Gamers disagree over almost everything. They argue about who is going to play support, whose fault a failed engage was and even which builds and metas are best.
But one thing every gamer agrees on is that lag sucks.
Networking is complicated. Whether you’ve been having lag spikes in-game, just moved, or want to brag to your friends about how awesome your connection is, you will most likely need to look up your ping at some point.
Knowing your ping is crucial for an optimized gaming experience. Ping times can help significantly when buffering your inputs and figuring out the exact timing of when to use your Ultimate or if you can initiate a big play and win that team fight.
In this guide, we’ll go over what ping really is, how to identify ping using two different methods and how to accomplish real-time optimization for your PC game.
Good: Low Ping!
Bad: Higher Ping!
What Exactly Is Ping?
Before we go further, let’s clarify a few terms: When gamers refer to ping, what they usually mean is latency. Latency is the measure of time it takes for data to travel from your computer to a central server and back to your computer.
Gamers usually refer to this as “ping” because of one method you can use to test latency in your internet connection– sending out a series of pings to the server and measuring the time it takes for the signal to travel to its destination. Many online games refer to ping/latency in milliseconds “ms”.
Different Methods for Checking Ping
Directly pinging a server isn’t the only way to check your latency. Methods vary based on the tools the game developer gives you. It’s important to remember that every developer is different, and some are more guarded about their servers than others.
Some also may not provide much public information about latency because they consider that less relevant (for example in a game like Hearthstone) or they don’t have the resources for that kind of client-side front end development.
Method #1: Ping the Server Directly
One of the easiest ways to check latency is to ping the server directly. For League of Legends servers, you can easily accomplish this because Riot Games publicizes the IP address of some of their game servers.
For example, to ping the League of Legends servers, open command prompt (go to Run and type cmd.exe) and run a ping command to the corresponding server you want to check:
- For NA, type: ping 184.108.40.206 -t
- For EUW, type: ping 220.127.116.11 -t
- For EUNE, type: ping 18.104.22.168 -t
- For OCE, type: ping 22.214.171.124 -t
- For LAN, type: ping 126.96.36.199 -t
While not exact, this will let you know the approximate ping you’ll have in-game.
If you want to do this for other games, ask the developer on their official forums or see if someone else already has. Many game companies supply this information, but don’t be upset if a developer doesn’t provide it — there are risks for them in providing this information.
Method #2: Check In-Game
Many games have the option to check your ping directly in-game by selecting an option in your settings. The setting will look a bit different in every game, but the most frequent name for this setting is something like “display performance stats” or “display network information.”
This will not only show ping (or latency) but will often show such information as framerate, GPU temperature, and packet loss. This is the most accurate measure of latency you can get since the game server itself is the source of the latency information.
Ping times can vary greatly, but anything above 70ms is usually considered detrimental. Ideally, you want to be below 40ms if possible. If your latency is too high, consider using Haste to improve your gaming experience.
Improving Ping Enhances Gaming Experience
Whether you choose to ping the server directly, check in-game or manually check your system processes, improving your ping time can greatly improve your overall gaming experience. If you’re still struggling with lag and getting tired of jitter and packet loss, click here to read more about Haste and how it can help you reduce latency and improve your network stability. Or, Try Haste for Free and see the difference for yourself!
Haste also provides a free tool called Haste Check that’s like a “bandwidth speed test” app, but specifically for game servers. It measures ping, packet loss, and jitter (ping spikes) when you’re on the Haste network. That means you can test your ping and the stability of your connection before you commit to a ranked game.
The more you play, the more Haste learns about different paths between your machine and the game servers. That means Haste learns to deliver better and better service for you over time, so keep playing!