How to Get Rid of Lag and Improve Your Gaming Experience

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Lag is a small word that causes big problems. Lag is the delay between you telling a game to do something, the game processing that command, and executing it. Lag can occur both in multiplayer or single-person gameplay.

This disruption is frustrating for casual and serious gamers alike. The slight (or significant) delays in gameplay caused by lag could make winning impossible.

Where does lag come from? How can you minimize or eliminate lag? We will answer these questions in detail below.

The Causes of Lag

The most obvious sign of lag is the slowing of graphics during play. Another symptom is a slow reaction to your controls. There are many different causes of lag, and this section will review each one separately. Luckily, each of these problems has a solution. Because there is nothing more annoying than having your game glitch in the middle of an important mission.

Lag Due to Insufficient Graphics Capability

This is the most common type of lag. It happens when the graphics display is slowed for some reason.

In most cases, graphics lags are caused by the inability of your system to produce the necessary frames per second (FPS). The images are slow to appear on your screen because your computer is busy creating the frame before it can be displayed.

There are some settings that can help improve lags caused by poor FPS. While some games might work ok, user’s might need to adjust in-game graphics settings in others. Another possible solution is to upgrade your graphics card or the whole device.

Lag Due to Running Applications in the Background

Games are best enjoyed with everything else closed down. Lag is very often caused by open internet browsers, streaming music apps, or other applications that use bandwidth and computer’s resources.

It is best practice to close everything other than the game you intend to play before starting the game.

Lag Due to a High Ping Rate

The ping rate is the time it takes to send and receive data from the gaming server you are connected to. A higher ping rate means the process is taking a longer span of time, which results in lag.

A lot of games will let you choose a server that you like to play in. But there is evidence suggesting that a gaming server physically farther away from where you are playing can cause a higher ping rate. Thus, it is beneficial to choose a server close by if the game allows such choices. Many games initiate this process automatically and connect players to the nearest gaming server.

Lag Due to Others on Your Network

Lag can be caused by someone else being connected to your network and using up the bandwidth. If someone is connected and streaming a TV show, there is often some lag for other users on the same network.

You may have to come up with some creative ways to free up your WiFi connection. If it’s your housemates, you might want to create a schedule. But if it’s your neighbors stealing your WiFi, it might be a good idea to change the password.

Lag Due to Wireless Internet Connections

WiFi is a great technology that allows us to access the internet from anywhere at home, work, or some public spaces. The data is sent through the air from the router to your computer. This lack of direct connection, or ethernet cable, can slow down the transmission. It can cause lag and impact your gameplay.

Connecting your system to the network with a cable will most likely speed up the connection. Some settings regarding your connection will need to be changed, however.

Lag Due to ISP Throttling

This is one of the most frustrating causes of lag for gamers because it is caused intentionally by internet service providers. This controversial practice is used by ISPs to provide consistent speeds for all of their clients.

Unfortunately, this leads to massive slowdowns of gameplay due to high ping rates. An ISP will typically send traffic through multiple servers to achieve its goal of slowing data going to and from one connection.

In this case, a gaming VPN helps in multiple ways. First, you can choose a server close to the gaming server to reduce the physical distance and hopefully lower the ping rate. Secondly, a VPN can hide your traffic from your ISP and eliminate bandwidth throttling. Find more about it here.

Now that you know what causes lag, you can avoid it by adjusting your settings, using a VPN, or upgrading your hardware. Try these tips out and good luck on your next gaming adventure.

Published in Far Cry 4 gameplay

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