If you enjoy playing multiplayer games on PC, you might be looking for ways to improve your ping and reduce lag as much as possible, since a high ping is known to greatly affect gameplay.
In this article, we intend to share some useful tips that can help Windows 11 users to reduce your ping.
Table of Contents
What is Ping Exactly and How is it Measured?
Ping is measured in in milliseconds (ms) and indicates how much time a data packet needs to get from your gaming PC to the game server and back again.
The lower this value, the less in-game “lag” you will experience. Sometimes ping is also called “latency”.
Ideally, your in-game ping should be below a value of 60-80; above that, it often becomes unpleasant, especially in shooters, and negatively impacts the gaming experience in a noticeable way. In other types of games, such as turn-based strategy games, a higher ping is not a problem.
In any case, the lower the ping, the better.
How Do You Determine Ping Level?
In most games, the ping is displayed both in the server list, if available, and in the leaderboard, which often shows other statistics than just ping. You can usually see the ping levels of other gamers and, if necessary, recommend to this article to them so that they stop bothering other players with their intense lag.
How to Reduce Ping on Windows 11
The first step to reduce ping on Windows 11 is usually to make sure your Internet connection and Wi-Fi signal are good enough. If this isn’t the case, it’s important to fix that before moving on.
Afterwards, you can try out various other methods, which include playing on other servers, terminating unneeded processes via Task Manager, using a VPN client, using alternative DNS servers, pausing updates or changing registry entries.
We discuss all of these options in detail below.
Check your internet and Wi-Fi connection
To do this, you can use speedtest.net, a free online tool. Visit the website and click on “Go” to start the test.
After several moments, you’ll be able to see your current upload and download speed, as well as your ping to the test server.
If these values are unsatisfactory, e.g., because your ping is higher than 60-80 ms, make sure that your Wi-Fi connection is good enough and considering connecting your PC to the router via Ethernet cable instead of wirelessly.
If this doesn’t work either, it’s likely that your Internet connection itself isn’t good enough, or that there’s a problem. In this case, it’s best to contact your Internet service provider to solve the problem.
Play on servers with lower ping
Sometimes a certain server is simply too far away from you geographically.
Whenever possible, try to play on servers located in data centers on the same continent. If you are in Berlin, you will have a lower ping with a server located in Paris than with one located in Los Angeles or Tokyo.
Use Task Manager to save bandwidth by closing unnecessary programs
Open the Windows 11 Task Manager with the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Del and check which programs eat up a lot of bandwidth and close them if they are not needed.
If you don’t know what a program does, check with Google beforehand so that you don’t accidentally terminate a vital program.
Use a VPN client
Often using a VPN client can help stabilize and reduce your ping. This is because data packets travelling via VPN server can sometimes take a more direct route to the game server. This shortens the path the data pack has to take, resulting in lower latency.
Also, in countries where this is allowed, it will make it impossible for your ISP to throttle your bandwidth while playing.
Use alternative DNS servers
Another trick you can try is to use alternative DNS servers. This article explains how exactly this works.
You can try it with one of the following options:
- OpenDNS: 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206
- Cloudflare: 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168
- IBM Quad9: 22.214.171.124
- Google: 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
If there is no measurable positive effect on your ping after changing the DNS servers, it’s easy to undo the change at any time.
Disable background updates
It is not uncommon for short-term lags to be caused by updates being downloaded in the background, either for Windows 11 itself or for the launcher(s) you just opened.
If your ping is basically satisfactory, but sometimes increases noticeably for a limited period of time, you could try to disable the updates downloading in the background.
Below we have links to some articles describing the necessary procedure for the post popular digital distribution platforms:
This article also explains how to pause Windows 11 updates. Always perform this action for a limited time period, as you obviously don’t want to pause your operating system’s updates permanently.
Improve Windows 11 ping via registry settings
Warning: This tutorial is for advanced users only. If you feel unsure about the steps described below, it is better to retrain from continuing, as you could cause permanent damage to your system in the registry.
You can also use a registry tweak to reduce your ping under Windows 11 in certain cases. The procedure is outlined below:
- Using the shortcut [Windows] + [R], enter “regedit” in the dialog box that appears to open the registry.
- Navigate to the following path: “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpipi\Parameters\Interfaces”.
- Open the subfolder that contains the most files—the exact name varies depending on the system.
- Now right-click and select “New –> DWORD value (32-bit)”.
- Name the new value “TcpAckFrequency” and change the value from 0 to 1 in the following window.
Another tweak can be carried out with the steps described below:
- Navigate to “computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSMQ\Parameters” in the registry.
- Right-click and select “New -> DWORD value (32-bit).”
- Name the new parameter “TCPNoDelay” and set the value in the following dialog from 0 to 1.
If you are technically inclined, you can find a more detailed explanation of why these registry tweaks work on both Windows 11 and its predecessor Windows 10 in this article.
As a Windows 11 users, you have a lot more options for optimizing your ping than console gamers do. We have outlined the most important tricks and possibilities in this article.
If you found this article helpful, feel free to share it with other games, for example via Discord or other social networks. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article, feel free to use the comment feature below this article.
Featured Image: Windows/Unsplash