Despite the marketing claims of reduced pings, advanced gaming performance, and lightning speed, most gaming routers don’t deliver the intended performance unless you get them to do so. A few tweaks here and there in router settings can work wonders in improving gaming performance.
When you’re engaged in any network-intensive tasks that consume massive bandwidth, it certainly hits your gaming experience. And if you’re in the same boat experiencing lags, disconnects or other issues, check out the best router settings for gaming.
In the subsequent sections, I’ll shed light on various router settings that improve gaming experience and show a path as to how you could implement them.
1. Switch Frequency Band
A major factor contributing to a decline in gaming performance is interference with WiFi signals, which can disrupt their transmission and cause them to fail to reach their intended destination. As a result, the router may need to resend the data, and frequent interruptions can lead to a higher packet loss and latency rate, ultimately affecting the gameplay.
These occur in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, but the former is subject to more frequent data interruptions, primarily because of the availability of fewer channels. This is why I suggest tri-band routers like Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500, which excels in gaming, and other demanding tasks such as streaming.
Besides, being much closer to other household devices, like baby monitors, microwaves, and others, can also cause signal interference.
On the other hand, the 5GHz band entails more non-overlapping channels, which provides more space for signals to travel through. Irrespective of the band, analyze your WiFi network to determine the least used channel and get your gaming devices to connect with that. This should help with the congestion and interference.
But how to do that? Here are a few easy steps to follow:
- Right-click on the Start menu or Win+X keyboard shortcut and click on the Device Manager option.
- Here you’ll find all device categories, so expand the Network adapters menu.
- Right-click on the WiFi adapter you’re using and select properties from the menu.
- In the advanced tab, find the preferred band or band option. Click on it to get a Value data drop-down list, where select your preferred band option. Select Ok to apply the change.
2. Set Up QoS Priority
Quality of service or QoS is an in-built feature in many routers that prioritizes data packets for certain devices. This comes in handy when most devices connected to the network are engaged in bandwidth-intensive activities.
For example, if your sister is streaming a 4K movie on Netflix while your brother is downloading a huge amount of data and attending Zoom meetings at once, it hogs a substantial amount of bandwidth. As a result, not much bandwidth is left for you to explore, resulting in a slower and inconsistent gaming experience.
The QoS feature lets you prioritize your gaming devices connected over the bandwidth. In other words, free channels are allocated for gaming signals, and you can enjoy your games worry-free. To enable the feature, here’re a few easy steps to follow:
- Log in to the manufacturer’s homepage by putting in the username and password imprinted at the bottom of your router.
- Select the Wireless tab, locate the QoS settings and select the setup QoS tab.
- Then, add the networks you want to prioritize.
- Click apply.
3. Enable Gaming Features
Certain gaming routers, like Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, entail a few dedicated gaming features like triple-level game acceleration, game boost, a dedicated gaming port, and VPN fusion.
The triple-level game acceleration feature powered by WTFast provides a much better and clearer route from a router to a game server, thereby delivering an unmatched gaming experience.
Game boost feature does a similar task by prioritizing the gaming packets. At the same time, the VPN fusion feature lets you run VPN and enjoy maximum gaming speeds, simultaneously.
These features or options are available on the router-compatible app, so search and enable them to get a big boost in gaming performance.
Other than that, the dedicated gaming ports (2.5G or even 1G) are specially designed to deliver an interference-free and best gaming experience. Just plug your gaming console into it and you’re ready to go.
4. Enable MU-MIMO
MU-MIMO or Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output comes as a handy feature if there are multiple devices to connect with the network. Rather than connecting to the devices individually, MU-MIMO lets the router create numerous small networks to work with all at the same time. In this way, the bandwidth is used efficiently, and all devices should experience improved speeds.
To enable it, log in to the manufacturer’s official website, select Advanced, then advanced settings and wireless setup or settings. On the page, find the Enable MU-MIMO check box and click on it, and then tap apply.
5. Disconnect Unwanted Devices
The signal disturbances or interferences also arise from unwanted devices that are connected to the network. These generally hog most of the bandwidth and not much is left for your gaming devices, resulting in poor performance.
The process is quite simple. Similar to the above, log into the dedicated manufacturer’s webpage where you should find most of the connected devices listed. If not, find options like connected devices, status, or network map. Or you can check the DHCP clients list in DHCP or LAN section.
Next, note down the MAC address you wish to remove, and find the MAC filtering section, generally located under access control, security, or advanced tabs. Here, enter the address and click delete.
Otherwise, you can follow a similar process on the router management app to get rid of any devices. Many display the devices that are consuming the most bandwidth, making it easy for you to free up more channels.
6. Update Your Router Firmware
Updating the firmware on your router is especially beneficial in helping your router work better and even repairing an annoying bug and the damage caused by it or instilling support for faster internet speeds. This, in turn, ensures the proper functioning of a router and a seamless gaming experience.
7. Enable UPnP
Universal Plug and Play, also UPnP is a common router feature that simplifies the process of port forwarding. Rather than you needing to manually switch the port, it’s automatically forwarded to the devices which need the most. So when playing a new game you won’t have to mess with new ports every time.
To enable the feature, click Control Panel > Network & Internet > Network & sharing center. In the left pane, click on Change for advanced sharing settings, and turn on network discovery in the network discovery section. Then tap on the save changes button.
However, enabling UPnP can pose a security threat by allowing any malicious activity to pass through the network.
Q1. Do gaming routers make a difference?
A: Yes, these routers entail some gaming-oriented features like gaming acceleration, gaming ports, game boost, and others to take your gaming experience to a new level.
Q2. Which networking mode is best for gaming?
A: Wired connection or using Ethernet over WiFi is the best networking mode for gaming.
Q3. How can I make my internet faster for gaming?
A: Here are a few basic steps to follow:
- Check if your router is functioning properly
- Get yourself a new-generation router and make the necessary changes
- Manage the bandwidth properly by closing applications that are consuming massive bandwidth
- Setup a wired connection
- Tweak the settings as mentioned above.
Q4. What is the best Wi-Fi frequency for gaming?
A: Over 5GHz and 2.4GHz, the former is more suitable for gaming with the availability of more unoccupied channels. Rather, 6GHz is the best if you have access to a WiFi 6E router.
With that comes an end to my guide to the best router settings for gaming PS4. If you find these a troublesome affair, get your gaming consoles connected directly to the router and experience a lag-free and latency-free gaming experience. Let me know in the comments below if you have any queries or questions. Till then, goodbye and take care!