Some people might not be old enough to remember the days of carrying computers over to a friend’s house for a weekend of gaming and debauchery. Back then, planning for this kind of weekend meant simply asking, “Who’s bringing the ethernet cables?” and “Who’s bringing snacks?”.
Sadly, the days of local gaming parties seem to be a thing of the past. Most games focus on online play, and very few even offer the option to connect via Local Area Network (LAN) any more. But we still remember those times fondly. The biggest benefit of using LAN in gaming is the incredibly low latency, and perhaps more than anything, that’s what gamers chase today.
While you might not be able to get LAN-level latency online, here are some tips to get you as close as possible.
Shut Down Other Programs
Every program that accesses the internet will use some of your bandwidth that you need for gaming. To lower your latency as much as possible, close all unnecessary programs — especially programs that take a lot of resources like Spotify, Twitch, YouTube or other streaming programs. You should notice improved performance with less applications.
Ditch The WiFi
Wireless not only causes issues like jitter and packet loss, it can also dramatically increase your latency. Wireless is unreliable since all kinds of devices interfere with its signal, too — including other wireless routers. Simply connecting your computer directly to your router with an ethernet cable will cut down on latency significantly. This is is the easiest way to improve your performance.
Disable Automatic Updates
Most of the time, Windows automatic updates are a convenient way to upgrade your computer without having to remember or set a reminder. But at the wrong time, updates can seriously clog your bandwidth. And this isn’t just in Windows. Programs like Steam can also queue updates for games and destroy your latency by taking up most of your bandwidth. When gaming, make sure to either disable automatic updates or close the programs that use them when possible.
Defrag Your Hard Drive
Practicing good computer health will benefit your gaming on every front, but defragmenting your hardware is an especially crucial task to add to your maintenance to-do list. Keeping your computer virus free, defragmenting your hard drive, and correcting any software errors will increase your overall system performance and can reduce your latency too.
Play on Local Servers
Some games will actually let you set up a local server — this means you could use a spare computer to act as a server on your own network. For most modern titles though, this isn’t an option. The best you can do is look for a server that is closest to you or one that you have the least latency with. In more remote areas of the world this can be difficult, but if there isn’t a server in your country, find one that is closest to your location. When faced with multiple options, experiment and record the results to know which is best.
Reduce Your Latency with Haste
Sometimes your latency is out of your control, but with Haste you can get back in the driver’s seat and play in optimal gaming conditions. Haste uses custom networking routes and software to optimize your networking traffic for the games you play. Haste’s infrastructure is consistently able to reduce latency for gamers to try to get you close to the LAN-like latency of days past. You can try Haste for free and get your network back under control!
So to recap:
- Shut down other programs
- Ditch Wi-Fi
- Disable updates
- Defrag your hard drive
- Use local servers
- Sign up for Haste
We hope these tips have provided you with some insight into the advantages of playing with low-latency. Use these suggestions to improve your performance so that you can focus more on gaming and less on frustrating troubleshooting. Click here to read more about Haste and how it can help you reduce latency and improve your network stability while giving you the tools you need to play smart. Or, start a free trial today!