What’s the deal with ping? If you’re a gamer, you probably know that ping is a big deal. It’s the invisible force that can make or break your game, the difference between a triumphant victory and a frustrating defeat. But what exactly is ping and why is it so important in gaming? Let’s dive in!
Ping is a measure of latency, a fancy term for the speed at which a signal is sent from your computer and returned back to it. To put it simply, it’s like playing fetch with your dog. The amount of time you spend waiting for your dog to bring the stick back is your “ping”. In gaming, it’s the time it takes for your game to recognize your gameplay.
Now, imagine if you throw the stick (or in our case, a gaming command) and your dog (the game server) takes forever to bring it back. That’s high ping for you, and it’s just as annoying as a slow dog on a bad day. You press the attack button, but your character swings their sword a second later. That’s a second too late in the gaming world, and it can cost you the game!
Factors Affecting Ping
Have you ever wondered how do professional players always have good pings in Esports tournaments? Of course, they get the best internet available to them, but they also do some tricks in order to make the ping as stable as possible.
So, what affects your ping? Well, a whole bunch of factors. But above all else, your internet connection speed plays the biggest role. The faster your internet, the lower your ping, and the smoother your gameplay. But that’s not all. Your ping can also be affected by how many users are on your network and how much data your network is handling at the same time.
Besides, there are a number of things in your own home setup that can affect your ping. Outdated routers, congested caches, and even the number of devices connected to your network can cause your ping to shoot up.
How to Lower Your Ping
Step 1: Check if There are any Downloads in the Background
This may seem obvious, but you should check if there are any downloads in the background. Maybe your Steam is updating a game, or Windows is performing some unscheduled update. It is rare, but it can happen. So, if you have a bad ping, first make sure nothing is running in the background before performing any other actions.
Step 2: Internet Speed Test
Run an internet speed test. This will give you an idea of whether it’s your internet connection that’s affecting your ping or if it’s something else altogether.
Step 3: Router Setup
Next, show your router some love. Clear its cache, place it in an open space to avoid obstructions, and keep its firmware updated. You’d be surprised how much these small changes can affect your ping.
Step 4: Computer Maintenance
First, give your computer a good clean-up. Yes, you heard it right! Dust and debris can cause overheating and slow down your computer, affecting your ping. Also, make sure your ethernet cables are up to date. The higher the category of your cable, the better your internet bandwidth and transmission speed.
Step 5: Check Other Devices
Maybe everything is ok with your PC, and some external factor is causing a high ping. Make sure to check all the devices that are connected to your home WiFi, and see if any of them are performing any downloads or uploads. Your mobile phone can use 90% of your bandwidth if you didn’t limit the WiFi connection bandwidth in your router.
Step 6: Use an Ethernet Cable Instead of WiFi
Despite the preference for wireless technologies in the modern era, the wire remains the reigning champion. WiFi just can’t be as stable as a wired connection. It can have the same download speed, but the ping is almost always higher when using WiFi. So, try switching to Ethernet, at least while gaming.
Additional Tips to Lower Ping
Besides the steps mentioned above, there are a few more things you can do:
- Optimize your game settings: Make sure your game settings are not over-optimized for your system.
- Control background data usage: Close unnecessary applications and programs running in the background.
Checking Your Ping
Now that you’ve done everything you can to lower your ping, it’s time to check if it worked. You can run a ping test on most computers, and there are also online tests available. You can use third-party sites like https://speedtest.net/ to check our ping and internet speed. Anything below 100 ms is generally considered playable, but for a truly smooth gaming experience, you might want to aim for a ping of 50 ms or lower.
In conclusion, ping might seem like a small thing, but it can have a big impact on your gaming experience. High ping can lead to frustrating lag and sluggish gameplay, while low ping can ensure smooth and responsive action. By taking some simple steps to optimize your computer, router, and internet connection, you can significantly reduce your ping and level up your gaming performance.
So the next time you find yourself asking, “Why is my game lagging?” remember the lessons we’ve learned today about ping. After all, every millisecond counts in the gaming world. Happy gaming!