Tech

Latency in games: How to identify it and avoid it

When we talk about latency in games we are referring to a problem that, unfortunately, is more common than it seems, and unfortunately cannot always be solved directly, since sometimes it does not totally depend on us.

I’m sure many of our readers have had to deal with this problem on more than one occasion, and you’ve probably ended up frustrated. Do not worry, it’s totally normal. I too have had to deal with latency issues in games more than once, though luckily I’ve had a pretty good few years of it.

Having high latency in games is not always a problem that is associated with a poor Internet connection. It can also be due to other external factors, and beyond us, so if you are experiencing this type of problem, the first thing you should do is arm yourself with patience, since there is a possibility that you will not be able to solve it, and therefore you will have no choice but to stop playing and wait.

How to identify a high latency problem in games

The most effective way is through the measurements, made in milliseconds, that are part of most online games. When we express latency in milliseconds, we are indicating the time required for a complete communication to take place between our team and the servers. We are talking about latency in games, but this also plays an important role in something as mundane as browsing the Internet, since if we have a very high latency, something as simple as clicking on a link can take a long time to complete.

We can directly translate what we have said above to the problems that high latency creates in games. Its symptoms are so clear that, even without resorting to those measurements, any average player could easily identify them. The most common are: a late execution of our actions, so much so that, in competitive games, we may end up dead before they are carried out; stoppages that leave us stuck for a few seconds, either continuously or intermittently; disappearance of players and/or elements of the stage and blockages in the loading zones.

However, the intensity, and the impact of these symptoms, will depend on how high the latency is. If you have a latency in games that exceeds 70 ms but does not exceed 100 ms, the experience won’t be great, especially in competitive games, but it won’t be terribly bad either. But nevertheless, in values ​​between 125 and 200 ms it is recommended to stop playing, since these symptoms will be intense, and we will end up frustrated.

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for not having high latency in games, since it is not always up to us. However, I can share with you a series of recommendations that will help you minimize the chances of it appearing:

  • Don’t download anything in the background while playing.
  • Use wired connections, or Wi-Fi 5, to play.
  • Keep your network protected and make sure you don’t have intruders eating up your bandwidth.
  • Periodically update your operating system and your router must be up to date.
  • Hire a good Internet connection. High latency can be caused by poor service.
  • If you are experiencing high latency issues, no intruders on your network, your provider tells you everything is fine and you have rebooted your router and PC, just wait as it is likely caused by a game server failure .

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