Though it is far less of an issue when compared to a few years ago; Lag remains a problem for gamers around the globe and the sticky, clippy, juddering experience has officially had its time. Whether its taking its toll on your enjoyment of a MMORPG, hampering your research into how to play online poker or causing issues with the latest FPS – we have had enough and we can, hopefully, remove the issue for everyone.
What is Lag?
In brief, Lag is caused by latency between your system to send signals to the game’s mains server and the return signal. The longer the time between the signals being sent and received; the worse the Lag will be – hence the juddering of sound and display that always catches the unsuspecting player unawares.
Combatting Lag: The Key Tips
- Using a wired connection will remove much of the interference that slows your Wi-Fi right down at times. Wi-Fi can cause all kinds of issues when playing online so get yourself a good Ethernet cable and hardware your system to the router.
- Having other programs or users accessing your internet connection will progressively limit your bandwidth access – close everything else down when you’re going online to game.
- Stop programs updating during your gaming session. This includes your phones, tablets, PCs, consoles and anything else that automatically updates itself – pause the update rather than cancelling it to remain protected and up to date, however.
- Limit the number of users accessing your connection wherever possible. We’ve all experienced buffering and other connection issues when another user is sucking up all the bandwidth – advise them it’s ruining your gaming experience and politely ask them to finish later.
- Quality of Service settings can be amended to prioritise certain traffic over others but it only really comes into play when the connection is close to maxing out – best to amend them to be sure though.
- Network Address Translation may sound very complicated but all you need to do is open your connection to improve your experience. Open NAT allows you to connect to any other players where Moderate and Strict limit you to identical users.
- Keep your game and system fully up to date as driver and firmware updates often repair bugs that cause Lag.
- Though it may have a negative effect on the overall look of the game; reducing the gameplay and graphics settings will allow a less powerful system or connection to run the game at the cost of taking a bit of the sheen off the game – a small price to pay.
- Local servers will always perform better than the distant options. Less geographic distance for the signal to cover will mean less Lag overall.
Put simply, reducing Lag is a fairly simple process when everything is considered. You’ll want to line directly to your router, limit other user’s access and try and keep the gaming session as local as possible to prevent geographic interferences.
If you’re still experiencing Lag despite trying out these tips; it may be time to consider upgrading your hardware to more modern or more powerful options – keeping on the cutting edge of technology can be difficult and expensive but it makes for a better gaming experience.