The Complete Guide to Reducing Lag When Gaming

Lag can be a frustrating issue for gamers, causing delays and affecting gameplay. But with the right steps and optimisations, you can reduce lag and enjoy a smoother gaming experience, boosting your chances to come away with the win.

Here’s our comprehensive guide to help you minimise lag when gaming:

Check your internet connection:

  • Ensure you have a stable and high-speed internet connection. Consider upgrading your internet package if necessary.
  • Connect your gaming device directly to the router using an Ethernet cable for a more stable connection, rather than relying on Wi-Fi.
  • Run an internet speed test to determine if your connection meets the minimum requirements for online gaming.

Optimise your network settings:

  • Disable or pause any downloads or streaming services running in the background, as they can consume bandwidth and increase latency.
  • Prioritise your gaming device by enabling Quality of Service (QoS) settings on your router. This ensures that gaming traffic gets priority over other devices on the network.
  • If possible, enable gaming mode or a similar feature on your router, which prioritises gaming traffic and reduces lag.

Update your drivers and firmware:

  • Keep your graphics card drivers, network drivers, and firmware for your gaming device up to date. Manufacturers frequently release updates that optimise performance and fix bugs that could cause lag.
  • Visit the manufacturer’s website or use automatic driver update software to ensure you have the latest drivers installed.

Close unnecessary applications:

  • Close any non-essential applications and processes running in the background. They consume system resources and can contribute to lag during gaming.
  • Disable any startup programs that launch automatically when you boot up your computer, as they can hog resources and affect gaming performance.

Optimise in-game settings:

  • Lower the graphics settings in your games. Higher graphics settings require more processing power, which can cause lag.
  • Disable features like anti-aliasing, motion blur, and other graphics-intensive effects that can impact performance.
  • Experiment with different settings to find the right balance between visuals and performance.

Reduce the number of active devices on your network:

  • Disconnect or pause any devices connected to your network that are not in use. This reduces the overall network load and can improve gaming performance.
  • If multiple people in your household are using the internet simultaneously, consider setting up a dedicated gaming network to minimise congestion.

Consider a wired connection for multiplayer gaming:

  • If you’re experiencing lag in multiplayer games, a wired connection can provide better stability and lower latency compared to Wi-Fi.
  • Use a high-quality Ethernet cable to connect your gaming device directly to the router.

Choose the correct game server:

  • Connect to game servers that are geographically closer to your location. This reduces the distance your data needs to travel, minimising latency.
  • Research and select game servers known for their stability and low latency. Check gaming forums or websites for recommendations.

Optimise your computer’s performance:

  • Regularly clean up your hard drive by removing unnecessary files and programs.
  • Run disk cleanup and defragmentation tools to optimise your hard drive’s performance.
  • Ensure your computer is not overheating, as high temperatures can cause performance issues. Keep your system clean and well-ventilated.
  • Consider upgrading your computer’s hardware components, such as the CPU, graphics card, or RAM, if they are outdated and cannot handle the demands of modern games.

Use a gaming VPN:

  • Consider using a gaming VPN (Virtual Private Network) to reduce latency and improve connection stability. A gaming VPN can help optimise your routing and provide a more direct path to game servers.
  • Choose a reputable gaming VPN service that offers servers in locations close to your gaming servers for the best results.

Disable background processes and services:

  • Turn off any unnecessary background processes and services that are running on your computer, as they can consume system resources and contribute to lag.
  • Use the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc on Windows) to identify and close resource-intensive processes.

Contact your ISP:

  • If you consistently experience lag despite optimising your network, contact your internet service provider (ISP) to address any potential issues with your connection.
  • Ask your ISP if they offer a gaming-specific package or if there are any optimisations they can make to improve your gaming experience.

By following these steps, you should be able to reduce lag and enjoy a smoother gaming experience. Remember that different games and systems may require specific optimisations, so research and adjust settings accordingly.