Achieving the Edge: Secrets to Maintaining Low Latency in Online Games

Maintaining Low Latency In Online Games - Comwave
Calender Icon Feb 20 2024

Online gaming has come a long way. Players now play against competitors from all around the world, and many gamers make a living off of competitive gaming and streaming. With enjoyment, competition, and potentially money on the line, having a strong, reliable internet connection and low latency is more important than ever for gamers.

Latency, or ping, is the delay that occurs when data travels from your computer or console to a game server and back. Basically, it is the technical term for lag and reflects the time it takes for your actions to appear on screen. Almost all gamers have experienced high latency at some point. In many cases, it is annoying enough to end the gaming session. Fortunately, you have some options for reducing latency and keeping your gameplay responsive. Let’s explore some of the most effective methods.

What is Considered Good Latency?

Latency is the time it takes data to be transferred to and from servers, measured in milliseconds (ms). So lower latency is better. You can test the ping of your network connection and see how it stacks up to these thresholds for good latency.

  • 0 – 20 ms: Great
  • 20 – 50 ms: Good
  • 50 – 100 ms: Okay
  • 100 – 300 ms: Poor
  • 300 or more: Cannot support gameplay

What Causes High Latency?

High latency can be caused by several factors. Having an internet plan with slow download or upload speeds can interfere with your network’s ability to keep up with the demands of your game. Equally important is the type of connection your Wi-Fi uses. High-speed broadband internet is a necessity for responsive gameplay.

Other factors like your geographical location, the location of the gaming server, and the hardware you are using can all play a role in increasing latency as well.

How High Latency Affects Gameplay

If you are a seasoned gamer, you have probably experienced the frustrations of high latency, or perhaps you have dealt with latency issues without knowing what was causing your game to lag. The most common issues caused by high latency include:

  • Rubberbanding: Have you ever seen your character snap suddenly back to a previous position? This phenomenon is known as rubberbanding, and it can seriously disrupt gameplay.
  • Input Delay: This is simply the delay between you physically pressing a button and seeing the action reflected in your game.
  • Desynchronization: In multiplayer games, latency can cause you to be desynchronized from other players. Their actions may not be accurately reflected on your screen, offering them a competitive advantage and making it difficult to coordinate with teammates.

How to Improve Latency in Online Games

Choose a Reliable Internet Service Provider and High-Speed Internet

The first step to improving latency is selecting a trustworthy internet service provider like Comwave, known for reliable high-speed internet, and a plan fast enough to handle all of the demands of your game and the other devices in your home. Comwave offers several affordable plans tailored to gamers’ needs, ensuring minimal latency and smooth gameplay.

Connect With an Ethernet Cable or MoCA Adapter

A wired connection will typically provide a more stable and faster internet connection than Wi-Fi. Using an Ethernet cable directly from your router to your gaming device can significantly reduce latency. Alternatively, a MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) adapter can turn your existing coaxial cables into a high-speed network.

Stay Close to Your Router or Boost Your Signal

If you can’t use a wired connection, the next best option is to position your gaming console or computer in the same room as your router. This will help to improve the strength of your signal and should reduce latency compared to if your console is on the other side of your house. Alternatively, you can boost your connection by employing a Wi-Fi extender or switching from the 2.4 GHz band to the 5 GHz band on your router.

Upgrade Your Hardware

Sometimes your internet is fast enough, but it is being used inefficiently by outdated hardware. Ensure your router and modem are up to date and capable of handling high-speed internet. Older models may not support the speeds required for low-latency gaming. Upgrading to a gaming router can also offer features designed to prioritize gaming traffic.

Close Applications Competing for Bandwidth

Other devices and applications using your network consume bandwidth, therefore increasing latency. Ensure unnecessary devices are disconnected from the internet and close any bandwidth-heavy applications like streaming services or large downloads while gaming. If you live with a large family or a lot of roommates, you might be better off upgrading to a faster internet plan, capable of handling greater bandwidth demands.

Optimize Network Settings

Your router should allow you to adjust some network settings, which can help improve latency. Enabling Quality of Service (QoS) settings on your router can prioritize gaming traffic over other types of traffic. Additionally, adjusting your DNS settings to a faster server can reduce request times.

Choose a Local Gaming Server

Many games offer the option to choose your server or automatically connect you to the nearest one. If your game allows, select a gaming server closest to your geographical location. The shorter the distance data has to travel, the less geography will affect your latency.

Get Fast and Cheap Internet With Comwave

Low latency starts with a fast and reliable internet connection. Comwave offers reliable and cheap high-speed internet across Canada, with plans starting at only $29.95 per month. All of our plans come with unlimited data usage, no overage fees, and no data throttling, so you can game to your heart’s desire. Explore Comwave’s internet offerings today to find the best plan for your household.

Get the Perfect Plan
For You

Shop Internet and TV Bundles
The Millennial TV Plan Channels - Comewave
The Family & Kids TV Plan Channels - Comwave
The I Love TV Plan Channels - Comwave

Service Address

First, let us know where you live so we can make sure that we can provide service in your area.