. Check the submarine cable map for your country to get better a idea.
5. Restart your Internet Router
Sometimes the router gets congested due to too many incoming and outgoing TCP/UDP connections. Consequently, it starts hanging and web pages fail to load. This happens because the Router does not have enough processing power (CPU and Ram) to process the data transfer. Unplug your WiFi Router and plug it back again, you’ll start getting good pings once again.
6. Stop your Downloads
When you’re playing, don’t forget to pause or stop your downloads, be it Torrents, Window updates or Steam/Origin game downloads. If you don’t, then you will suffer from lag, delay, packet-loss which could ruin your gaming session. You might also want to disable Peer-to-peer Windows Update Delivery.
7. How do I check Ping and Packet Loss?
Press WindowsKey+R combination, then type to the following
ping -t example
Replace example.com with Server domain or IP address you’re going to play on. Request Timed out means Packet Loss.
On Mac OS and Linux:
Open terminal, type following and press Enter:
When you are done checking, press CTRL+C or close the Window to end the ping process.