When you’re gaming online, everything counts! Every second, every move, and every component of your PC. It’s the tiniest of details that separate the average from pro gamers in online ranked matches, and everyone will go to extreme lengths to level the playing field.
These key factors are under your direct control:
- Internet connection
- PC spec
- Gaming accessories
Of the three, a bad internet connection can cause severe lag, hindering your performance and limiting your output. It’s one thing to be outplayed by a better opponent, but when you can’t play at your best because of your bottleneck connection, it becomes a frustrating matter. Some of the common ways to improve your internet connection are:
- Obtaining low latency with a VPN
- Quality broadband connection
- Physically moving closer to your router
- Use an Ethernet cable
- Close unnecessary background programs
Obtaining low latency with a VPN
Latency is affected by your network provider’s hardware, your gaming server location, and your router quality. If some of these items are off, your actions lag, meaning your input is not detected immediately, and your character and actions fall behind your real-world actions. If you wish to switch to a closer server, it can be impossible due to specific regions’ restrictions. Your ISP can also throttle bandwidth data and have inefficient routing. All of these can be solved with a VPN, which allows you to pick a server you wish and encrypts your data, bypassing ISP restrictions. Considering that there are VPNs available for every major operating system, you’ll certainly find the right one for the job.
Quality broadband connection
Next is your broadband connection capacity, where bigger does not necessarily mean better. Yes, choosing a fiber connection is the best option, but considering only 43% of U.S. households have access to fast, reliable fiber internet connections, picking a different broadband provider is the next best option. Aim for 15 to 20 Mbps on a stable connection, and you’ll feel a noticeable difference in competitive games. Investing in a better router also helps.
Physically moving closer to your router
If you’re gaming with a Wi-Fi connection, thick concrete walls are the number one cause of poor internet speeds and performance. If possible, try moving your gaming station closer to the router and with as few obstructions as possible between the two.
Use an Ethernet cable
Following on from the above, you can make your PC and router much closer by using an Ethernet cable to directly connect the two. An Ethernet cable provides a steady ping, and it will have a positive effect on your latency. Latency, or ping, is how long one data packet travels from your PC to a server and back. Any ping below 150 milliseconds is great! If you get below 20 milliseconds, that is perfect for gaming.
Close unnecessary background programs
Actions like online video chat, streaming, and downloading large files put a strain on your connection, as they require plenty of data, so aim to minimize these background activities while you are gaming. Check if some other device is putting a strain on your overall connection, or try to schedule your gaming when there’s less strain on your Wi-Fi network from your household.
We agree that buying quality gaming laptops and peripherals can also upgrade your performance when playing online or in competitive play. Your PC must process and present games stably, with high and consistent FPS, while producing high-end graphics. But all those fall back on the priority list if your internet connection is not top-notch!