Why is the Ping on my Gaming Console Higher Than on My Other Devices?
Many factors influence your ping time or network latency on a fixed wireless internet connection like 5G or 4G LTE – including the device you use.
Because different devices have different Wi-Fi capabilities, speed test results vary across devices on the same connection. If your gaming console has a higher ping than your PC or phone, your other devices may be better at connecting to Wi-Fi than your console.
What is Ping Time?
Ping time is the time it takes for a request, like a request to join a game, to travel back and forth between the client (your console) and the server. It measures the time it takes for the request to travel across your Wi-Fi connection as well as the underlying 5G or 4G LTE connection.
Even on wired internet connections like cable, there’s going to be a delay between when your console sends a request to the server and when the server starts sending game data back. During that delay, your console formulates the request and sends it over 5G or 4G LTE. Once the server receives your request, it sends your console a response that begins data transfer.
Fixed wireless internet usually has an average latency of between 40 and 60 milliseconds, although 5G has a latency of as little as 30 milliseconds. To run most games smoothly, you’ll need a ping time of less than 100 milliseconds.
How Does Ping Affect Online Gaming?
Ping time has a major effect on overall internet speed. When your ping is high, your console will struggle to connect to the server each time it sends a request – and your game will lag. It doesn’t take much for a high ping to become an issue for gamers. Humans notice any visual delays of more than 13 milliseconds and any audio delays of more than 1 millisecond.
Ping time is most important for gamers playing online games where response time is critical, like first-person and third-person shooters. Players on high latency connections will struggle to play these games, since they’ll be playing with a low frame rate and/or a noticeable lag in gameplay.
How can I reduce the ping on my gaming console?
Because the higher ping on your gaming console is due to the lower Wi-Fi capability of the device, you can reduce your ping by connecting your console directly to your wireless router with an ethernet cable.
An ethernet cable replaces Wi-Fi, which gives your device direct access to your 5G or 4G LTE connection. This direct connection reduces your ping time since your requests no longer need to travel across both Wi-Fi and 5G or 4G LTE to reach the server.