When you are playing games online, your router has an effect on your experience. Your connection speed will waste if you have a junky router that cannot keep up or keep you connected. If you are experiencing disconnects, lag, or other online gaming issues, you have to check out these best router settings and tips for gaming.
ENABLE QUALITY OF SERVICE (QOS)
Quality of Service (QOS) is a router feature which prioritizes data packets for specific connected devices. This is useful when you have multiple users on the network all doing network-intensive activities. For instance, if your mate is watching 4K Netflix while your son is video chatting with his friend and downloading a huge amount of data in the background, that will all hog much bandwidth.
When you try playing a game with all this going on, there will not be much bandwidth left, resulting in lag and poor performance. With enable Quality of Service (QOS), you are able to prioritize your gaming PC or console over other devices using the network. This will force your router to handle gaming data first before worrying about everything else.
USE GIGABIT ETHERNET PORTS
If at all possible, you have to use Ethernet over Wi-Fi. Usually, while gaming on strong Wi-Fi is good enough, it utilizes speed and latency for the convenience of being cable-free. To make sure the maximum performance, you need to use a router with gigabit Ethernet ports.
For your information, Gigabit Ethernet is able to handle speeds up to 1,000Mbps, your connection will be able to deliver those speeds. If you have multiple gaming systems, search for a router with more ports so you do not have to purchase a switch separately.
If your router is far away from your gaming machine and you cannot run a cable, you are able to try using power line adapters. Those allow you to transfer internet data through the normal power outlets in your home.
Apparently, they come in pairs: plug one in near your router and the other one near your console or computer. Use an Ethernet cable to connect the adapters to your router and system. While they are not as reliable as true Ethernet, it is a simple way to get Ethernet across rooms.
USE MODERN WI-FI STANDARDS
If Ethernet is not an option, you are able to ensure to get a router which supports current wireless standards. On most routers, you are going to see a value such as AC2600 or AX1500, that tells you the standard it uses and its theoretical maximum speed. Wi-Fi 5 is common on routers in 2020. But Wi-Fi 6 is the new standard. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi 6-compatible devices are not widely available at the time.
Based on the research, almost every modern router is dual-band. It means that it supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. 5GHz networks are more reliable than the older 2.4GHz band, however have a downside of a shorter range. Several older devices only support 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, but you are able to take advantage of 5GHz with newer devices.
If you utilize Wi-Fi for gaming, you have to use the 5GHz band if your system supports it. In a small room, you do not have to worry about the shorter range. But in a large house, you have to try to rearrange your setup so that the router is not more than a room away from your gaming device.
OPTIMIZE YOUR WIRELESS CHANNEL
One of the reasons to avoid Wi-Fi when gaming is that Wi-Fi signals will be able to interfere with each other. When a signal meets interference, it fails to reach its destination and has to resend the data. With enough interference, latency and packet loss is going to increase and then affect your game. Interference may occur on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
However, it is far more common once you are using 2.4GHz. The 2.4GHz band may only broadcast on eleven channels in the United State, and only three of them are non-overlapping. Due to the 2.4GHz band being close to what other common household devices use, like microwaves and baby monitors, you are able to pick up interference from non-Wi-Fi devices.
The 5GHz band has 23 non-overlapping channels. The more broadcasts on a channel, so the greater the congestion. It means that there is more space on 5GHz networks in crowded spaces. Regardless of which band you utilize, you must definitely analyze your Wi-Fi network, discover which channel is least-used, and set your router manually to use that channel. This will help with interference and congestion.
HAVE SUFFICIENT CPU AND RAM
CPU and RAM are significant considerations when selecting computers and mobile devices. However, you may not think about it for your router. While routers do not have to run resource-intensive apps, they have to handle tons of network data constantly. If your router’s CPU is weak, then it may not be able to keep up with heavy network demand. Usually, games do not send a whole lot of data on their own.
Once you add in the constant data influx of video streams, video chat, file downloads, and other usage from multiple connected devices, a weaker router can struggle under the load. If your computer is the only device on the network, you may be able to get away with a cheaper router.
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If something goes wrong with a device, you may know what troubleshooting step to take first: turn it off and on again. This is mainly true for older routers, that can suddenly drop connections and freeze for seemingly no reason.
For this reason, you are able to delete some headaches by automating a router reboot schedule. Several routers have this built-in. If you don’t, switching to a custom router firmware can grant you the option. Otherwise, you are able to purchase a programmable timer switch to plug your router into.
MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output) is an important feature if your network serves lots of different devices. It is common for multiple users to use high-bandwidth applications while trying to play games. Without MU-MIMO, your router must serve each device one by one, that can reduce overall network speed. With MU-MIMO, the router will set up multiple “mini-networks” and work with each device simultaneously.
On my daily job, I am a software engineer, programmer & computer technician. My passion is assembling PC hardware, studying Operating System and all things related to computers technology. I also love to make short films for YouTube as a producer. More at about me…