Published On: Mon, Mar 25th, 2013

5 Steps to reduce lag in online games

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I have been a player of online games from several years, including games like Counter Strike, WarRock and some others. And it is the worst moment to play when game starts lags, sometimes this lag is too much that if we press the button ‘R’ from keypad to reload a gun then gun doesn’t reload  instantly, it will even take the gap of  2 seconds and it might even take the gap of 5 seconds or more in worst case of lag.

Most of the times, it is lag which kills the player not opponent, lag is the enemy to be killed.

lag kills, 5 steps to reduce lag in online games

So, the question is why this is happening ? What is this lag ? and How it causes delay ? How to check that game is delayed with how many seconds? Before answering these questions I would like to introduce you with some terminologies like ping time, latency and lag. These terms seem to be same, but technically they are different.

What is ping?

Whatever online game you play whether it is counter strike, warrock or Need for Speed, the definition of ping remains same. Let’s understand how signals are sent and received by you game.

ping-time-in-online-games

Signals are first traveled  from your game to your network adapter and then these signals are further forwarded  to your Internet Service Provider(ISP). Now these signals travel across different routers over the internet before reaching to the server, from whom you are connected and then it is received by server’s network adapter.

So this is called ping time. It is the total number milliseconds(ms) which signal takes to travel the whole journey from your computer to the server’s network adapter.

You might be thinking what is network adapter here? Well, network adapter is the network card which let your machine connect and communicate with other machine, it can be your wi-fi adapter or it can be your LAN adapter.

What  is Latency?

Latency is also a number in milliseconds(ms), It is the total of time taken by you computer to process signals and the time signal takes to travels the whole journey over the internet to the server’s network adapter. In addition, in some games, it is also the time taken by the server to process signals.

In short, Latency  = time taken by your computer and server to process signals  + Ping Time.

So, It is obvious that you always get high latency number then the ping time.

Here is the survey of average latency time in different regions of the world.

What is Lag or Delay?

lag in internet games

Lag is the extra time in addition to latency. It means signals are sent by the server and they are received by game and processed but,  the game is still spending some time to process something or the game is  taking extra time then is usually takes to process something and hence it caused delay.

Lag can be caused by any of the reasons, it may be the fault at you computer or it may be the fault at your internet service provider or it may be the fault of server or its internet service provider.

Generally, at client side, may be your RAM is not quite enough to handle the game sufficiently. May be your CPU pr processor is not effective or it may busy in processing other applications. May be your internet connection is too slow or it has some faults in routing the traffic.

lag effects

How to reduce Lag?

Now, you might be thinking, is there any solution to reduce lag without spending a penny. Well, I can suggest you some tips to reduce lag, these tips may or may prove beneficial to you. So, lets see what are these tips if you are getting more than 150 ms of latency.

Step 1: Check whether only you are the one who is getting high latency or there are  more than 60% players who are also getting high latency. If it is only you, then server is OK and its internet connection is also OK and working fine, there is a problem at your side, move to step 2. Otherwise, there is a problem from server side or in its internet connection or ISP.

Step 2: Close all extra running applications which you don’t need while playing, to somehow free up RAM and CPU. Or its better to restart the computer. In addition, your computer must not be warm high.

Open Task Manager and look for the applications that are not visible in taskbar and system tray. For example, Adobe Updater is using your internet connection and consuming speed in downloading, may be torrent is running in background. If this didn’t work move to step 3.

Step 3: Restart your router or modem, let it be cool. Try to obtain another IP Address, sometimes on restart, your ISP will automatically serve you another IP Address. Otherwise, do it manually.

Press Window Key + R, Run Window will come up, type cmd, and then look for ip by command ipconfigand then type ipconfig /flushdns  and again type another command ipconfig /releaseRestart your PC and look whether your IP Addres is changed or not.

Step 4: If these steps didn’t help you in getting low latency then try to change your internet connection and plan. At a speed of 2 MBPS or 250 KBPS downloading, every game works fine.

You will always get a low ping if you are playing on the server located in your country. And you will also get a low ping if your ISP is same exactly the ISP of server then, distance won’t matter much.

Step 5: If these all didn’t work try to change your hardware. Purchase motherboard, CPU(processor) and RAM of latest technology and of renowned vendor or company.

It is surely possible that you will get a low latency and hence low lag after following these 5 Steps. For the step 1, if server has the problem in its internet connection, we can do nothing. It is better to join another server. And as soon as more and more players join server, latency will increase and hence lag will cause.

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Nirupam
About Nirupam Chaudhary

Nirupam is a student of Masters in Computer Applications (MCA) from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra. He is a freelancer blogger and programmer with the experience in the fields of C, Win32 API, C++, JAVA, VB.NET, PHP, MySql, SQL, XML, HTML, CSS, JSP and has knowledge over SEO, SMO, Python, Android, Surface Computing, Security and internet world.

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  1. Blist_Mopher.pYBlist_Mopher.pY says:

    Torrent plays an important role to increase the ping !! :/

  2. Every word in this piece of work is very clear and your passion for this topic shines. Please continue your work in this area and I hope to see more from you in the future.

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