If you searched how to lower ping, you already have a good idea of why it is bad and how it can affect you. Gamers are the ones that suffer the most from high ping. Online multiplayer games that have a heavy focus on competition such as shooters and mobs require a low and stable ping to be enjoyed properly. If the ping is an issue, you can take a ping test or stick around to find out how you can troubleshoot and possibly, lower your ping by doing a few simple things.
#1. Stop downloads and background running apps
Ping can increase when you push the limits of your bandwidth. If you are downloading multiple large files or have too many background apps that require an internet connection, your ping can increase or it can have intermittent spikes. When there is competition between applications to use the internet connection, data packets will be delayed which means a higher ping. What you need to do is to stop downloads and close some of the apps that are running in the background.
#2. Restart your computer
When your PC boots up, it loads network drivers into the RAM or your pagefile. As the drivers are being used by the operating system, they can become corrupt. A computer restart will force the system to load the drivers again which could eliminate your ping problem. At the same time, a restart will close the apps that may be overutilizing your internet connection.
#3. Check your internet router
Sometimes, routers can experience software issues that could cause your internet to be slow or your ping to spike. These logical errors can sometimes be fixed if you restart your router. Hardware problems rarely cause internet slowness or ping spikes. When hardware fails, your internet simply stops working. If you want to learn how to lower ping, consider rebooting your router first.
#4. Using Wi-Fi? Consider switching to a wired connection
If you have a router that you connect to over Wi-Fi, that may be the source of your problems. A wireless internet connection is inferior to a wired one. Wireless is less reliable, is susceptible to interference, and has lower transfer rates. It can affect your ping in many different ways. To avoid having ping issues associated with a wireless internet connection, consider getting a cat5 or cat6 UTP cable and connect your computer to your router directly using the cable. Even if it does not lower your ping, it will improve your internet speed.
#5. Remove other devices connected to your router
Just like your computer can sabotage your ping, other devices may be doing so also. If you want to know how to lower ping, you need to start by removing devices that require an internet connection. Once removed, you should check your ping. If the ping drops, it is a good indication that one device that was connected to the router was eating up the bandwidth.
#6. Consider upgrading your broadband subscription
If nothing has worked so far, it may be an indication that your internet is simply not fast enough. You may need to upgrade your internet subscription or swap ISPs. In most cases, ping-related issues are caused by ISPs and how data packets are routed. An inefficient routing could cause packets to take longer than usual to reach the destination host. VPNs can help with this by optimizing how packets are routed but it does not always work.
#7. Upgrade your Ethernet cable
Another possible fix for a high ping is to upgrade your Ethernet cable. If you have anything below a cat5 UTP cable, you should get an upgrade. A cat5 cable is a gigabit cable. Older cables have much lower transfer rates. If this does not work and you still wish to lower your ping, move to the next step.
#8. Upgrade your router
If your router is 3 years or older, you should consider upgrading it. Part of how to lower ping is addressing router issues. Old routers may not be fast enough for your internet connection and act as a bottleneck. A new router that is using the latest networking technologies may be capable of lowering your ping.
#9. Consider upgrading your network card
If you own a desktop computer, you should consider changing your network card. A network card can be inserted in one of the PCI Express slots. They are not that expensive and not that difficult to install. Once installed, make sure that the old one is removed. It is not enough to remove the drivers. You can disable the old network card from the device manager. For the new card, make sure you install the recommended drivers.
#10. Perform a ping test
There are online websites that offer ping tests for free. They can provide valuable information as to why your ping is high which will help you address the issue. A ping test can also tell you are which hop you are getting an increased ping. It can indicate faulty equipment, heavy attenuation on an optic fiber cable or it can tell you if you have a general issue with ping or just with the game that you are playing or application that you are using. A ping test will not tell you specifically how to lower ping but it will serve as a starting point and a valuable source of information for troubleshooting.
There are not that many other probable causes for high ping. You should try to get a ping that is below 50. If your ping is higher than that, you will notice the negative effects of multiplayer games.
The above-mentioned steps can be followed as is but they are meant to only provide some basic assistance to the ones that want to lower their ping. There are high chances that you will be able to fix your ping by following the 10 tips above. If it does not work, a speed test can help you pinpoint the problem and provide some basic guides on how to lower ping.
Other methods involve changing system settings. If you are not comfortable changing settings in your computer, you can also get help from someone that is more tech-savvy. Hopefully, the 10 tips managed to teach you how to lower ping in multiplayer online games.