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14 Ways to Lower Your Ping and Improve Online Gaming

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Only avid gamers know the struggle to attain the best gaming experience. From buying the best monitors with high refresh rates to buying the latest controllers, it is a calculated effort. But, the most important consideration for smooth gaming is network ping. If you are getting a high ping during an online game, then you might experience lag, which may ruin your gameplay. There are several factors that affect the ping rate. Read below to learn a few effective ways to lower your ping.

How to Lower Your Ping and Improve Online Gaming

14 Effective ways to lower your Ping and improve Online Gaming

You may be wondering: What is ping? Why is my ping so high? What should I do? You will find the answers to all these queries in this article.

Ping, also known as Network Latency, is the amount of time your computer takes to send signals to and receive signals from the internet servers you interact with. In the case of online games, high ping implies that the time taken by your computer to send and receive signals is high. Similarly, if you have a normal or low ping, it means that the speed of receiving and sending signals between your device and the game server is quick and stable. Evidently, ping rate can seriously affect online gaming if the signals between your gaming device and the gaming server are poor, unstable, or slow in communicating with each other.

Reasons behind high ping on your Windows 10 PC

There are several factors affecting the ping rate, a few being:

  • Unstable internet connection
  • Problems with the internet router  
  • Improper firewall configuration on your system
  • Issues with Windows connection settings
  • Multiple websites running in the background
  • High CPU usage resulting in excessive heating of the device

We have listed down some methods that have proven to be helpful in lowering high ping during online gameplay on Windows 10 systems.

Method 1: Check your Internet Connection 

If you have an unstable or poor internet connection, you might experience a high ping rate during online gaming. Moreover, your internet speed is indirectly proportional to the ping rate, which means that if you have a slow internet connection, your ping speed will be high. Either way, a high ping speed would ultimately lead to lag, game freeze, and game crash. Therefore, if you wish to lower your ping,

  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection.
  • Ensure that you are receiving good internet speed by running a speed test online.
  • You can also opt for a better Internet plan to get increased speed and higher data limit.
  • If you are still getting slow-speed internet, contact your internet service provider.

Method 2: Connect using Ethernet Cable 

Sometimes, when you are getting high ping during an online game, your Wi-Fi connection is the reason for it. Connecting a Network Ethernet cable directly to your PC, instead of using a Wi-Fi connection, can help you fix high ping in online games.

1. Firstly, ensure that you have sufficient Ethernet cable length i.e., long enough to reach your computer from the router.

2. Now, connect one end of the Ethernet cable to the Ethernet port on your router and the other end to the Ethernet port of your computer.

Ethernet Cable. Effective Ways to Lower Your Ping

3. However, not all desktops have Ethernet ports necessarily. In such cases, you can install an Ethernet network card in your CPU and install the network card driver on your system.

If you are using a laptop, then your laptop might have an inbuilt Ethernet port.

Also Read: Fix Ethernet Not Working in Windows 10 [SOLVED]

Method 3: Restart your Router 

If you have switched to Ethernet cable but are still not getting optimum speed, restart your router to refresh the download speed. Often, restarting your router helps fix high ping in online games. Simply:

1. Unplug the power cable of your router. Wait for a minute before you plug it back in.

2. Press and hold the Power button of your router to switch it on.

3. Alternately, press the Reset button located on the router to reset it.

Reset Router Using Reset Button. Effective Ways to Lower Your Ping

4. Re-connect your gaming device i.e., mobile/laptop/desktop, to it and check if you are getting a lower ping in online games.

Method 4: Limit the Wi-Fi Connected Devices 

If you have multiple devices such as your PC, mobile phone, laptop, iPad, etc., connected to the Wi-Fi router in your house, you might experience high ping. Since the bandwidth distribution will be limited for gameplay, it will result in high ping speed in online games.

When you question yourself Why is my ping so high, the first thing you should check is the number of devices connected to your Wi-Fi router. The more the devices connected to it, the higher the ping you get in online games. Hence, to lower your ping, disconnect all other devices connected to your Wi-Fi connection that are currently not in use.

Method 5: Place PC and Router Closer

If you are using your Wi-Fi connection to access the internet from your device and getting high ping in an online game, then your device and Wi-Fi router may be kept afar. To fix this issue, you should place the two in proximity to each other.

1. Since moving a desktop can be challenging as compared to a laptop, you can try to move your router closer to your desktop.

2. The walls and rooms between your router and desktop can act as an obstruction leading to high ping speed. So, it would be best if both the devices are in the same room.

Place PC and Router Closer

Also Read: Fix Site Can’t Be Reached, Server IP Could Not Be Found

Method 6: Purchase a New Wi-Fi Router

Have you been using your router for quite some time now?

With technological advances, routers can become obsolete and they lead to a high ping rate due to limited internet bandwidth capacity. So, if you are wondering why is my ping so high, then it is possible that you have been using your router for a long time, and it is not up to date with your Internet connection.  Therefore, getting the latest router can help you lower your ping in online games. To check whether your router is outdated and to get a new one, contact your internet service provider.

After hardware troubleshooting, let us now discuss software-related solutions to fix high ping in online games on Windows 10 PC. These methods should be equally effective ways to lower your ping and improve online gaming.

Method 7: Pause/Stop all Downloads

Downloading anything on your computer consumes a lot of Internet bandwidth, causing high ping in online games. Thus, pausing or stopping downloads on your system is one of the most effective ways to lower your ping in online games. Here’s how you can pause downloads in Windows 10 desktop/laptop:

1. Open Windows Settings and click on Update & Security, as shown.

Head to Update & Security

2. Click on Pause updates for 7 days option, as highlighted.

Pause Windows Update in Update and Security. Effective Ways to Lower Your Ping

3. Once you are finished playing games, simply click Resume Updates button to download and install paused updates.

This will help redirect the Internet bandwidth to your game which will not only lower your ping but also improve the performance of the online game.

Method 8: Close Background Apps

The websites and programs running in the background utilize your RAM storage, processor resources and also, Internet bandwidth. This may lead to high ping while playing online games. When your CPU is running at high loads or near 100% load, and you are playing online games on your system, then you are bound to get a poor ping speed. Therefore, to lower your ping and improve online gaming, close all the websites and programs running in the background, as explained below:

1. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys together to launch Task Manager

2. In the Processes tab, locate the programs you wish to close. 

3. Click on the desired task and then, click End task visible at the bottom of the screen to close it. Refer pic below for clarity.

Click End task visible at the bottom of the screen to close it | Effective ways to Lower your Ping (Fix High ping)

4. Repeat Step 3 to close multiple programs running in the background individually.

5. After doing so, switch to the Performance tab from the top to check the CPU usage and memory consumption, as depicted below. 

Switch to the Performance tab from the top to check the CPU usage and memory consumption

If the said values are low, high ping should have been reduced as well.  If not, try the next fix.

Also Read: 5 Ways to Fix High Ping on Windows 10

Method 9: Play Online Games on a Local Server

To ensure that you get a normal ping in an online game, it is better to choose a local server. Suppose you are a gamer in India, but you are playing on a European server, then you will face high ping anyhow. This is because the ping speed in India will be lower than that of Europe. So, to fix high ping in online games, you should select a local server, i.e. a server near your location.

However, if you want to play on a different server, you can always use VPN software, as explained in the next method.

Method 10: Use VPN to fix High Ping in Online Games

If you want to play on a different game server, but not a local server, without affecting your ping speed, then you can use VPN software to do so. Gamers prefer to use VPN software to hide their true location and to play on different game servers. You can download free or paid VPN programs to achieve this.

Use VPN

We recommend the following VPN software for your desktops and laptops:

Method 11: Play Games in Low-quality Graphics

When you get a high ping speed in an online game, you are likely to have a poor gaming experience. There are several factors that affect your ping speed, including high GPU usage. When you play games with high-quality graphics, you will be utilizing many of your computer resources resulting in high ping. Thus, you can reduce the graphics quality either for your system or for the game. We have explained the Graphics Screen Resolution method for Intel HD Graphics card as an example below:

1. Right-click on an empty space on the Desktop screen to launch the Graphics Control Panel.

2. Click on Display, as shown.

From Intel Graphics Control Panel select Display setting. Effective Ways to Lower Your Ping

3. Here, lower the game resolution to almost half of your current screen resolution.

If your screen resolution is 1366 x 768, then change it to 1024 x 768 or 800 x 600.

Change Screen Resolution using Intel HD Graphics Control Panel. Effective Ways to Lower Your Ping

4. Alternately, go to Game Graphics Settings and modify the settings for that particular game.

Finally, restart your PC and check whether you have lower ping than before.

Method 12: Update Graphics & Network Adapter Drivers

Sometimes, using an outdated version of the graphics and network adapter drivers on your system might result in a high ping rate in online games. Therefore, it is essential to update your graphics and network adaptor drivers to the latest version as detailed below:

1. Click the Windows search bar, type Device Manager, and open it from the search results..

Launch Device Manager from windows search

2. Now, double-click on Display adapters to expand it. 

3. Right-click on your Graphics driver and select Update Driver, as depicted. 

Right-click on your Graphics driver and select Update Driver

4. A new window will appear on your screen. Here, select Search automatically for drivers and allow the update to be downloaded and installed.

Select Search automatically for drivers | Effective ways to Lower your Ping (Fix High ping)

5. Next, locate and double-click on Network adapters.

6. Following Step 3, Update all the network adapters, one by one.

Update the network adapters one by one

7. Once all the drivers are updated, restart your computer.

Relaunch the game to check whether you were able to lower your ping or not.

Method 13: Use Third-party Software to Lower your Ping

If none of the above methods have worked, then you can use third-party software to reduce ping. There are multiple programs available in the market today that enable you to lower your ping and provide a smooth gaming experience.  You can easily find paid as well as free Reduce Ping software. Though, the free ones will not be as effective as the paid ones. Therefore, we recommend Kill ping and Haste.

Method 14: Whitelist Game in Windows Firewall or Antivirus Program

If you are getting high ping, then one way to lower it is by adding the game to your Windows firewall or other antivirus software installed on your system. These programs monitor data communication between your PC and the game server to scan and detect potential threats. Although, this can increase your ping speed while playing online games. Thus, whitelisting the game in the Windows firewall or antivirus program would ensure that the data transfer bypasses the firewall and antivirus application, which will, in turn, fix high ping in online games. To whitelist a game in Windows firewall, follow the given steps:

1.  Launch Windows Defender Firewall by searching for it in the Windows search bar, as depicted below.

Click the Windows search box to search for Firewall and open Windows Defender Firewall

2. Click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall from the left panel.

Allow an app or feature through the Windows Defender Firewall

3. Click on Change Settings in the next window and select your Game to be added to the list of Allowed Apps.

Click on Change settings under Windows Defender Firewall Allowed Apps. Effective Ways to Lower Your Ping

4. If you use a third-party antivirus, add your Game as an Exception to the Block List. The Settings and menu will vary depending on the Antivirus program you have installed on our system. Hence, look for similar settings and do the needful.

Recommended:

So, these were some methods that you can use to fix high ping in online games. We hope our guide was helpful, and you were able to lower your ping on Windows 10 PC. Let us know which method worked for you. If you have any queries/suggestions, then let us know in the comments below.

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Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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