Ping is probably a term you’ve seen a lot in regards to online gaming. Pro players complain that it limits their ability in games, with some even moving to get a better ping. In gaming, ping is related to the lag or latency of your game. It involves how quickly you can communicate with a game’s servers. This can be frustrating for players since it typically can’t be improved by using a more powerful machine.
So what exactly is ping and why is it important in gaming?
What is Ping?
In gaming, ping is how fast a command that you send to the game can register at the server and happen in-game.
In online games that need quick reactions, moving fast comes down to a few things. The first is how quickly you physically react and make an input to your game. Then, your mouse and keyboard’s ability to send that input to PC has to be fast, after that, your PC has to communicate that change to the game’s server for you to actually interact with it. This is that last step, and essentially something that is much harder to control.
Why is Ping Important?
Ping is important since it allows your inputs to register faster, and gives you a better reaction and input time in gaming. A player with a worse ping will have more lag in their communication with the game. This often isn’t a noticeable lag, you won’t have players running in spot. However, these small differences in timing make a big difference in performance.
In the example above of how you input travels from your hands to the game, making the movement relies on your tech and connection. Gamers spend a lot of money on a set-up that cuts milliseconds out of their reaction times with a responsive mouse, and a display to register movements quicker. However, there is one major part of all this that is being left out of those conversations. Inputs going from your mouse to game quickly are all well and good, but they’re still dependent on the signal actually being sent to the game’s server.
That’s why ping is so important in gaming, it determines how quickly you can react.
What Does High Ping Mean in Gaming?
A high ping in gaming means a longer wait for you to send and receive signals from the game’s server. A higher ping is a slower reaction time. In terms of gaming, it is how quickly you can interact with other players and elements in the game and have it register.
What is a Good Ping for Gaming?
A good threshold for ping depends on a game’s servers as well as your set-up, so there isn’t a universal guide to good ping in every game. Over 100 is definitely bad, but it varies title to title. Games like Call of Duty have great infrastructure and they allow for a very low ping for a lot of people. Smaller games or indies might not have great ping for anyone! A ping is as much a result of your hardware as it is the server locations for the game you’re playing.
What is a Good Ping for Fortnite?
In Fortnite, a good ping for competitive play is under 50. Over 100 is generally quite bad. Anything between 50 and 100 is tolerable. However, the lower you can get the better. Fortnite is going to be more fluid with a ping under 20, where this is possible.
This is slightly higher than other games since Epic doesn’t have as many server locations are others. This map demonstrates it pretty well. Players in the UK have servers in both the Republic of Ireland and London, giving pretty much anywhere around here great access to the server. While those in South America have one to serve a huge continent. This isn’t exactly fair, but it is how the servers are laid out.
What is a Good Ping for Call of Duty Warzone?
A good ping in Warzone is around 40 or lower. Warzone has pretty good spreads of servers and a lower ping is much easier to achieve. A ping under 100 is still going to be pretty viable, but under 40 is perfect for more competitive play.
What is a Good Ping for Valorant?
A good ping for Valorant would be under 50. However, this game currently has some problems with its servers so higher pings are to be expected. The game launched into a wider beta in the middle of a global pandemic, which hasn’t helped things at all. Try not to stress too much about Ping in Valorant just yet, since the game will have better servers when it launches in full.
What is a Good Ping for PUBG?
A good ping in PUBG would be below 60. Under 100 is ideal, but slightly higher is tolerable in this game. The connection speeds aren’t quite as competitive as with some games.
What is a Good Ping for Apex Legends?
A good ping for Apex Legends is under 40. 40-100 are going to be completely fine, but might suffer in ultra-competitive situations. Over 100, and you might actually see a noticeable lag in your game.
How to Get a Better Ping
Ping is important for how you perform in-game, so how do you get a better ping? Part of it is down to the game’s servers and how they’re functioning. However, there are some things you can do to improve. These are some steps you can take to get a better ping while gaming:
- Use Ethernet – Wi-Fi has a lot of latency, stick with wired internet where possible.
- Anti-Virus Interference – If you have anti-virus software or a firewall activated, make sure they’re skipping their normal checks over packets for your games, they can slow you down.
- Background programs – Close em! Of course if you’re recording gameplay or streaming this will be an issue, but try to have as little else running as possible.
- Shut Down Other Devices on Your Network – Shutting down other internet-enabled devices on your network can improve things. This might be difficult in the modern world though, with everything from light bulbs to central heating being hooked up to your Wi-Fi. Smart home devices might be draining your ability to connect speedily.
- Keep Things Clean – Check for actual dust in your PC and router.
- Upgrade Cables and Router – A more responsive router or cables can also speed up your Ping.
What About VPNs?
Your Ping is important for getting great reaction times, so what does this mean for VPNs?
Results can be mixed with VPNs. In some cases, a VPN will slow you down since the packets are being moved around even more. In other cases though, the VPN is a more direct route to where your packet needs to go, so it can speed things up. If you go with one of the best VPN providers for gaming, they should be optimized to ensure things don’t suffer.
If you’re looking to optimize your in-game performance, our guides to the best settings for games can help with that too.