How to Reduce WiFi Lag | Mercku Blogs

May 31, 2022  by Toktabek, Tim


How To Reduce Lag While Gaming? 

Lag is an ongoing problem the online industry, especially the gaming industry, suffers. There are several reasons why the lag is occurring. However, the problem is that the user is unaware of the source of the problem. So, in a scenario like this, it’s best to check out all the possible sources that could be that are resulting in lag. Before that, let’s have a brief introduction to three essential terms. Ping. Latency. Lag. Having a proper understanding of these three will make it easier for you to know what’s happening on the backend of your gaming experience. 


Latency is the quality of your connection within your network and is measured in milliseconds. For gaming, anything at 100 milliseconds or less is considered good. Though, 20 – 40 milliseconds is optimal. 

How to lower ping and ultimately reduce lag in video games | Norton

Source: Norton


Pink is a test that your network constantly conducts to measure latency. The network sends out a message that measures the speed it takes from the origin to the destination and back again on the back end. The smaller the number, the better.  


Lag is the short form for any delay caused in your network connection and results from high latency. It could also be caused by poor server processing power, low bandwidth or packet loss. Lag may either come in a small, consistent amount of huge spikes. However, it is most likely being caused by the following factors. 

  1. Internet speed and bandwidth. 
  2. High latency. 
  3. Distance from the router.  
  4. Background applications 
  5. Using WiFi over Ethernet.  
  6. Non-optimized video game settings. 
  7. Server location. 
  8. Router not meeting gaming requirements.  



Internet Speed & Bandwidth 

For gaming, you require the bare minimum of 15 to 20Mbps. However, you will also need to think about bandwidth. If you are the only one using the internet while gaming, you won’t have any problems. However, if other people in your household are using the internet for activities that include streaming movies, video chatting, or browsing the web, you will face problems. This is because several activities happening simultaneously will strain the bandwidth. Therefore, bandwidth also needs to be considered while choosing a router and an internet plan for your household. 

High Latency 

as mentioned before, latency is how long it takes for data to travel between its source and destination. The lower the latency, the better. While gaming, all your actions might be delayed by a few seconds if you have high latency. This is what we refer to as lag. You need to have a combination of high-speed internet with low latency. A good latency is a ping rate of fewer than 150 milliseconds, and 20 milliseconds is significant. 

However, latency can be affected by your network hardware, the location and connection of your remote servers, and the router. When the data packets travel from the source to their destination, it isn’t always a direct route. They often pass through different points along the way. Therefore, the longer the course, the more steps need to be made. The more steps, the more the delay. 

Distance From Router 

your distance from your router is also a factor. The closer you are to your router, the better your connection to it and vice versa. The walls, floor, furniture and other physical objects can obstruct your wireless signal. There are two options you have to avoid this issue. You can either move closer to your router if that is possible or use an Ethernet cable instead. Keep in mind, that devices like your TV, wireless speakers, microwaves, and mobile chargers can also cause signal interference. So try to detach them before you start gaming to see improvement. 

Background Applications 

if you’re gaming, and you have applications like Netflix, YouTube and other downloads taking place in your background, that’s your biggest problem. These applications are bandwidth-heavy applications and severely affect ping and latency. They are similar to your game. to put it simply, have you ever tried having two games on at the same time? No, because they will freeze. So, before you start gaming, make sure you have all those applications closed. Having only your game running with no other applications running should provide you with the best performance for optimal performance. 

Using WiFi over Ethernet 

As mentioned earlier, using the Internet over cable will provide you with a much stronger and more stable connection. All you need is an Ethernet cable. Connect the cable to your router and then to your device – and you’re off to the races. If you still are suffering from lag, you should think about improving your Internet plan or router. 

Non-optimized video game settings 

if you are facing lag, you are most likely playing a resource-hungry game that your internet or device cannot handle. In such cases, you should optimize your video game settings. Try reducing your in-game resolution to remove any unnecessary visual elements that take up resources and affect your gaming. For instance, keep your viewing distance high because the space you can see up to makes a difference. However, seeing more detail on the screen won’t help you but will only help the lag. 

Server Location 

Playing on a server closer to your location significantly decreases your ping. So stick to playing on servers in your country, and avoid servers on the other side of the map.   

Router Not Meeting Gaming Requirements 

A router that has been on and in use for a while can become strained. Restarting your router can help refresh your internet connection and improve latency. Old routers can affect connection strength, speed and reliability. A better option is a router optimized for gaming or one with high specs. The M6 is a WiFi 6 Mesh router designed for those who require an intense, reliable, and stable connection like gamers. It uses WiFi 6, a new generation of WiFi that provides an alarming increase in internet strength and speed. So, if running Ethernet cables through your entire house isn’t going to cut it, this is a viable option for you.  


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