Learn what Ping is about and how to reduce it in your online games to have a better gaming performance.

What Is Ping?

In online gaming, the difference between a win or taking the L can sometimes come down to literal milliseconds. That reaction time can be absolutely key to having a good session, especially for first-person shooters. There’s nothing more frustrating than lining up your shot only to have your game glitch out and realizing you were dead three seconds ago. It’s enough to throw a controller - but yeah, don’t do that.  

The problem is that it’s not always obvious what’s causing your lag. One thing you’ve probably noticed is a little number at the top or bottom of your game screen that displays your ping. That’s the ping number. At this point, you’ve probably learned that lower ping is better, but you may still be wondering what is a good ping speed, what causes it, and most importantly - how you can lower your ping? Ping can result in a variety of negative outcomes, including teleportation, jitter, lag and other high latency issues. 

What Does Ping Mean?

Ping is a software utility that displays latency - a measurement of time. Remember when we talked about how milliseconds matter in gameplay? Ping is the tool used to measure latency.  Latency is the amount of time that it takes (in milliseconds) data packets take to travel between computer networks. In this specific case, it’s the amount of time between your computer and the server that is hosting your game. Low latency is a good thing, while high latency is a bad one. 

Since your ping number is measuring that delay time (latency), ideally, the lower your ping number the better. High ping rates often mean that you’ll have the problems we talked about in the intro like poor performance, lagging, and the worst of all problems - disconnections. Basically, you’re shooting for a low ping. That means the data from the game server going to your computer will be updated more often, resulting in smoother gameplay. In short - this means more wins for you. 

We created Outfox to help you meet this goal. Our optimized gaming network improves your performance and works to reduce ping, so you can bask in the glory of victory, not falter your way to defeat.


What Causes Ping

Ping is the measurement tool and latency is what’s measured, so it’s important to understand what causes high latency. High latency occurs while your device waits for a response from a request. There are several reasons this could be occurring.   

Your internet connection may be slow, especially if your ISP tries to throttle bandwidth for any reason. Related, your network speed and congestion (from multiple users streaming video or gaming) can also affect your latency in a big way. You may be experiencing high latency because of active firewalls that are preventing free communication between the two networks. There are other less obvious causes too - usually, we recommend using a wired ethernet connection rather than a wireless one to ensure the strongest connection.  

A big one that happens a lot is related to the distance between you and the game server. Data packets travel extremely fast, but the way they travel is the same as anything else - the farther away it is, the longer it takes. If you have to shoot your information to a server across the world, that ping rate is going to go up. This will affect a game like League of Legends ping which can cause problems when playing against opponents that are across the globe.

What Is a Good Ping Speed

The optimal ping speed for online games is theoretically 0ms, but anything under 30ms is an acceptable level. 30ms is the threshold beneath which ping no longer negatively impacts gameplay. That’s about the level that won’t overtly affect your gameplay, especially in fast-moving games like first-person shooters or anything with a reaction component. Recently there has been some popular wisdom spread out there that if your latency is around 100ms won’t affect games, but this simply isn’t true. Anything above 100 will almost definitely affect your gameplay - no matter the type of game. For this reason, your Fortnite ping should be under 30ms. 

In fact, in recent years it’s been possible to reach nearly unheard-of ping rates that are very low; we’re talking around 0, and STILL be affected by the speed of the game server. You’ll need solutions that look at both sides of that equation, and not just the user side. That’s another reason why it’s a huge deal to look at ways to optimize your network when gaming.

How to Lower Ping

Some of the solutions are things we’ve mentioned above. First, you’ll want to check that your ISP isn’t throttling your internet and that you don’t have other users on your network that are hogging the net. Don’t just trust what your ISP says your MBPS is, check it yourself. There are various ways you can do this - but the easiest way is through any number of speed test pages. Google it.  

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t have a firewall preventing data from reaching your device. If this is a problem, try port forwarding to let your network know that this data is important and should take priority.  

As previously stated, we also HIGHLY recommend using a wired ethernet connection rather than relying on your wireless. It’s the best way to ensure you have a consistently good ping number. What else? We’re glad you asked. Try Outfox to lower your ping. 

How Outfox Lowers Ping

With these tips, your ping is sure to be lean, mean, and ready to go. Don’t lose any more matches because of latency, that’s just lame. It’s time for a change. See how Outfox can improve your game’s network connection today. If you’re looking for ways to lower ping in specific games, you can check out our guides page.  

Or, go ahead and give Outfox a try now. Click here to start a free trial!