“Why high ping in online games ah?”
”Why my video so lag?”
”Wah my game so lag wei!”
Lag is a delay (also known as latency) between your action and reaction of the server.
Ping is normally used to describe the time of network latency (in milliseconds), generally the lower the latency is, the less lag you will experience.
This is why some of you may use command prompt to check network ping when you are experiencing lag during your gameplay, especially for games like Fortnite, Overwatch, Dota 2, or even League of Legends.
Now that you’ve understand the general principles behind ping, let’s move on to the next section.
Why I am Experiencing Lag(or High Ping)?
Generally there a few main reasons behind high ping in online games.
1. ISP Service Disrupted
This will affect your network quality which as a result, turn into one of the factor behind your “lag” or “high ping” while you are gaming.
2. Insufficient Internet Bandwidth Package
You might have felt your internet speed is much slower during MCO and this is the exact reason – more people are using it than before – hence you are allocated with lesser bandwidth.
For example, if you have many devices streaming videos in a go, you might face high ping in online games as your bandwidth is divided across all your devices.
So if your family streams live videos or you’d like to have a better network latency, looking into a better internet home fibre plan might be a good idea.
3. Geographical Server Locations
If you attempt to load a US site in Malaysia, chances are it will take longer than expected.
To put it simply, it will take the server longer time to respond as it takes longer time to transmit the data.
This is the reason why TV boxes and gaming companies have dedicated region-based servers just to reduce the ping and lag.
How To Fix High Ping in Online Games?
Do A Speed Test First
The key here is to understand the average (or benchmark) of your WiFi speed.
Ideally you would want to do run speed tests in various locations such as:
- LAN connection test directly to router
- WiFi connection test in multiple spots
- In front of router
- The location where you place your PC / Laptop
You may find that your ping is generally higher on WiFi connection, and as the distance grew, your ping grew as well.
This is the exact reason why most gamers will often advise and also opt for wired connection whenever possible.
In this scenario, you may opt for Powerline Adapters that uses your electrical wiring to transmit data, however do bear in mind that the performance is dependant on your wiring quality.
Another option is to go for mesh WiFi where it provides good coverage to tackle weak WiFi spots, TP-LINK also came up with Deco P9 which is a hybrid powerline & mesh WiFi model which gives you the best of both worlds.
Many buyers have commented that Deco P9 allow them to get full WiFi bars with a speed of 240Mbps on a 300Mbps plan in a double-storey house.
It is available in 2-pack and 3-pack and retails for RM599 – RM879 depending on your purchase.
Check Your Cables
One big mistake that people do is to assume all cables are equal, especially for those who are subscribed to bandwidth plans that are more than 100Mbps.
Majority of the old cables (pre-UNIFI Turbo era) are Cat 5 or Cat 5e cables, these cables can maximum support up to 100Mbps bandwidth only.
So if you are on higher bandwidth packages, you need to be using at least Cat 6 cable which can support up to 1Gbps.
Fix Your Router Signal Strength
What if you’re gaming on 2nd floor but your WiFi signal is only 2 bars? What if you’re lying on your bed watching live streams and yet it stutters all the time?
This is where you’d need to look into ways to optimize your router signal strength.
One free method that you can do is to place your router in an open environment without any enclosure, you’d also need to understand the factors behind an under-specced router
If you find that your router is underpowered based on your bandwidth plan, house size and facing several issues like WiFi coverage, then perhaps it’s time to upgrade into a better router, or even mesh WiFi.
Closing Thought – Should You Upgrade Your Router?
A higher specced router will definitely help to optimize your gaming experience and reduce latency.
There are multiple gaming routers such as TP-LINK C5400X, ASUS GT-AC2900 or even ASUS RT-AC86U come in better hardware such as chipset, RAM, QAM for Gigabit WiFi and most importantly the Quality of Service (QoS) feature – which allows you to optimize and prioritize traffic based on your needs, also take note that as it is high performance router, it is also priced much higher than other routers.
Alternatively, you can also opt for WiFi 6 or WiFi AX routers as they come in faster top speed and better management such as ASUS GT-AX11000 & TP-LINK AX11000. These models are good buys to future proof your networking conditions.
There are a lot of options available in the market and it ultimately depends on your issue and budget.