What is ping? Ping, otherwise known as ping times, is actually a signal sent to a host that requests a response. Sending this signal serves two purposes. One is to see if the host is active. The other is to check how long it takes for the host to respond.
Imagine throwing a ball at a wall in such a way that it hits it and bounces back to you. The time it takes for the ball to bounce back would vary depending on the distance between you and the wall. In this case, we can consider the ball as the ping and the time it takes for the ball to bounce back as ping time.
Ping time is usually measured in milliseconds. If the ping time is too high, then it might lead to some serious connectivity problems at your end. High ping time is one of the most common problems that most online gamers face. Because online games are usually played in real-time, high ping times often lead to terrible lag while you’re gaming.
No one enjoys too much lag while they’re gaming. Not only does it make your gaming experience frustratingly slow, but it also affects your gaming performance, and your opponents take full advantage of your weakness.
Related: Does a VPN Affect Your Ping When You’re Gaming Online
What is a Good Ping Response Time?
- < 30 ms – less than 30 milliseconds is an excellent ping and is ideal for online gaming.
- 30 to 50 ms – between 30 to 50 milliseconds is an average ping. It’s still okay for online gaming
- 50 to 100 ms – between 50 to 100 milliseconds is slow ping time. It might not be very noticeable for web browsing but may affect online gaming.
- 100 ms to 500 ms – between 100 to 500 milliseconds is a very slow ping. It has some level of effect on web browsing and is very noticeable when online gaming.
- > 500 ms – pings of over half a second is worst for any user. It’s bad for web browsing and awful for online gaming.
Why Do Pings Get So High?
Now you might wonder why your ping gets so high. There are plenty of reasons for that. The most common reason for high pings is usually a weak internet connection. Sometimes, it’s your computer that cannot process the game properly, hence the lag. Other reasons why your ping gets high include:
Routers: outdated routers can affect the ping that you’re receiving.
Computers: even if the hardware is okay, the system might be unoptimized and probably needs to be cleaned.
Router Caches: these also affect the performance of your routers.
Game Settings: these might be unoptimized.
Number of devices: that are connected to your network.
Applications: that are running in the background.
Auto Updates: that goes into effect when you’re gaming.
Cables or locations of your devices: if you have a worn-out Ethernet cable or you’re in a bad Wi-Fi spot, you should consider changing the cable or moving closer to the router.
Related: What is Jitter?
How to Get Lower Ping
Now that you know why your ping gets high and how it affects your performance, it’s time to learn how to lower your ping times. If you’re confused about how you can troubleshoot the problem, then the following steps will be of great help.
1. Consider Your Communication Link
As previously mentioned, the most common reason for high pings is usually your internet connection. You first need to consider your communication link. Most gamers prefer fiber connections over satellite connections because of the distance it takes for the data to travel.
If you have a satellite connection at home, then it’s high time that you move to a cable or fiber connection instead.
2. Shut Down Other Programs
It’s not recommended to keep other software programs running while gaming. If you find a software program running in the background that is not integral to the game you’re playing, then it’s always better to close it down. Programs that also consume the internet, such as Skype, VoIP, and YouTube, also need to be closed to troubleshoot your high pings, as they take away precious resources from your game.
3. Ditch the Wi-Fi
As in the case of satellite connections, Wi-Fi can also pose similar disruptions to your networking. A Wi-Fi internet connection is not always a healthy option for online gaming. Wi-Fi creates several dead spots in your home that are bad for online gaming. It’s easier to ditch the Wi-Fi and use a network cable instead. Hardwired internet connections like these help receive the full internet speeds.
4. Temporarily Disable Updates
Automatic updates always create a problem, especially when you’re gaming online. You never know when the update kickstarts while you’re in the middle of an online battle.
It is better if you temporarily disable updates each time you start playing. You should also disable all firewalls or add exceptions to them. Again, this will increase both your computer’s performance and would also improve internet speeds while you’re gaming.
5. Defrag Your Hard Drive
It is important to ensure that all of your computer parts are in the best shape. Try to make sure that everything is up-to-date and running smoothly. Also, make sure to check for viruses. This will give a huge boost to your gaming speeds.
6. Check the Requirements
Before playing a game, it’s better to check its requirements and see if your PC can handle the gameplay. If the two don’t match, then you might start experiencing lag issues. You can still solve the problem, though, by upgrading your PC and keeping all of your drivers up to date.
7. Keep Checking
Before starting a game, make sure to perform a ping and latency check. You can perform checks by using tools such as speed tests. Don’t make the mistake of starting a game without checking your ping or latency because if it’s bad, it might ruin your gaming experience and your online scores.
8. Restart Your Router or Modem:
Restarting your modem or router can be a quick and easy way to clean out the cache on it. It is possible that over time, this will cause performance issues for you because of how many requests from different sources there are coming in at once. Flushing DNS will also help with some connection problems as well but restarting should always be a priority when troubleshooting any connectivity issue!
9. Update Your Router:
Your router might be slowing you down. You should always update the firmware on your router to improve your connection speed and latency.
10. Select a Server:
If you are playing a game that allows you to select one of their servers, always choose the location closest to where you’re located. The closer your physical distance between yourself and the server is, the better ping rate it will provide for games like Call of Duty or League Of Legends.
11. Remove the Bandwidth Hogs:
Stop using any services that eat up bandwidth, such as streaming 4K movies or downloading huge files before starting gaming.
12. Change Your DNS:
There are many DNS servers out there, and Google’s is one of the best. Give it a shot by typing in 18.104.22.168 as your preferred server and 22.214.171.124 as an alternate!
13. Adjust Your Frame Rate:
Gaming is now so impressive, and you might not even be aware of it. The higher the quality, the more energy your device needs to compute them. If high-pings are a problem for you, then there’s something else that can help with this issue: adjusting frame rates to optimize settings on gameplay graphics!
Bad latency can affect your overall gaming experiences. But after following the above steps properly, you can rest assured that you won’t be facing this issue the next time you play Call of Duty, Dota, or anything else, for that matter.