What is ping and how does it affect your gaming?

What is ping in gaming

Gaming is one of the biggest and growing industries in the world. According to this report, the gaming market is set to hit more than a quarter of a trillion dollars by 2025. Internet gaming, P2P (Peer to peer), and P2W (play to win) games have ever since taken over traditional video games. Most millennials need an instruction manual to learn some of the terminologies that come with it. 

You might have heard of the technical term “ping” but what exactly is it?

What is ping?

In network technology, the ping refers to the method of transferring data between two computers or between a computer and a server. It’s a measurement that proficiently determines a network’s stability. The keyword here is network latency and it’s measured in milliseconds. 

Ping in gaming

In gaming, the ping indicates how much time it takes for your gaming data to reach the game servers and back to you. If the game you’re playing has choppy animations, delayed responses, or low graphics quality, then you are experiencing lag. The most common terms you’ll see are low ping and high ping. It’s very simple – low ping means less lagging and is ideal for playing. High ping equals frequent buffering signs and constant lagging which will ruin your gaming experience. 

Any speed below 100ms and with the ideal conditions shouldn’t have lag. Nothing is perfect and lag will always occur under most conditions. However, some games rely on pinpoint accuracy timing and can’t afford to have any form of delay. 

How to conduct a ping test 

It’s not difficult to conduct a ping test but certain conditions have to be applied to achieve accurate results. The tests you conduct will show your download and upload speed as well as the ping. These are the most popular online testers for ping and other information. 

Speedtest by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test

Speed Test by Speedcheck - Test your internet speed

You just have to click on Go or Start and it will automatically assess it for you. 

This is what low ping looks like.

And this is what you want to avoid. 

How to achieve low ping for gaming 

There are plenty of simple tracks to have low ping. Here are some ways to attain that:

  • Cease all downloads that are running on your device or anything else connected to your Wi-Fi network. Don’t let any downloads run in the background. Pause them all or cancel if need be. Also halt downloading any updates on your device and apps before and during gaming. 

  • Don’t just stop on your device, make sure other devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi network are switched off or not consuming so much bandwidth. Avoid using Netflix, YouTube, or any streaming platform. 

  • Make sure you don’t have any software running in the background. This can create a higher ping. 

  • It helps to sit as close to your router as possible. An even better solution is to run a cable through your computer connected to the internet.  

  • Each device handles ping in its way. Depending on your device, you might have a slower or faster ping speed. 

Reasons why ping might be high

There are plenty of reasons why you might experience high ping. Here are the most common reasons: 

  1. Poor internet conditions – The most generic and face value issue is simply poor internet conditions. Heavy traffic usage during a specific hour and weather conditions can slow down your ping and affect your download and upload speed.

  2. Bandwidth/ISP throttling – This happens when your ISP deliberately slows down your internet connection by tightening your bandwidth. They do this to maintain their internet servers for their growing client base without constantly installing new servers. 

  3. Other – Anything can virtually be creating lag that may not necessarily be associated with high ping. The issue might stem from the gaming company that is supplying the server although this is rare. Or it could be from your device’s built. 

The biggest threat that is outside your reach is ISP throttling. Luckily, there is a way to bypass this. 

How a VPN can help you attain low ping? 

VPN disguises you so that your ISP won’t be able to track you or know what you’re doing. ISPs supply you with an internet package that should be enough for your consumption. So how can your ISP offer plenty of bandwidth to their clients without spending money on new internet servers? It’s simple, they do something called bandwidth throttling. ISPs target users who are using more traffic than usual in the form of streaming, downloading, and in this case, gaming. With a VPN on, you’ll be invisible to them and thus avoid bandwidth throttling. 

A VPN can help with ping speed by connecting to a VPN server that is next to your game’s server. The ping will be low because it will take less distance to travel between the two servers. In other cases, a VPN will help you avoid a DDoS attack from hackers when gaming online. Using a VPN will help you with your online privacy, and security and boost your internet speed.