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Last updated: 21 May 2021
A video game lags when the physical action of a player, such as a keystroke, takes an extended amount of time to reach the game's server. If the information returning from the server also takes a long period of time you could see pauses and jerks in the gameplay.
To prevent a game lagging, you need to reduce latency. Latency is a measure of the quality of your internet connection. It's measured using a signal called ping. The network sends this signal to the server and measures the time it takes for that information to return. A low number indicates a short period of time for the information transfer, which translates to a low latency.
To reduce your latency you can try some of these tricks:
Change distance from router
Receiving the strongest possible wireless signal on your network will allow you to reduce your latency, and this is achieved by being as close as possible, or ideally connected to, your router. Any objects in between your device and the router will lower the wireless signal too, so consider moving furniture or ensuring the console or computer is in the same room as the router. A wired connection, using an ethernet cable, will offer the best possible speeds.
Reduce bandwidth usage
Reduce usage from bandwidth heavy sites, like Netflix or Youtube, if you can. It may not always be possible while others are using the same network, but the less bandwidth being used elsewhere the stronger your connection will be.
This kind of installation is possible for many major networks including BT, Vodafone and NOW Broadband.
Check connection speed
Check your internet speeds using an online speed test. If you're unable to get speeds of 15Mbps or above it's going to be fairly difficult to play games online. Consider upgrading your router and/or broadband package. If you've got a good connection you might want to look into ways to boost your wifi signal. Ensuring high speeds will also be useful for downloading games and updates, which most modern consoles require.
Use local servers
Always choose to play on local servers. The distance between yourself and the server plays a large part in the latency you can achieve.
If none of these work you might want to consider choosing a new faster package from our range of broadband deals.