Tired of Game Lag? Try These 7 Tips for a Lag-Free Experience

Timing is one of the most essential parts of online gaming. Every second counts as you play, especially in highly competitive genres like shooters and fighting games.

Game lag is a frustrating thing that can ruin your entire game. It’s when you input a command, and there’s a delay in the game’s response. Even the slightest stutter can cost you a match, leading many gamers to research ways to enjoy a lag-free gaming experience.

This article will explore different ways you can remove lag from your games. It will highlight how to improve your network and connectivity and what computer settings you must review to ensure you’re running games optimally.

Seven easy ways to reduce lag

Below are several different ways you can help reduce lag in your games. They cover a wide range of potential causes, including some tips on what to check first.

1. Turn off other programs and devices connected to the router

One of the first ways of reducing game lag is by closing programs that might be running in the background and quietly consuming both processing power and bandwidth. These can include your internet browser, music players, streaming apps, and unused software that still runs in the background unchecked.

You can see what is running on your system by opening the Task Manager and viewing programs and processes that cause high CPU usage.

You should also be wary of devices connected to your internet. These can include other computers, smartphones, and a variety of IoT devices that could be hogging precious resources from your router.

You should open your router settings and see what is connected during gameplay. Consider disconnecting devices during game sessions to reduce lag.

2. Change from wireless to wired connections

Although WiFi is a very convenient way of connecting to the internet, it’s not always the best option for gaming. This is because interference between your PC or console and the router can cause noticeable delays in speed and performance.

As such, you should consider using an ethernet cable to directly connect to your router. This ensures no interference, and you enjoy the fastest speed possible.

Depending on the location of your router, a wired connection may not be possible. In this instance, try to move your devices as close to the router as possible and remove any interference, like IoT devices, that may be located between them. Also, ensure that your PC and console use the fastest network possible (5.0 GHz instead of 2.4 GHz) to ensure you’re using the fastest connection speeds possible.

3. Change to faster DNS servers

A domain name system (DNS) is like the internet’s personal phonebook, converting URLs into IP addresses so your browser can load the website you want.

Slow DNS servers can be frustrating in gaming. They can slow down web pages that you may use to get all of your gaming news, mods, add-ons, and updates.

To improve your gaming experience, you should use the best DNS servers for gaming. Read through user reviews if you’re unsure which to choose. These servers are tailor-made to speed up your online browsing, allowing you to download games, add-ons, and mods and visit clan and community forums that your older settings may have blocked.

4. Check and reconfigure your firewall

A firewall identifies and authenticates incoming and outgoing network traffic. Ordinarily, this is a vital part of protecting your PC from a cyberattack, as it can filter out malicious traffic or malware before it enters your network. But a poorly configured firewall can also significantly impact your gaming experience.

before it enters your network. But a poorly configured firewall can also significantly impact your gaming experience.

This is mainly the case if your firewall has too many complex rules and settings that stall traffic filtering. It may also be missing critical updates to run modern games optimally.

Turning off your firewall, even temporarily, is generally unwise as this can open your system to attack. Instead, you can review permissions and settings to reduce lag without exposing yourself completely. By opening your firewall software, you can add an exception to your games, allowing them to send and receive data quicker, thus reducing lag.

5. Beware of data throttling

Data throttling is when your internet service provider recognises you’re partaking in data-intensive activities, such as online gaming, and reduces your speed to conserve network resources. There are many ways to identify whether this is the reason behind your lag, including:

  • Speed tests: Run an internet speed test when your connection runs smoothly. This is your baseline speed. If you suspect throttling, re-run the test and compare the results.
  • VPN: A virtual private network encrypts your internet connection, thus hiding your online activity from your service provider. It can prevent throttling, as no one can detect whether you’re gaming.

6. Change your servers

Another reason your games may be slowing down is that you connect to the wrong servers. A general rule of thumb is that the further you are away from the server, the longer it can take for data packets to travel between players.

While most games will automatically select the best server relative to your location, you may have accidentally chosen a distant one to play with friends. To correct this, open up your settings in-game and select a server closest to your geographic location.

7. Check and ensure graphics drivers are updated

Finally, another common reason why you may be experiencing game lag is not necessarily down to internet speed but your computer’s software and settings. Graphics card drivers, for example, are essential to running games optimally. Developers regularly release updates to ensure they can keep up and run modern games.

Also, make sure that you’re using the correct graphics card in the first place. Many modern PCs and gaming laptops have dedicated graphics cards that allow them to run high-intensity online games. Your computer may use its integrated graphics card, which shares processing power and can lead to drastically reduced gaming speed.

A Few Final Words

We all can agree that lag ruins the gaming experience, but there are various ways to reduce it. By implementing our tips, you can improve your network and connectivity and ensure that your computer settings are optimised for gaming. With a little effort, you can say goodbye to game lag and enjoy all your favourite games without any delays or hiccups.

By Beata