Gamer set-up ideas to keep the latency blues away

As a nod of recognition to the release of the new X-box Series X & S, and the PS5 during the 2020 holiday season, we decided to give some gamer set-up ideas to our customers who may be gamers themselves. We have a few seasoned gamers working here at RocketNet, so we hope you like.

Gamer set-up ideas to improve ping and latency.

Ping

Ping is the signal sent out to a network of computers and servers that may or may not be within your geographical location. Your computer (including gaming consoles) send out signals (pings) to other computers and servers which in return send signals back to your computer. The signal is measured in milliseconds and is a confirmation of the time it takes to send a ‘packet’ of data to another computer (or server) and back. The time it takes to travel to and back to your computer is the latency.

To better explain, imagine yourself on a submarine and you are looking at a sonar screen in that submarine. This is the screen that monitors the signal (ping) sent out from the submarine you are on that picks up any other submarines that may be nearby. So one submarine sends out a signal – anyone out there? If yes, the receiving submarine sends a signal back and so the sonar lights up with a little dot and ‘ping’.

In gaming, the submarines are the computers or gaming consoles.

Latency

Latency is the round trip of a ping. Latency refers to the quality of a connection and not the speed of the connection. Latency of between 50ms and 100ms is deemed to be very good to average while latency of 150ms and above is deemed to be poor. A good to average latency is also called ‘low ping’ and a poor latency is known as ‘high ping’. High ping is when you get that frustrating, pull-out-your-hair phenomenon called ‘lag’. Lag is the delay in the latency of a ping. In other words, the time it is taking for a ping to do a roundtrip is very slow, it is lagging. Kind of how amateurs lag behind on roundtrips of the golf course.

Gamer set up ideas to improve ping and latency.
The time it takes for the ping from submarine 1 to reach submarine 2 and back is latency.

What causes poor latency or high ping.

  1. Your fibre internet service provider:

The first cause for your frustrations at being kicked out of a game is the quality of your ISP (internet service provider). When choosing an internet service provider to implement your gamer set-up ideas, you need to consider speed, availability, reliability, latency, data, after sales support and if they practice things like shaping, capping and throttling of fibre internet connection.

  1. The fibre internet speed you have:

When gaming online, upload speeds are more important than download speeds. It is not to say that download speeds are not important but low latency depends primarily on upload speeds. A good gamer set-up idea is to check your internet speed. You can do an internet speed test here. Generally, an upload speed of 5mbps is sufficient but get has much speed as your budget will allow for the best experience possible.

  1. Fixed line internet versus wireless internet:

Wireless internet connections are susceptible to more interference than wired internet connections. A wired internet connection provides a consistent speed over your line and is therefore preferable for online gaming and is a great gamer set- up idea.

Tip: try using an Ethernet cable to connect your devices directly to your router.

  1. Type of internet connection:

To get straight-to-the-point fibre internet is the preferred type of internet for online gaming. If fibre internet is not available in your area, then the next best option would be broadband or a DSL connection. If you are not sure whether or not you have fibre internet available in your area, then check our coverage map here.

  1. The equipment you are using:

The router and modem that you use are important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to gamer set-up ideas. The quality of these items can affect your network speed considerably. Speak to your fibre internet service provider about the best router and modem for online gaming.

  1. Equipment setup:

Also affecting the speed of your internet is the number of devices you have connected to your router at the same time. The more devices you have connected, the more bandwidth you need.

  1. Data:

We’ll cut to the chase here. Unlimited or uncapped data is the best gamer set-up idea for online gaming, especially when running updates.

  1. Speed:

The faster your internet connection the faster you can send those packets of data and the lower your ping – simple! Get the fastest internet speed your budget will allow.

Game server location can interfere with your gamer set up ideas.

Where your gaming company’s servers are located can have an effect on the ping. The further away the server is, the longer it will take for the to-and-fro signals to reach their destination and so the chances of experiencing lag are much higher. If you are gaming in South Africa and the servers are in Europe, you may experience lag as a result. Unfortunately, there are no gamer set-up ideas to curb this problem, unless you want to move to Europe of course.

Happy gaming!

Game server location:
The ‘ping’ has a long way to travel which may cause lag due to high latency

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