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18 Easy Ways To Get The Lowest Ping Possible

If you’re a gamer, you’ve likely experienced the frustration that comes with lagging in online video games. Since a high ping creates a huge delay between the moment you press a button and when the action takes place in the game, it can ruin your experience and lead to unfair losses and blame from your teammates.

High ping can cause lag, delay and other issues while playing games, streaming content or browsing the web. In this article, we’ll provide steps you can take to reduce your ping as much as possible.

Why is there a ping?

When we interact online, our activities are like conversations between people, devices, networks and servers. When we click, tap, scroll, type or speak voice commands, our devices listen to our instructions and place them in packets that only computers and other devices can understand. Our devices then send the packets off to other devices on other networks, and the devices on the other networks send back new packets.

Ping, when it’s used interchangeably with “latency” refers to the time it takes for these packets to travel to devices on other networks and back again. When you have high ping, it means these packets are traveling more slowly. This is usually caused by slower or inconsistent internet speeds.

get low ping for gamers

To reduce ping, or to create a shorter delay between your “clicks” and the resulting action, you should focus on improving the connection between your router and the gaming server. We’ll cover several ways to do this below.

Is Lower Ping Better?

A lower ping of less than 50ms works better for playing video games. This is because it improves the speed at which the video game registers your actions. A higher ping, which is typically considered to be greater than 100ms, can cause major lag to occur, leading to losses and frustration.

Low ping also gives you an advantage because you’ll see the actions of others much faster than they do. In other words, if your ping is lower than another player’s ping, you’ll have more time to react and respond to their actions.

Causes of High Ping

High ping can result from many different internet-related issues. Here are some of the most common reasons for high ping.

1. Routers Can Impact Your Ping

Routers play a crucial role in determining the quality of your internet connection and ping. Make sure your router is placed up high, in a central location, away from large electronics. For more tips on where to place your router, check out this guide.

It’s also important to keep your router’s firmware up-to-date. If your router came with an accompanying app, you may be able to change the settings so it updates automatically. Otherwise, refer to your router’s manual or look up a digital version for instructions on how to update its firmware.

2. Optimizing Your Computer Can Reduce Lag

Keeping your computer optimized for gaming is important for reducing lag. Check your hard drives and make sure they have a minimum of 10% free space. Uninstall programs you don’t use and empty the recycle bin and delete temporary files.

And lastly, if your computer is older, it may use outdated hardware that doesn’t perform well enough for modern video games. Consider upgrading your memory, graphics card or processor to get a performance boost.

3. Clear Your Router’s Cache to Lower Your Ping

Many routers have a cache where network, security and parental control settings are stored. When this cache gets full, it can slow down your connection. Clearing your router’s cache regularly will boost the performance of your network. Usually, this requires finding the small reset button on the back of the router and using a paper clip to press it. Resetting it this way will clear the cache of most routers.

clear router cache to lower ping

4. How Many Devices Are On Your Network?

How many devices does your network have? It might be a good idea to make a list. Lots of devices, especially smart devices, are easy to forget since they work quietly in the background.

Some common connected devices that may be slowing down your connection include: smart thermostats, smart TVs, gaming consoles, smart lights, video doorbells, streaming devices, pet feeders, pet cameras, security cameras, smart fridges, virtual assistants, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, smart locks and more. If you’d like to continue using these devices, it may be a good idea to upgrade your internet speeds so you have plenty of bandwidth to power all of your devices at once.

5. Lower Your Game’s Graphic Settings

It’s also possible the graphics settings you’ve selected for your game are too demanding for your network or hardware. Try lowering the graphics settings in your games to Medium or Low to see if it helps.

6. Stop Background Applications From Hurting Your Ping

Are there applications running in the background while you’re trying to play games? You can check to see what’s running by holding Ctrl + Alt + Delete and clicking the processes tab. If there are programs you don’t recognize, it may be a good idea to end the process. You can also change which apps are allowed to run in the background by going pressing Start then Settings > Apps > Apps & Features. Then go to each app and select More options > Advanced Options. In the Background apps permissions section, select Never under Let this app run in the background.

7. Are Automatic Updates Affecting Your Ping?

Does your computer automatically update? Or do you delay restarting it each time you get a reminder? It’s important to keep your computer up-to-date, but schedule your updates during times when you aren’t using it to optimize its performance.

How to Get the Lowest Ping Possible

The most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to lowering your ping is optimizing your internet speed. However, other factors can come into play as well. Here are the steps we recommend taking to lower your ping as much as possible.

1. Conduct Computer Maintenance

Create a checklist to keep your computer maintained and follow it every few months. Here are a few steps to get you started.

1. Clean out dust buildup.

2. Untangle and organize your cables.

3. Clean dust filters and cooling fans.

conduct computer maintenance to lower ping

4. Update your drivers.

5. Update your operating system.

6. Schedule a weekly restart.

7. Schedule regular defragmentation on hard drives that are not solid-state.

8. Run a thorough virus scan and remove any viruses.

Follow this guide for more tips.

2. Revisit your router setup

Follow these steps to optimize your router.

  1. Adjust the antennas on your router by pointing one straight up toward the ceiling and one to the side.
  2. Update your firmware using your router’s app, or refer to your router’s manual. You can usually find a digital copy of the manual by looking up your router’s model number.
  3. Place your router in a central location, up high, away from large electronics or thick walls. For more information on optimal router placement, check out our guide.
  4. Clear your router’s cache regularly by locating the small reset button on the back of the router and inserting a paper clip until it resets. Resetting it this way will clear the cache of most routers.

3. Run an internet speed test

Check to see if there’s an issue with your home’s internet speeds by running a speed test on your gaming computer or console. If you’re using an Ethernet cable for internet access, your speeds should be similar to the service you pay for. For example, if you have Gig-speed internet, your test result should show speeds of at least 700 Mbps. If you’re connected over Wi-Fi, this number will be slower.

If your internet is significantly slower than the speed you’re subscribed to, give your internet service provider a call and ask for support. You may need to upgrade your connection, depending on how many devices are connected to your network.

run speed test to troubleshoot ping

4. Close background programs and applications

There may be processes, programs or even viruses running in the background that are slowing down your computer or connection. Close any programs that may be running in the background, and try opening just the game you want to play. That way, your bandwidth prioritizes the tasks you’ve left open, such as your games.

If you have a PC running Windows, you can change which apps are allowed to run in the background by pressing Start then Settings > Apps > Apps & Features. Then go to each app and select More options > Advanced Options. In the Background apps permissions section, select Never under Let this app run in the background.

5. Temporarily disable updates

Although it’s important to keep your computer updated, software updates that run while you’re playing games can slow down your network and computer. While you play games, try disabling updates for Windows or other operating systems and software to avoid lag.

6. Use an Ethernet cable

Are you using your Wi-Fi network to play games? We recommend directly connecting to your router with an Ethernet cable. This will give you faster, more reliable internet speeds that will improve your gaming experience.

7. Remove other devices from your network

The more devices you have connected to your network at once, the more bandwidth they’re using. If you’re using a router that comes with an app, log in and check to see which devices are connected to your network. Remove all unwanted devices and ones that you aren’t using.

8. Check the game server’s ping

Sometimes, the server that hosts the game you’re playing is to blame rather than your home connection. Browse this list of popular games to see if you can find yours. Click the game to test its ping.

9. Select a gamer server closest to you

Some games will allow you to change “realms” or “servers.” This is particularly common with MMORPGs. Be sure to choose the game server located in your country if possible and switch to the nearest region.

10. Adjust your frame rate

Modern games have very high-resolution graphics, which can take a toll on your bandwidth. The higher the game resolution, the more time it can take to send and receive data. If you’re lagging a lot during your game, try switching to a lower frame rate or resolution in the graphics settings.

help lower ping for gaming

11. Upgrade your router

Just like any technology, routers can deteriorate or become obsolete after several years of use. Check to see how old your router is and considering upgrade it to a newer device that gives you more range and speed. Get help selecting the best router for your home with this guide.

12. Internet connection

How fast is your internet? If you have a lot of smart devices, such as smart TVs, smart thermostats, streaming devices, gaming consoles, doorbell cameras, pet feeders, security systems, tablets, computers and more, you may simply need to upgrade your internet speed. Ask your internet service provider about available speeds. If you’re an EPB Fiber Optics customer and you have our 300 Mbps service, you can upgrade to the Gig for just $10 more per month.

13. Try a reset

Anytime you experience lag or internet slowdowns, try resetting your router to clear your network of congestion and reset your network packets. This simple action can help restore lost speed: simply unplug your router from the wall for 30 seconds to one minute, and plug it back in to reset it.

14. Update devices/software

Check to see if your router or other devices need a firmware update. Always keep your devices’ software up-to-date rather than delay updates.

15. Consider your communication link

Does your internet service use a satellite-based connection? Although satellite internet gives greater coverage, the longer distance the signal must travel creates more latency or higher ping. Switch to a fiber optic connection for an improved gaming experience.

16. Check the requirements

Sometimes, lag and high ping are caused by an outdated computer rather than the network. Check to make sure your computer hardware, such as your RAM or graphics card, meets the game’s minimum graphics requirements.

17. Defrag your hard drive

A fragmented, unoptimized hard drive can also lead to lag and slow down your speed. If you do not have a Solid-State Drive (SSD), defragment your drive regularly. You can automate this process so that you don’t have to remember this step, or upgrade to an SSD with faster speeds.

defrag drive to help lower ping

18. Contact your internet service provider

If none of these steps are working, it’s time to contact your internet service provider. If you are an EPB Fiber Optics customer, our EPB Tech ProsSM offer 24/7/365 local customer support available any time, day or night. Simply visit and click the chat button to talk to a Tech Pro.

You can also skip these DIY methods and switch to a managed Wi-Fi solution, such as EPB Smart Net Plus. Our experts will equip your home and install a home network that delivers maximum Wi-Fi speeds in every corner of your home to power all of your devices flawlessly at once.

The Bottom Line About Ping

If you’re experiencing lag during games, it’s probably due to a high ping, which is often caused by a slow internet connection or a congested network. However, other causes may contribute as well. The steps above can help you lower your ping as much as possible to improve your internet connection and reduce your ping. A lower ping will vastly improve your gaming experience, especially in competitive multiplayer games. If these steps don’t help, contact your internet service provider and ask them to troubleshoot the issue for you.

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