Reduce Lag in Online Gaming

Edited by Batkingnz, Eng, Lynn, Anonymous and 5 others

Lag, otherwise known as latency, is a delay in data being transferred from one network device to another - in this case your computer to a friend's computer, or maybe gaming server. Lag can be extremely frustrating for gamers, as it takes them out of the action to the point where it can ruin a game or severely cripple the experience. Imagine that you are playing a first person shooter game, your enemy comes around the corner and you take the shot the moment you see him, but he doesn't die. In fact you die, because your lagging connection meant that by the time it was able to show you the other player, he had already taken his shot on you. This is the kind of delay caused by lag. There are steps you can take to ensure you always get the best connection, so read the How To below, and try them yourself.

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Things to consider when experiencing lag

  1. 1
    Gaming servers.
    Whenever possible, choose the nearest gaming server for your geographical location. Some games will let you choose a specific server. If the server you are connecting to is in Germany, and you are in Sydney then you can expect that you won't get the best speeds between your locations. Data takes time to transmit over distance, regardless of the speed of your local connection. If you are experiencing lag with an overseas server, try choosing a local server, or at least one in close proximity to your country.
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  2. 2
    Your internet connection.
    Gaming doesn't necessarily require the fastest connection. It's the ping to which you're connecting that matters. Even if you have the fastest connection, but your ping times are high, then it might be worth talking to your ISP to check out your connection. Most DSL providers have a form of error correction called interleaving enabled on your connection. This checks transmitted data to ensure its integrity as it is transmitted. It's useful for error-less browsing and file transfers but can slow down your gaming, depending how much latency is being introduced. If you have a DSL connection, you can ask your ISP if they have such a feature and if it's possible that they turn it off. Many will offer this for a small fee.
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  3. 3
    WiFi connections.
    If you're using a WiFi connection to your router, you are adding another layer on the network that can slow you down. If possible, try using an Ethernet cable to connect directly to your router. Even the best router will not provide maximum signal over WiFi, especially in large concrete and steel homes.
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  4. 4
    Background programs.
    Check that you are not running any background programs that would be using the internet connection. If you are using Torrent software that is downloading while you're gaming, this can be a cause of lag. Also check Windows updates and other software updates that may be running in the background, especially if your lag is intermittent.
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  5. 5
    Other users.
    If you have multiple users on your network who are all moderate to heavy internet users, this might just be a case of not having enough bandwidth to share around. You can opt for a faster connection from your ISP in this case or try installing two connections to your home. You could dedicate one to gaming only. Try your game out while no one else is using the connection, and if your lag is significantly less, then you have identified the issue.
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  6. 6
    Anti-virus and firewalls.
    While it is important to keep your computer and personal information protected while online through anti-virus and firewall programs, you can also run into trouble with them slowing down your connection. Try disabling any such programs while you are playing games online, and if you notice a reduction in lag you can do this each time you're playing. Just remember to turn them back on for normal use.
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Advanced users - reducing lag on a Windows PC

This is a simple registry fix for Windows PC's that will reduce lag by adjusting the way your computer handles network traffic. This is recommended for confident users only. The steps are simple, but editing your registry in the wrong way can damage your operating system and sometimes require a full re-install. Only proceed if you are confident with the steps and be sure to follow them exactly, including keeping all changes case sensitive to this article. VisiHow can take no responsibility for incorrect configurations and subsequent loss of data.

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  1. 1
    Recording your IP address.
    Before you begin, you need to take note of the IP address of the computer you are on. From the Start button, type "cmd" in the search box. Click on the search result that is displayed. This will open a black Command Prompt window. Type directly in here "ipconfig" and press Enter on your keyboard.
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  2. 2
    Results will now populate in this window.
    Depending if you are using WiFi or Ethernet, the results will show in a different section - Wireless LAN adapter or Ethernet Adapter. The example below shows information for the Wireless LAN Adapter. Record the info from your IPv4 address as shown in the image below. Close the Command Prompt window and continue to the next step.
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  3. 3
    From the Start button, type "regedit" into the search box.
    Click on the search result that is displayed. A User Account Control message may pop up asking, "Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?" Select "Yes" to continue.
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  4. 4
    From Regedit, you will see folders on the left hand side.
    Expand the folders in the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > services > TCPIP > Parameters > Interfaces. In Interfaces there are a number of subfolders. You need to click on each subfolder and identify an entry in here called "DhcpIPAddress". It is possible that more than one folder contains this entry. If so, identify the one with an IP address showing in the data column that matches the IP address of your computer that you have recorded from the previous steps.
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  5. 5
    Adding a new entry.
    Now that we have confirmed we are in the correct folder, we can begin to add a new entry here. Right click anywhere in the Type or Data columns, and select "New", followed by DWORD (32-bit) Value.
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  6. 6
    Configuring the DWORD.
    You need to give the DWORD a specific name which will be TcpAckFrequency. Create this exactly as written because it is case sensitive. Once you have named the DWORD, right click on it and click "Modify". You need to set Value data, as 1 and the Base should be selected as Hexadecimal, as shown in the image here. Once you are done, press "OK". The entry will now appear in the list.
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  7. 7
    One more DWORD.
    From here minimize all the folders that you have opened on the left side. Go through the following path to add one more entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > MSMQ > Parameters. (If you have no MSMQ folder then you can skip this step. Most machines with the OS installed after 2010 will not have this folder.) In the Parameters folder, create a new DWORD just as in the previous step. However, this time you will name it TCPNoDelay. Remember to type it exactly as shown, as it is case sensitive. The Value data is still 1 and the Base should be set as Hexadecimal, just as the previous DWORD. Press "OK" when you are done.
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  8. 8
    You can now close the Registry Editor and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
    There will be no prompts to restart, so remember to do this. You should notice a difference in lag for your online games, as what these settings do is essentially changing the way your computer transmits packets, so that there is no unnecessary delay.
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Tips, Tricks & Warnings

  • Sometimes lag can be completely outside of your control. Be mindful of this especially if you are joining highly congested servers in another country.
  • Follow the Registry Edit exactly. And if you aren't sure about any step then ask for help from a computer technician or in the comments below.
  • Connection performance can change based on the time of day. Congestion on the internet will usually occur from 3-10 p.m. on weekdays and you might notice significant degradation in performance between these times. Think of it as the internet's version of rush hour on your daily commute.

Questions and Answers

I'm on a iMac computer playing a game on game-oldies.com and it's running very slow. How can I reduce the lag?

I have closed all apps and I am on a WiFi connection.

Games from game-oldies.com use Flash, so you will need to make sure that you have updated your Flash to the latest settings, and that you are using a browser that is fully compliant. Sometimes it is a good idea to check between several browsers to see which one works best, though in almost all cases, Safari is the best browser for Mac OSX.

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Once you have tested that, and while your Flash Player is open with a game live, option click (two finger click, or right click for the PC crowd), and select the settings for your Flash Player. Once there, you can assign the amount of RAM that the player is allowed to use.

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Another tip is to take everything on your desktop, and move it all into one folder. This is because OSX uses memory for each folder, just as it uses memory for every open browser tab you have. By minimizing these things, you can cut down on your Mac troubles, and get your games to play better.

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How do I get the lag on PlayStation games at gameoldies.com to go away?

I'm trying to play PlayStation games online at gameoldies.com and if the game loads at all which 9 times out of ten it doesn't it goes very slow how do I fix this I'm using Google chrome

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How to run faster games at Game-Oldies?

Hi! How to run faster games at Game-Oldies?

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Whenever I am trying to play a game on game oldies its running very slow, what should I do to play game smoothly on game oldies?

game oldies running very slow, what to do? Do I have to download any Flash Player to play the game smoothly?

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Game oldies going slow, help please?

The game is severely lagging, help me fix it

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How to remove lag on a program named wartune?

I experienced the following:

1. slow motion 2. screen is late to open, when it opens I'm already dead. 3. showing some sort of shadows instead of my character.

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Article Info

Categories : Gaming

Recent edits by: ahamilton991, blake, Grimm

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