Any avid gamer would know that an optimized network is essential to enhance the quality of the gaming experience. Traditionally, the quality of gaming was extensively dependent on the hardware and the prime focus of gamers used to be a good processor, RAM, and graphics card for the PC, although it has been observed that this approach is not effective anymore. Due to the restricted number of offline games available, the principle importance has now shifted towards a sound and reliable internet connection. There is only so far you can get, with the hardware, if your connectivity lacks stability.
Especially multiplayer games require a steady internet connection with minimum latency to ensure that you don’t lose a game because of lag. Before getting any further, we would recommend you to sign up with gaming-certified internet service providers like Spectrum, if you are not using it. Spectrum internet ensures you get a high-speed internet connection with download speeds starting from 100 Mbps and no data caps whatsoever, you can check Spectrum plans and packages to choose the most suited option for your gaming needs.
Network care is, without a doubt, technical and you might feel it is too much of a hassle, but we have you covered. Here are some of the most common ways to optimize your home network for gaming.
Update your Connectivity Plan
In the event that you are mostly satisfied with the services that your ISP provides but experience lag from time to time, you might want to consider upgrading your connection because more bandwidth can solve this issue immediately. This is especially the case when you are on a lower package and your whole family shares the same connection.
Upgrading your connection to a higher package would give all devices the right supply of bandwidth and streaming videos, downloading files, and gaming would become easier and efficient.
Unlike popular belief, the wired connection is actually the most reliable and stable type of connection. Wireless connections, unlike Ethernet connections, are generally prone to interruptions resulting in speed loss, packet loss, and eventually connection loss. This might be a rare occurrence but gaming is a time-dependent sport and even a connection dip of a millisecond can break your record instantly. A wired connection, on the other hand, provides the highest bandwidth and fastest network signal.
The only downside to a wired connection is that it is often not possible to take a wire to the other end of the house, therefore, if you must use a wireless connection, make sure that your signal is at least on 5 gigahertz frequency.
Moreover, the following steps in this post would let you optimize your wireless connection so keep on reading if you have decided to stick with your Wi-Fi network.
Update your Router
If you have not changed your router for a while, it may be the time for an upgrade now. Newer routers are much more efficient in handling data across extensive distances than their older counterparts. Another great feature that is instilled in newer routers is their capability to prioritize bandwidth by the importance of network traffic.
Single-band routers are agile to interference and you might want to switch on to a dual band or tri-band router. Dual-band routers employ two bands, one with 2.4 gigahertz frequency and the other with 5 gigahertz frequency for high-speed connectivity. Tri-band routers have one band with 2.4 gigahertz frequency and two bands with 5 gigahertz frequency, supplying ultra-fast internet speed. The extra 5 gigahertz band is exceptionally helpful when your connection is in use of a lot of devices, simultaneously.
Port forwarding is the procedure to open a router’s port. In simpler terms, data transfer is accomplished by data ports, and opening a port can improve lag which will subsequently optimize the overall gaming experience. Another advantage of port forwarding is that you can specify the data type for each port.
In order to exercise port forwarding, you must have a static IP for your PC. We have included a step by step guide for your reference:
- Search Command Prompt in your windows search bar by typing cmd or simply Command Prompt.
- Open Command Prompt and type ipconfig/all and press enter.
- A lot of fields would appear now. You need to record figures for Subnet Mask, DHCP Servers, IPv4 Address, and Default Gateway.
- After all the figures have been noted, go to the windows search bar again and enter ncpa.cpl to open Network Connections in Control Panel.
Once the box appears, right-click on your internet connection, and click on Properties.
- From the properties box, click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click on Properties, as shown in the image.
- Another screen will open now. You need to put the figures you noted down previously here in the fields: Subnet Mask, DNS Server, and Default Gateway. For the field of IP address, you need to select a similar number as IPv4 address, but its last digit should be different – it can vary from 1 to 254, but should be different from the Default Gateway field. For instance, if the IPv4 field had 192.168.0.1 as an address, change it to 192.168.0.10. After this, select OK.
- We have now successfully set up a static IP and would now work towards port forwarding.
The following process varies from router to router and we have included an example for the Netgear router but if you have a different router, say TP-Link, it is suggested that you research about it.
- Find the port number of the game you are playing. All games have different port numbers. For example, the port number of World of Warcraft is 3274. It is also possible that your game has multiple port numbers.
- Go to the admin panel of your router and search for settings like Port Forwarding, or Port Triggering (the name differs in each router)
- Create a new port forwarding rule by clicking on Add Custom Service and add a unique name in the Service Name field.
- After entering the name, choose TCP/UDP from the Service Type field.
- If your game has a single port number, enter it in the External Starting Port and External Ending Port spaces. On contrary, if your game has multiple port numbers, enter the first port number in the starting field and the last number in the ending field.
- Enter the static IP address in the Internal IP address field and select Apply. Congratulation, you have successfully opened a new port in your router!
QoS of Router
Quality of Service (QoS) is a feature to control bandwidth in routers. With the help of this feature, you can prioritize network traffic.
When playing an intense game of Dota 2, you can enable this QoS feature so that if any other family member is occupying bandwidth, the prioritization of network traffic would help to ensure that your game does not suffer a lag.
Update your Drivers
Check your drivers and firmware often for any updates to ensure that your system does not suddenly stops or cause network issues because of this petty reason.
We understand that network optimization can get complex and it seems like a difficult process although, with our tips and suggestions, you would be able to experience gaming sessions without any lagging.