Every gamer wants the best possible gaming experience, and no one wants to experience gaming lag. In this overview, we explore how to improve game performance through lowering ping and increasing FPS.
What does ping mean? In online video gaming, ping refers to the time taken for data to travel from your computer to a server (or another player’s computer) and then back to your computer. That measurement is known as latency – sometimes also called lag – between the computer and its server. Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms).
Ping helps players understand how fast their computer is communicating with a gaming server or another online player. A ping test can help a player know whether they will experience dips in responsiveness during gameplay. The terms ‘low ping’ or ‘high ping’ are used in the context of ping speed. In general, low ping is preferable, particularly for games where timing and positioning are important. Players with a high ping will experience delays which could affect the game’s outcome. Many online games display your ping time as well as the ping of other players or servers.
The term ping goes back to World War II when it was used to refer to the signal that submarines would send to measure their distance to other vessels in the ocean.
With ping directly related to online gaming performance, it’s helpful to understand what makes a good ping speed for gaming.
In general, an acceptable ping would be around 40ms-60ms or lower. A speed of over 100ms shows a noticeable delay, and over 170ms, some games will reject your connection entirely. Less than 20ms would be ideal for gaming, with clear visuals, quick actions, and no lags during gameplay. Bear in mind that every additional 50ms can be a disadvantage.
However, ping requirements vary from game to game, so it depends on what game you are playing. For example:
If you are wondering ‘what is my ping?’, there are two options you can use to test:
An in-game ping test:
Most online games allow you to check the ping directly in-game. Go to the game settings and look for an option like ‘display performance stats’ or ‘display network options’ (although wording will vary from game to game). An in-game ping test will give you the most accurate measure of network performance for the specific game and server you are playing on.
Internet ping test:
You can also check your ping on the internet using one of the many online ping testing sites. These sites will find servers close to you and tell you the average ping you can expect when playing online games.
There are various reasons why your ping might be high. These include:
If you want to know how to improve ping to optimize your gaming experience, here are some steps you can take:
Whichever game you are into, these adjustments will reduce ping and help to make games run faster.
In addition to ping, another critical aspect of online gaming is FPS. In a gaming context, FPS can refer to first-person shooter games. But it can also stand for ‘frames per second’, which refers to how many frames (i.e., images) your graphics card can render each second or how many frames your monitor displays each second. The higher the FPS, the smoother and more responsive the game will seem. A low FPS will make it appear as though the game is stuttering, making it more difficult and less enjoyable to play.
So, what FPS is considered ideal for gaming?
30 FPS: Considered the minimum for a game to be playable, this is the most common frame rate experienced in console games and on some low-end PCs. However, most players won’t notice any stutter until FPS drops to 20 FPS or below.
60 FPS: Considered the ideal frame rate. A decent gaming PC should achieve 60 FPS in most games, though some may require different settings. 60 FPS is also the frame rate displayed by regular monitors and TVs.
120 FPS: Only achievable on high-end gaming PCs connected to 144Hz refresh rate monitors. Because of the hardware requirements and associated costs, this option tends to be used by enthusiast gamers.
240 FPS: The highest frame rate you can achieve. This can only be displayed on 240Hz refresh rate monitors, and the higher hardware costs mean 240 FPS tends to be used by a relatively small number of gaming enthusiasts.
Many games display the frame rate as an overlay during gameplay. To turn this on, check the video settings in your game's setup or settings menu.
It isn’t possible to maintain a completely stable frame rate since it will fluctuate regardless of how powerful a system you use or how well-optimized a game is. However, the higher the frame rate, the less noticeable these fluctuations will be.
Common causes of low FPS include:
If you are wondering how to increase FPS on a PC or how to increase FPS on a laptop, here are some steps to take:
Ensuring your computer's system updates and device drivers are up to date will help to optimize your PC for gaming.
By taking steps to lower your ping and increase your FPS, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.
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