Begin ID: A two monitor PC gaming set up. The keyboard is illuminated; there is a condenser mike in the foreground. The text on the monitors reads, "The spirit of gaming". Photo by Ella Don. End ID.

When it comes to gaming, one of the biggest challenges you can face is lag. It’s not the opponents in your battle game or the other team of a sports match - it’s the frustrating slowdown of the internet that results in missed shots, missed opportunities, and ultimately, a loss.

There are several key aspects to consider when it comes to ensuring that you’re optimizing your connection. Let’s walk through some of the quick tips and considerations to make for a better gaming experience. 

1. How’s Your Internet Speed & Bandwidth?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need super high-speed internet to be able to game seamlessly… 15 - 20Mbps may actually do. However, bandwidth can be an important factor to consider. 

If there are a lot of people in your home engaging in other internet activities like streaming a video, FaceTiming, or maybe also gaming, that can strain your bandwidth and cause the lags. So, are you ready to tell your brother to quit watching Netflix on the other end? 

2. You Want Low Latency.

In case you haven’t heard of latency, it’s also known as “ping” which refers to the amount of time it takes your computer to respond to an action you take. You want low latency, but factors like Internet Service Provider (ISP) quality, internet speed, inadequate bandwidth, firewall configurations and geographic locations will affect it. 

For most people, latency isn’t a big deal. You can still do your regular activities like browse on Instagram, listen to Spotify, and such, but for gamers? It can have a major impact, and you can easily find yourself at a disadvantage against other players who have a lower ping. 

In gaming, a ping of 20 milliseconds are considered exceptional, and anywhere between 50 to 100 milliseconds are still very good to average. 

3. Get Close to Your Router.

WiFi is no magic. Signals flow wirelessly from one router to the next, but things like walls, floors, furniture and other physical objects can get in the way. Move your computer or console closer to the router, or simply be in the area of your home with good connectivity. 

4. Close All Background Running Apps.

When gaming, you likely don’t need your Netflix running in the background. Try not to download anything as well. Those can be bandwidth-heavy and latency boosters, which will cause the lag. You can even try putting your phone on Airplane mode so that it’s not eating up bandwidth while you’re not using it.

5. Use an Ethernet Cable.

This is a bit tricky because using a wired connection means you’re the only one who can use the internet. If you live with your parents, roommates, or your partner, you probably don’t want to do this. However, if they’re not in the house, you can try and squeeze in a game and connect your device to the router via Ethernet cable. 

6. Restart Your Router.

If the router has been on and in use for a while, you can refresh your internet connection by restarting it. 

7. Replace Your Router. 

Choose a router that is optimized for gaming— one that has the Quality of Service (QoS) feature and will allow you to prioritize the traffic on your console. Gaming routers will enhance the conditions needed for gaming such as internet speed and latency. 

8. Play Games on Local Server. 

If data has to travel very long distances, it will take a long time to reach its destination— thus high ping. If you want lower ping, play on a server within your country. 

9. Upgrade Your Broadband Package.

Whether your provider is SaskTel, Bell, Rogers, Shaw, or another one, they may have broadband plans that offer better conditions for gaming. This is a great option, but it might need one more thing to finally give you the best gaming experience… which brings us to the last point.

10. Complement Your WiFi with Wipstream Home.

Wipstream will merge your existing home WiFi with Wipstream Data to create one seriously fast connection for you. How does it work?

Wipstream Home is a device that connects to your home’s main internet connection and reads how much bandwidth is available from your ISP. If it detects that there isn’t enough bandwidth available, it’ll start to use LTE data to supplement the existing connection. Once it detects that the bandwidth needs are less than what’s available from your ISP, it’ll stop using LTE and let your home internet connection do the work again. 

Essentially, Wipstream Home will fill in whatever gaps there are to ensure that your internet connection isn’t choppy and frustrating. 

By following the simple tips in this post, you can reduce lag and ensure that you’re getting the best gaming experience possible. Have you tried any of these methods? What has worked best for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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