Developers will say that you can’t feel a difference of 5-10ms ping, but gamers know better. Some professional players will even tell you that certain games or heroes can’t be played optimally with higher ping. Think about that the next time you end up in a Widowmaker duel and get taken down before you get your shot off.
To play the best you can, you need the best connection possible. In this guide, we’ll talk about six ways you can lower your ping and improve your PC gaming.
Tip #1: Use Ethernet Instead of WiFi
Switching to Ethernet is an easy first step towards lowering your ping. WiFi is known to increase latency, packet loss, and jitter due to its unreliability. A plethora of household devices are known to interfere with WiFi, making it sub-optimal for online gaming.
Connecting to a device directly with an Ethernet cable is the best way to ensure you have the lowest possible ping and a much more stable connection. Save yourself some grief later and buy a cable now.
Tip #2: Whitelist Your Games for Antivirus and Firewall
Your computer’s firewall and antivirus running in the background will intermittently scan packets as they are received from a central game server. Sometimes this causes a minor delay in latency; sometimes packets are denied by your security or lost entirely.
Making sure to whitelist your games in your security settings will lower packet loss and can marginally improve ping times.
Tip #3: Close Background Programs
Depending on the specifics, background programs can hog a lot of your bandwidth, resulting in increased latency. The number one offenders are programs that update automatically like Steam or sometimes even Windows Update. But there are other programs and websites like Netflix, Spotify, and Twitch that use a ton of your bandwidth. Sometimes your internet connection can handle it but not always.
In addition, video streams can cause framerate issues because of the added strain on your graphics card. Unless you have a state of the art card, it will always have some impact on video quality and clarity.
The best way to ensure a quality experience is to turn off other programs and let your game have priority. This shouldn’t be too hard, you’re playing a game anyway, just focus on owning the competition — you can watch your favorite shows later.
Tip #4: Optimize Game Settings
From a PC resource perspective, it’s important to make sure your game settings are optimized. While pretty graphics and ultra-settings may be visually pleasing, they can impact framerates. It’s important to make sure that your graphics card, RAM, and processor can support the settings you choose for the smoothest gaming experience.
Optimizing this may take some tuning, but in general most games can optimize for performance based on your PC build. Sure, the game might not look as photorealistic, but at least you’ll be able to land your headshots.
Tip #5: Remove Other Devices from Your Network
Each additional device on your network puts strain on your bandwidth. While maybe a computer and a cell phone won’t affect things significantly, when you start to factor in consoles, additional machines, tablets, and your roommates’ or family’s devices, the amount of traffic your router is controlling is likely too much. Too many devices can affect stability and latency in-game.
It may be hard to disconnect all other devices, but doing what you can to reduce the number of connected devices will make a large impact on lowering your ping.
Tip #6: Lower Your Ping with Haste
Haste can lower your ping by using customized network routes that are optimal for the game you’re playing — whether League of Legends or Overwatch. While the program runs, it continuously looks for ways to get the best connection to game servers, trying to decrease latency and reduce your ping even further.
The best part is, you can try Haste absolutely free and feel the difference in-game to get the edge you need.
Improving your ping and gameplay is just a matter of taking the right steps:
- Use Ethernet
- Whitelist your games
- Close background programs
- Optimize game settings
- Remove other devices
- Sign up for Haste!