In gaming terms, the first thing that comes to mind when talking about latency is the time input data from your system takes to get to the server.
Anything from the distance between you and the server to interference when using wireless connection could cause high latency. As for improving latency, you can ensure that data from your PC reaches the server as fast as possible.
To achieve this, you need to remove interference from wireless connection using wired connection. If that does not work, try closing another application that might consume the internet bandwidth.
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Close Applications that Require Active Internet Connection
Close any application that might use heavy bandwidth. These include applications that needs an active internet connection. You can also ensure that the system is not downloading anything over the internet.
Besides this, you can check if your system is updating any application/software. Stop any unnecessary updates to increase your bandwidth usage. You can use the Task Manager to check for the processes that has excessive network usage.
- Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
- In the Processes tab, you can see all the applications currently running in the system.
- Check the network column and see if any application has high network usage.
- Click on the application with high network usage and select End task.
- Click on the Performance tab to check the data sent and received on your system.
Choose a Server Close to Your Location
One primary reason you have high latency is that you are far away from the servers. Multiplayer games will have servers around the globe. Gamers close to the server location are likely to have a great (low) latency compared to users further away from the server.
Massively multiplayer games will have multiple servers spread across the world. You need to select the server that is closest to you. This will give you an optimal ping for your location.
Most games will automatically pair you with a best possible server, that has the lowest latency. However, in some cases, you might need to select the server closest to you manually.
If you are far from the closest server, there is nothing you can do except moving to a location closer to the server.
Disable VPN and Proxy Server
You may have noticed that the internet connection is slow when connected to a VPN. This is because the data packet your computer sends must go through a VPN server. This adds an extra layer that the data needs to pass through before getting to the desired server.
Without a VPN, your system could directly connect to the server, and transfer the data more efficiently. The same case goes for a proxy server as well.
To disable VPN, open the application and disable the VPN connection. You can disable the proxy server connection through Windows Settings.
- Press the Windows + I key to open Settings
- Navigate to Network & internet > Proxy.
- Under Manual proxy setup, click on Set up.
- Here, disable the checkbox under Use a proxy server.
Update Network Driver
Network adapters may have issues communicating with the operating system due to an outdated network driver. This can result in internet connection issues, or you may even face increased latency when gaming.
So updating a network driver might lower your latency if you use an outdated driver.
- Press the Windows + X and select Device Manager.
- Expand Network Adapter.
- Double-click on one of the devices listed below.
- Go to the Driver tab and select the Update driver.
- Select Search for drivers automatically to update the network driver to the latest version.
- Update all the drivers for the devices listed in the Network adapter.
Switch to a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection
A wireless connection is not recommended for gaming. But if you are using a Wi-Fi connection, switching to a 5GHz signal is an excellent choice. 5Ghz wireless connection supports transfer speed up to 1300Mbps, whereas the traditional 2.4G offers 450Mbps to 600Mbps.
One disadvantage to this solution is that not all routers support 5Ghz signal transmission. So you should contact your ISP to get internet package that supports 5GHz transmission. If your router supports 5GHz, you must enable it from router settings.
- Connect your PC to the router, wirelessly or with an ethernet cable.
- Access your Router Settings.
- Now, navigate through router settings and search for an option that switches between the Wi-Fi signal.
- Select 5GHz.
- Save changes and exit the router settings.
Avoid Playing with Users on Different Servers
Multiplayer games will have several servers spread across the globe. It also allows you to switch between said servers in most cases. If the game sets a server far from your location, it will increase your latency. This is likely the case when you are playing with a friend who plays on a different server.
In that case, the game will automatically choose a server that is optimal for both of you. This will result in one or both of you to have higher latency.
To avoid this, we recommend playing with friends closer to your optimal server location.
Upgrade Your Internet Package
Another way to improve your latency is increasing the internet speed. Higher internet speed means your computer can send and receive more data packets. This will automatically decrease latency.
But this might only work if you have a low internet speed. Increasing internet speed will not improve gaming latency if your system already sends and receives the maximum number of data packets.