Lag. It’s the bane of the online gamer. It strikes fear in the toughest player. Whether someone’s playing Dota 2 or League of Legends, they want a low-lag experience. Lag happens with online gaming because every action the user makes produces a change request to the game server. This back-and-forth communication is essential, but it also creates multiple instances for problems and delays.
Ping, Latency, and Lag
Ping is the signal sent from one computer to another on the same network. It’s a one-way journey, measured in milliseconds. The higher this measured number, the slower the connection. The “round trip” journey is known as latency and is the time required for the ping to come back to the computer. Latency measures the quality of the connection, not just the speed, and along with bandwidth (the amount of data that can be pushed through a given time), they both determine if a gamer has an optimal or sub-par connection.
Lag, the issue that drives gamers crazy, is the delay between their commands (duck, shoot, crawl) and the action on the screen. They throw a grenade in Fortnite, but there’s a slight delay, which gives their opponent time to come in for the kill. Lag often occurs because of a high ping along with a lower speed internet connection. Or it can come through packet losses while the user’s device continually connects and reconnects to the internet connection. In the worst-case scenarios, various commands will build up, causing the gameplay to freeze for a few seconds, or resulting in a disconnection.
Multiple Connected Approaches to Reduce Lag
There are advancements in software programs that can adjust gaming packets, rerouting them for faster connectivity with reduced ping scores. Here’s several tips for lowering lag and experiencing more enjoyable sessions:
- If a gamer shares bandwidth with others who are downloading large files or streaming music, it will increase their latency and ping numbers. If a roommate is binge watching Netflix, they’ll impact the gaming experience. Consider increasing available bandwidth or scheduling times for gaming when those other activities are not occurring
- Connect to an ethernet cable for a steadier connection and faster speeds.
- If using Wi-Fi, move the router to a different position, or adjust the gaming console to a different position. Try to avoid interference from mobile chargers, wireless speakers, and other appliances that can interrupt the signal and impact gameplay. The microwave is a consistent problem for gamers!
- Use a range extender if the router is located further away or the signal needs to travel through multiple walls and doors.
- Use a software solution to reroute the connections of specific games to reduce packet loss and ensure optimal performance.
- Update the game to the latest version
As the online gaming industry matures, there’s new ways companies are tackling lag with AI and optimization techniques.
Improving Game Experiences with ExitLag
ExitLag takes a different approach to combating lag. It improves gaming connections and experiences to enable more competitive and enjoyable sessions. To complete data trafficking optimization, it uses artificial intelligence and multi-path connections with simultaneous activation. It sends connection packets through different routes, searching for the best pathway that ensures the packet’s delivery. Its global network of more than 700 servers means enhanced availability for reduced ping and latency caused by geographic distances.
Many professional gamers utilize two or more internet sources to protect against internet provider failures. ExitLag allows users to leverage this setup more effectively by enabling them to use two connections simultaneously, to prevent interruptions during any outage or other problem. With this service, users can choose a region for their application/game based on where the game’s servers are hosted. So, if a user knows a game is hosted in Chicago, then ExitLag will search and provide the user with the best routes near that hosted destination. Routing selection is done automatically, with ExitLag using AI algorithms to identify the best pathways for the packet to go from the ISP to the game server.
Currently compatible with more than 500 games, it’s a core accessory for gamers who need consistent and fast connections. ExitLag is run and developed by a group of gamers who understand the frustrations of laggy connections and missed gaming opportunities.
Eliminating lag completely is a tall order. There are too many variables between the user’s actions on their keyboard and the results displayed on their screen. However, new software solutions that intelligently route gaming traffic can reduce lag, improve ping, and provide serious gamers with the stability they need to compete and win.