If you ask gamers that actively play online, most of them will tell you that, ping is the bane of their existence. With the modern world moving towards faster internet connections, you’d think the problem of online gaming and lag would be obsolete by now. If only the real world were so perfect, despite the large download and upload speeds lag is still a genuine thing.
Ping is a measure of the latency. Latency represents the delay in data transfer after inputting a command to transfer the data. Higher latency leads to a more significant delay in data transfer. It becomes easy to see why Ping is directly related to your online gaming experience. The article will attempt to explain precisely what Ping is and what you can do to reduce it.
What is Ping?
As mentioned above, Ping is a measure of the speed of your connection. If we’re incredibly specific, it is a measure of latency. Ping essentially measures how responsive your internet connection is. A lower Ping value means a more responsive internet connection. A more active internet connection is key while playing videogames. The unit used for measuring ping is Milliseconds(MS).
If you’re still unclear about what Ping is, it’s an IMCP that allows you to check the connection between two destinations. Data is transferable through the cyberspace in packets. Ping is a measure of the time it takes the packet to reach the target and come back to the user PC. Ping also takes into account the number of packets lost on the way to the destination. Hopefully, the link between Ping and Lag while playing online is clear now. The higher the amount of Ping the more lag you will experience while playing games. Delay can be incredibly detrimental to your gaming experience and will hold you back from being able to compete in any way.
If you’ve been playing online and experiencing a lot of lag you’ve inevitably asked yourself the question of “why is my ping so high?” a few times. High ping can be seen for some reasons and can be incredibly frustrating. This article will further attempt to explain why so many gamers experience high ping.
Why is my Ping so high?
You would think with the speeds achieved by modern internet connections, lag while playing online would be a thing of the past. As readers will now know, this isn’t the case. Latency or ping play a significant role in the amount of lag a gamer will experience. Thus players frequently ask the question why is my ping so high?
High ping while gaming occurs due to a multitude of reasons. Firstly it is essential to look at your internet connection. While most countries have incredibly fast internet connections, there are other countries where the internet isn’t on the same levels. The relatively lower quality internet could directly explain why there are severe latency issues in developing countries. For gamers in countries with reliable internet connections, the distance to the game server can be an explanation for a higher ping. The greater the distance between your server and the destination server the higher will be the ping. Data packets travel from server to server to reach their destination, and there’s also a greater chance for packet loss on a long journey. As is the case with most issues, a high ping isn’t the by-product of a straightforward reason, a whole host of issues causes it.
What can I do to reduce my ping?
There isn’t one set solution to reducing the level of ping your experience. A combination of solutions can effectively reduce the level of ping gamers experience while playing online and some solutions can also apply to specific games.
One of the essential steps you can take is an obvious one but may not always lead to a solution; getting a faster internet connection can also effectively help you reduce ping. More rapid internet providers tend to have better servers and connections that allow data transfer to be more responsive. However, if you’re already happy with your internet service provider, there are a number of different solutions that you can employ.
Using a wired Ethernet connection
In this world of modernity and innovation, wires seem to play a lesser role day by day. Every new device that comes out incorporates wireless connectivity into it somehow. It’s at the point where wires are now a form of inconvenience. In the internet space, this is entirely evident with Wi-Fi replacing wired Ethernet connections almost everywhere. However, Wireless connectivity does have its drawbacks. Connecting your PC or console to the Wi-Fi to play online can lead to you getting higher Ping.
Gamers may be confused about why this happens, but honestly, it’s quite simple. The signals from the Wi-Fi router face a lot of obstacles before they reach your PC and Console. There are various items in the household that interfere with Wi-Fi signals. These items include walls and any other devices that emit signals (4g mobile phones and tablets). These obstructions limit the effectiveness of the connection between your PC or Console and the Wi-Fi router.
Additionally, one of the significant advantages of Wi-Fi is that it lets multiple people or devices connect to it. The benefit becomes a drawback when it comes to ping because the increased amount of traffic leads to a weaker connection as well. All these issues mentioned above are solvable by using a wired Ethernet cable. A wired Ethernet cable ensures a direct link between your PC or Console and the internet modem. The direct connection is more stable and not subject to any external interferences that cause a higher ping. Furthermore, a wired Ethernet connection eliminates excess traffic as well.
As the world continues to decrease the role of wires it is important to remember that they still have a significant role to play in online gaming. A wired Ethernet cable connection on its own can help reduce ping by 10-20 Ms. These 10-20Ms can make a world of a difference in a competitive environment so don’t be prepared to give up on wires just yet.
Selecting servers closer to you
One of the easiest way to reduce Ping is selecting a server close to your location. Servers that are closer to your area are ones that will have the lowest Ping. While transferring Data, it’s evident that the longer the journey is the more time it will take to move data to and from the required location. Choosing a server closer to your location can effectively help reduce ping as it decreases the distance data will have to travel. Reduced distances also decrease the amount of packet loss that may occur. If you’re wondering how you can reduce the level of ping while playing Fortnite it’s crucial to select a region close to you.
However, unlike several other games, Fortnite doesn’t allow you to select a server in a specific city. Fortnite has several regions that you can choose from with undisclosed city locations. Selecting an area that is closer to yours will decrease Ping substantially. Using closer servers to you is much more useful for PC than it is for the console. PC games generally offer a lot more freedom in terms of what server you can select when compared to console games.
Close all other applications
As you know, the more operations your PC performs leads to a higher burden on the CPU. A higher load can cause performance in online games to decrease dramatically causing your Ping to spike. If you’re still facing problems with ping after using the solutions mentioned above, this may be the one that addresses the issue for you.
Closing an application on your PC is incredibly easy. You can open the task manager to reveal all applications running in the background. The task manager also reveals how taxing each app is. Closing all background apps and going back to your game can help improve the level of Ping. Several of the apps on the PC just like on a mobile phone consumes internet in the background. Closing these applications can lead to a more dedicated internet connection for your online gaming, ensuring that no external applications are taking a bit of the internet.
The most important app to close is any download client that you are using. Torrent applications consume the most bandwidth and should take precedence when deciding which application to close. If you’re playing your games on a console, you’re likely to be unaffected by this issue. More often than not a console suspends background applications before starting a game. Turning off your music streaming while playing online on the console can help reduce ping.
Turning off Updates
Any form of downloading will severely affect your Ping. With the nature of video games, these days’ updates are a regular occurrence. So frequent in fact that if you have a decent library of games one or two will always have updates downloading in the background. While it is essential to update your console or PC regularly pausing these updates while playing online can help significantly reduce Ping.
Anything that consumes internet is going to be a dangerous accelerant for your Ping levels. If you’re noticing Ping it could be the case that you have updates downloading in the background. Turning off these updates is very easy on the console, you can find them in the notifications tab. Pressing A or X depending on your console will allow you to access the pause download option. For PC users, you can quickly turn off all updates from the settings tab. After doing so you will go back into your game and see a noticeable reduction in the level of Ping you are experiencing.
Ask your Internet service provider
Calling your internet service provider can help you identify why you experience high levels of Ping. Most ISPs engage in what is known as bandwidth limiting in peak hours of internet usage. Bandwidth limiting gives you a slower internet speed when there’s a lot of traffic. Overcoming the issue while require you to do a bit of research into what ISPs don’t engage in bandwidth limiting.
In addition to this, several people sign up for basic packages without identifying what their needs are. Solutions like using a fiber-based connection or a static IP can only be accessible after calling your ISP. A Static IP may cost more money but it comes with the benefit of a much more responsive and stable internet connection.
Additionally calling your ISP can help you address NAT-type issues. If you’re unusually persistent, you may even be able to convince your ISP to come and identify a problem with the physical installation of the internet. However, be prepared to call them a lot because ISPs tend to have notoriously bad after sales service.
Changing your Modem/Router
People tend to be obsessed with the shiny new thing, a fact that is incredibly evident with gamers. Gamers will flock to the latest hardware, continually updating their PC with new equipment or buying new accessories to go with their consoles. One thing that most people forget to upgrade is their internet router.
Internet routers tend just to be forgotten about, and this may be a reason why you experience Ping. An old modem can bring down the best internet connection. If you have an old modem and a fast connection you are still likely to face high amounts of Ping. Buying newer hardware can help increase the strength of your internet connection. Additionally, gaming companies have launched specialized gaming routers that work towards providing you stable internet connections.
Taking care of your modem is essential as well. Regularly restarting it can ensure that the DNS cache is routinely clear. Systematically clearing the DNS cache helps reduce the level of packet loss dramatically.
The day will eventually come when Ping is no longer an issue. Until then it is essential to understand that a combination of solutions is what is going to help you reduce Ping. Using any number of the solutions mentioned above will help improve your online gaming experience. Be warned however, you will not be able to use the lag excuse anymore.