If you have experienced the evolution of the internet and gaming, at times it must make you wonder how you ever survived the days of dial-up internet or the age when gameplay was restricted to gaming consoles alone. Thanks to widespread broadband access, gaming to have moved to online venues—with participants located in just about any country around the world. The super accelerated evolution of the internet and gaming industry has no doubt modified the experience of gameplay—essentially via easy access to multiple platforms.
The surge in technological advancement has not just optimized but revolutionized the way players perceive gameplay. From smartphones and consoles to PCs and tablets—a great number of devices is now a gateway to the battle zone. The enhanced level of online connectivity, and the versatile usage of the internet now possible, has introduced unprecedented opportunities for gamers and helped them take their performance up a notch.
Thus, today we see renowned broadband services in the U.S., such as Spectrum Internet, CenturyLink Internet, and Cox Internet making a significant contribution to maximizing the satisfaction level for gamers. Each ensures the delivery of fast and reliable broadband via networks that make use of a variety of innovative technologies. Cutting-edge Fiber internet, which was not easy to access a few years ago, is now becoming available to more residential neighborhoods—cable broadband is faster than before with more “Fiber in the Loop”, and even DSL has a high-speed version now.
Despite all this advancement if you still come across a frustrating pit stop where your gaming groove is interrupted by an unwanted lag, it is quite understandable if you lose focus, or even the whole game itself. And more often than not, a situation such as this leads to a singular culprit: Too high a ping!
Put that question to a gamer! And they’ll tell you what makes ping the biggest scourge for online gamers. Technically, you can think of ping as a signal sent by your device to the host server via the internet to check its availability—and it also determines the response time. Measured in milliseconds ping-time, therefore, tells you how long it takes for your device to send a request and receive a response via the internet. As far as the gaming context, ping-time determines how long it takes for your gameplay to be recognized—meaning ping is definitely an added aspect of your internet connection which is pivotal to your level of satisfaction as a gamer.
So, when you explore factors that play a significant role in successful gameplay, don’t just think of speed and data. From the type of broadband service to the ping level everything counts—and plays its part in achieving an efficient gaming output.
Wondering what is a good ping? Well, let’s dig a little deeper, but before we jump into the “ping number game”, it’d help if you clearly understood why lower ping is preferable.
The answer is simple—the less the ping-time i.e. the lower the ping level, the less you are likely to face lag. Your gameplay would not suffer delays in recognition, and you’d not be prone to frustration—rather you’ll have an opportunity to derive some fun and gratification instead. Conversely, the higher the ping the more they lag, and the longer it would take for your moves to get recognized. This is why the difference between a good and a bad ping can actually cost you a victory if you are stuck with frequent ping spikes.
Now if we talk numbers, these’ll be in a range—on average broadband connections are known to have a ping equal to or lower than 100 milliseconds (ms). From a gamer’s viewpoint, the 50-100 ms range is equivalent to “very good to average”; anything below 20 ms is exceptional, and the 100-150 ms range is less than desirable—with 150 ms being bad ping.
For an average gaming experience, you must therefore be on an internet connection with a ping under 100 milliseconds (ms). Otherwise, you’re likely to face delays in your gameplay and have the screen freeze on you. And, if you are a gaming enthusiast who wants to ensure a consistently good ping, we’d recommend opting for Cox Elite Gamer with a high-speed Cox Internet plan—it’ll improve your gameplay with up to 32% less lag, and make your connection all the more predictable.
Fiber Gigabit service from CenturyLink Internet is another great option—affordable fiber optic broadband which gives you symmetrical speeds, and unlimited data! Given data transfer occurs over fiber-optic lines all the way to your doorstep, you get the full advantage of fiber broadband—which includes an ultra-low ping!
In the 60s when the arcade game fever took users in its grip and fueled the US gaming industry or in the 70s when home gaming consoles were introduced, worrying about the ping was never part of the gamers’ experience. Fast forward today you can cherish the joys and benefits of playing online games, but all the intricacies involved also drag you down. Luckily, optimism comes in handy in adversity. So, if you have often found yourself twiddling your thumb while waiting for the game to run smoothly, it is time you found solutions.
To start with you must ask “How can I check my ping?”—without knowing where you stand, chances are you won’t know how to improve the situation. Well, the answer to that is pretty simple. Take an internet speed test—besides the download and upload speed, you’ll also find out about the ping and jitter levels.
Next, take a look at the following factors—determine which of these could be playing a role in causing the “bad ping”, and make you scratch your head.
If the bad ping is a persistent trepidation, and you often find yourself thinking about how to reduce the ping, here are some practical tips to try out. Hopefully by eliminating the factors discussed earlier, and taking the necessary measures listed below, will help you enjoy your time in the wondrous world of online gaming.
Optimize your internet connection to ensure you don’t wind up in the “ping quarrel”. If you judge the current speed plan to be insufficient as far as supporting all users, you can either upgrade to a higher speed tier or simply look for another ISP in your neighborhood. Broadband services like RCN Internet and WOW! Internet is delivered via Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial networks, so download speeds are ultra-fast and you also get sufficient upload power. Plus there is unlimited data with each plan. Going with a service that is reliable and fast at the same time can do wonders for your gaming experience. Because, most of the time, the primary reason why your game does not run without bumps is you are not getting the right speed.
As we said, one of the few obvious factors contributing to a higher ping is the number of connected devices—because every device fights its way to get complete attention so to speak. If the number of users or the nature of online activities is out of your internet connection’s league, the result will be a bad ping. So, make sure you remove the extra load on the connection. Or if necessary, upgrade your plan to a speed tier that allows everyone to make use of it simultaneously.
Routers play a significant role in uplifting or deteriorating the performance of an internet connection. If you want to get rid of the sluggishness, check your router settings. For starters, give it a quick reboot, and let it start afresh. You can also update the firmware—a pending update could be holding back the device from performing optimally. If using the Wi-Fi, make sure you are not in the dead or slow zones in your house.
Even when you are connected to a high-speed internet plan from an ISP like Spectrum, there is a possibility the wireless signal affects the ping—hence the game efficiency. You can overcome this problem by strengthening the signal your device receives—get off your Wi-Fi and connect your gaming device to the router or gateway via Ethernet. When your device is wire-connected to the internet, you are likely to experience the optimum service quality. If you wish to stay on Wi-Fi, then be close to where the router is—don’t allow space for the signal to be interrupted before it gets to you.
A powerline adapter helps you avoid the clutter of wiring, yet delivers a connection as stable and strong as via Ethernet. No need to drill holes in the walls to run wires. Connect the adapter to the router via an Ethernet cable, and let it run the signal through the pre-existing electrical wiring in your home. Place the other powerline adapter in close proximity to your gaming console or PC, and connect it via an Ethernet cable. You will automatically get faster speeds, and a lower ping—because essentially you are on a wired connection.
Across all demographics in the U.S., many generations have grown up playing video games, and that diversity remains. Albeit all face similar issues when it comes to the contribution of the internet to the gaming experience—especially the dreaded ping spikes!
We hope this article helps clear up your concerns regarding the ping—it is said once you have understood something, it is likely to become less daunting. So, now that you know more about what is a ping and what causes it to go bad, and what you can possibly do to reduce it, it’d be easier for you to have fun without the disquiet.
Gameplay could freeze due to multiple factors, but all have to do with your internet connection. Here are a few simple tips you could try out:
The lower the ping, the better is the performance of your internet connection. On average broadband connections are known to have a ping equal to or lower than 100 milliseconds (ms). From an amateur gamer’s viewpoint, the 50-100 ms range is equivalent to “very good to average”; anything below 20 ms is exceptional even for pro gamers, and the 100-150 ms range is less than desirable—with 150 ms being bad ping.
To resolve the high ping issue while playing Fortnite, you can reboot your network, restart the game itself, or consider using a gamer-friendly VPN.