Even if you’ve never heard the term “rubber-banding” before, I’m sure you’ve seen it in a game. Let’s say you’re sprinting through the map as Soldier 76, navigating through tight corridors on Watchpoint: Gibraltar, and getting into position for a sick Tactical Visor. Just when you’re activating it, suddenly you snap back inside the ship, and your ultimate is doing a lot of nothing…
Rubber-banding is a phenomenon that happens when your client thinks you’re in a different place from the server. This is usually caused by network packet loss, but can be caused by software issues as well. The reason your character will snap to another position is because the server corrects your client once it realizes the discrepancy in positions from client to server.
But even though the situation might seem helpless, rubber-banding doesn’t have to spell the end of your gaming fun. In this guide we’ll discuss some potential solutions to rubber-banding.
Repair or Reinstall the Game
Sometimes rubber-banding can be caused by corrupted game files. This happens occasionally during updates or system crashes. While in many cases corrupted game files will result in a game not working at all, sometimes it can just result in a less-than-optimal gaming experience.
Generally, in Overwatch, Blizzard’s client will tell you if there are corrupted files. This might not always be the case, however. Simply run a repair if the option is available, or otherwise, reinstall the game completely.
Switch to Ethernet from Wireless
You hear it time and time again, but wireless is awful for gaming. Many devices in your apartment or house can cause interference with a wireless signal — even other wireless routers from surrounding homes. Packet loss is one of the many issues that results from the unreliability of wireless connections, and you can solve it easily just by connecting directly to your router or modem.
To read more about how WiFi is killing your gaming, read this article!
Have Your ISP Check Your Network
There are some issues that are just out of your control. Often internet service providers will not have their network optimized for gaming, and this can also cause issues like packet loss. Sometimes an issue may be with your modem or router, a central switch, or with the lines themselves that connect from your home. It’s difficult to know.
If you call your ISP, they should be able to have a tech investigate your connection issues (generally free of charge) if you’ve tried everything you can on your end to resolve the problem.
Optimize Your Network with Haste
If you are still having problems and there’s no help in sight, considering signing up for Haste. Haste uses custom network infrastructure to optimize your connection to game servers. That means reduced latency, packet-loss and jitter in your games so that you can focus more on beating your opponents, and not your internet connection.
So to recap on how to fix rubber-banding:
- Repair or reinstall your game
- Switch to ethernet
- Call your ISP
- Try Haste for free!