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How To Reduce Ping On PCs & Consoles

A very high or unstable ping is especially frustrating in multiplayer games, as elevated ping causes annoying gameplay lags.

In this article, we’d like to demonstrate some ways to improve ping on your PC or console. Specifically, we will cover PCs with Windows 10 as the operating system, as well as PlayStation 4 and 5, and the latest generation of Xbox.

What is the ideal ping and how is it measured?

As a rule, you shouldn’t experience problems if you play with a latency of less than 60 ms, and even with a ping of less than 80 ms, most games are still playable.

However, annoying lags occur more often with a higher ping value, noticeably impacting the gaming experience.

Of course, a concrete maximum ping level depends for the most part on the type of game. In the case of a turn-based strategy game, for example, a high ping is much less annoying than with a first-person shooter. Almost all games offer a way of displaying how high your current ping is.

What options are there for improving or stabilizing ping?

Among the most effective methods of improving ping, you can:

  • Make sure your internet connection is good enough
  • Make sure that the WiFi signal is strong enough and, if not, connect your device to the internet via Ethernet cable instead of WiFi
  • Use a VPN
  • Use alternative DNS servers
  • Play on servers that are closer to you geographically

In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over each of the above mentioned points and explain in detail how you can apply each of them on the most popular consoles and Windows 10.

Ensure your internet connection is strong enough

Consoles like PlayStation or Xbox have a built-in tool for checking connectivity, while on a PC, free services like speedtest.net are usually the fastest and easiest solution.

If a poor internet connection is responsible for your ping problems, you should consider contacting your internet service provider. Before you do that, you can also try the other tips presented in this article to see if they do the job.

Detailed instructions on how to check the internet connection on:

Connect your device via Ethernet cable if the WiFi signal isn’t strong enough

If you suspect that the WiFi connection is not good enough, see if the ping improves when you connect your device to the internet via network cable instead of wirelessly.

If the router is too far away from your PC or console, you can use a powerline adapter as a workaround.

Use a VPN client

Using a VPN client can also help improve ping.

When traffic is routed through a VPN server, sometimes this can cause packets to take a more direct or less busy path to the game server, which in effect reduces the ping.

If you play on a PC, you can easily download and install our Shellfire VPN-Client.

It’s also possible to use a VPN on PlayStation and Xbox, but only indirectly via VPN router, since the aforementioned consoles do not have native VPN support.

In the following video, we will show you how you can still use a VPN quickly, easily and securely thanks to our Shellfire Box.

Click here for more information about the Shellfire Box.

Use alternative DNS servers

Using alternative DNS servers can also sometimes help optimize your ping. Among others, the following servers are available to use:

  • OpenDNS: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220
  • Cloudflare: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
  • IBM Quad9: 9.9.9.9
  • Google: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

Configuring these servers is highly dependent on the device you are using, which is why we would like to refer you to separate articles at this point in time.

Detailed instructions on how to change the DNS servers of your PC or console:

Play on servers that are geographically closer to you

Oftentimes your ping is elevated simply because the game server is located far away. If possible, try to switch to a less distant server.

Tweak the Windows 10 Registry

Exclusive to Windows 10, you have the option of making a setting change in your registry, which can sometimes help you improve your ping.

We have summarized the exact procedure in our “How to Improve Ping on Windows 10″ article.

Note that this option is primarily intended for advanced users.

Conclusion

There are few things that are as annoying in multiplayer games as an elevated ping, which can have many causes.

However, thanks to the options described in this article, you should now be sufficiently equipped to improve your ping on both PC and consoles in almost any situation.

Featured image: bigy00/123RF

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