We’ve all had those miserable games: watching an enemy Mercy rubberband across Hollywood, dodging Zarya and Soldier ultimates, and living to get the play of the game. It’s frustrating. This type of keyboard-breaking, rage-inducing lag makes you feel helpless when you lose a match because of high ping and packet loss. It’s no wonder there are millions of search results for fixing high ping in Overwatch, because in competitive gaming, if you lag, you lose.
So, what can be done to alleviate this headache called “lag” in our favorite hero- shooter game?
What is Lag?
Any number of variables can cause a noticeable decrease in speed in your game. You tell your character to move, that information is sent from your PC to the game server, the server broadcasts this movement to the other players in the game, and then the other players see this movement. In a game with a good connection, this is done and seen in real time with no noticeable delay between your movement and other players’ perception of it. But in a game where latency (ping) is high, you may start to see your character and others jumping around the map. Ping is the amount of time it takes to send a packet (piece of data) and receive a response from your PC to a game server or vice-versa. Packet loss is the percentage of packets that don’t arrive at their destination within a set time. Jitter, or ping spikes, is the fluctuation of ping over time (standard deviation). For the best experience, all of these should be as low as possible.
Step One: Switch to Ethernet
WiFi is internet magic. Loading cat gifs while surfing social media and having a conversation on Discord can all be managed without a single wire. But when it comes to online gaming, WiFi is public enemy No. 1 for high ping and a laggy game. Let me repeat: WiFi for cat gifs is awesome. WiFi for gaming is terrible!
Step number one in fixing Overwatch lag: use an Ethernet cable. If there is “just no way” you can make that happen, consider trying an affordable alternative: an Ethernet Powerline Adapter. The point is simple: Ethernet is better for gaming than WiFi. With the better stability and more predictability of being hard-wired, you will have a more direct path to the Internet–and with it–reduced lag, jitter and ping spikes.
Step Two: Close Background Applications
The next step is an easy one: close everything else that’s nonessential to Overwatch. Other applications, downloads, paused Netflix, or that one website that has the best images and gifs on the web — all of these things take up valuable computing resources. Your computer is a really amazing machine, but it has finite resources, so make sure you’re giving it every opportunity to help you have a better gaming experience.
Step Three: Optimize Overwatch Graphics Settings
While we’re here talking about that magic box where you can play this seriously fun game, make sure it’s up to date. Overwatch doesn’t require a Mac Daddy PC to run, but did you know that you can change settings within the game to maximize performance? Let me show you some cool stuff a wise old man showed me.
Seeing the shadows across the ground as Tracer leaps through King’s Row is graphically impressive, but not necessary for optimal performance. The pros turn off the high quality graphic settings, and there’s a good reason why: you don’t need your game to be pretty to be optimized.
Step Four: Install Haste
By now you’ve streamlined your PC, closed other applications and connected via Ethernet instead of WiFi, but you’re still seeing lag in Overwatch. We’ve all seen the cries for help, extreme measures being taken, and woes in game chat.
You’re missing the last piece of the puzzle: Haste! Designed specifically for gaming, Haste routes game traffic over its customized network to connect directly to the game servers you’re playing on. Haste uses a patent-pending network software on top of our customized network and monitors everything in real-time. In short, Haste focuses on lowering ping, jitter, and packet loss to give you a more stable gaming experience.
When you combine Ethernet, PC streamlining, graphics optimization and Haste, you’re bound to see a dramatic improvement in your Overwatch gaming experience. These diagnostic fixes will help, but when you combine them with Haste, you’re giving yourself the edge that will lead to more stable games and a better competitive experience. Haste is free to try today, so try it out and let us know how it works for you! Create a free Haste account today!
Continue Reading: Learn How to reduce lag in League of Legends.