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Ping Fluctuates In Gaming

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 2, 2013 7:11:05 AM

Wasn't sure where to post this.

I am running a home network with Plusnet Fibre Optics - we have a 65Mbps plan, with unlimited usage. I connect to the router via wireless - my desktop is upstairs, wires are not really an option. Now when im playing games such as TF2 - (Noted that it seems to be worse in this), Chivalry, BF3, GW2 my ping fluctuates alarmingly. Now this is what really surprises me. One user is always wired in, he has no problems ever. I brought my pc downstairs and tried gaming wired in - no problems at all, perfect connection. Now here's the part that pisses me off - another user games off his laptop (which is crap compared to my desktop) and we will be sat in the same room, on the same game, we will both have a ping of 20ms but all of sudden (ONLY MINE) will fluctuate up to 400/500ms then go back down, making games unplayable for 30 seconds at a time sometimes. The user on the laptop remains at 20ms during this whole time. Please, please help me - it has annoyed me beyond words now. What could be causing these ping times

My specs
Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 64 Bit
ASUS M5A97 R2.0
AMD Phenom ii x4 965
8gb corsair vengenace
GTX 660 Twin Frozr III
1TB HDD
500GB HDD
700W Corsair PSU
TP-LINK 300mbp Wireless Card (forget the model, it has two antennas, and wasn't cheap)

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July 2, 2013 5:22:57 PM
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I am unsure without know your environment and distance from device etc.

I can give you some basic info to help eliminate possible issues.
Firstly playing games with WiFi will always be less efficient than wired.

I assume you have a general knowledge of drivers and other software configurations for your PC.
If you haven't already uninstall the current drivers and install the latest drivers for your NIC, (download the correct drivers prior to uninstalling) see if that improves it.
Next disable your Firewall/Antivirus software, these can have serious negative impacts while your playing games, see if that helps.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/turn-w...

Disable automatic updates - as windows checks and downloads updates this can cause the same issue.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/turn-a...

Ensure no other software/malware is running on your PC, use malwarebytes and kaspersky rootkit detector to scan your PC for malware as these can eat up CPU cycles and clog up your network.
http://usa.kaspersky.com/downloads/tdsskiller
http://www.malwarebytes.org/ (skip free trial if you like which enables realtime detection)

Disable running applications, use msconfig to disable startup programs and non-microsoft services. You will need PunkBuster if playing BF3.
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2292

Another random factor is hard drive fragmentation, this usually causes FPS loss, but none-the-less could also affect network throughput as your PC is thrashing your hard drive to load game files. Try to defragment your hard drive.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/improv...

Another option to the above format and re-install windows/games and test systematically.

You can also try to disable the detection of networks and specify the SID of your router to connect to.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/enable-or-d...
http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Windows-from-Connecting-...

If you've checked all the software/hardware of your PC and you're still having issues we can try and troubleshoot your network connection.
Wire your PC up to the router, and access the routers configuration, normally http://192.168.1.1, this differs per network/router, but you should have taken the same steps to secure your WiFi.

Next go to the advanced WiFi settings.
http://ui.linksys.com/files/WRT610N/1.00.00.17/en_help/...
You will see multiple options for RTS (Fragmentation Length), Transmit Rate (Beacon Interval), Transmit Power, etc.
Try lowering the numbers for your RTS and Rate settings. For example changing RTS from 2346 to 1000, and Rate from 100 to 50. This will cause smaller packets to be sent out twice as fast, this usually helps with interference issues. Keep in mind decreasing the interval will consume more power, so you may need to also adjust the Transmit Power, find the lowest setting possible for transmit power to preserve the life of the router.
You can also try changing the channel you operate on.
See if you notice any change and continue to manipulate the settings until you find optimal connectivity.


July 3, 2013 2:18:03 PM

Hi fyrye

Thanks for the response. I have already tried everything you mentioned, all with no avail.

As for changing the routers settings.. I know that it is not the router that is the issue. Another user connects to the same games as me, over WiFi, and has no issues, no ping fluctuations like I do. He connects fine, and we will be playing together - Only I get the ping going from 30 to 500, his remains fine throughout.
July 3, 2013 2:50:45 PM

The router settings would only affect wireless devices, not wired, as well each Wireless card is different and may be more susceptible to interference than another. These settings shouldn't affect the other user using WiFi since they were not experiencing interference issues, however yours is. The settings I recommend changing reduce the general issues with interference. Try em out and see if they work.

However if another user is using WiFi without issue, in your original post you stated the other user was always wired, the issue could be generated by your PC or PC's Wireless card. There have been random cases of a wireless device connecting that would cause interference with another wireless device, but these are rare. If a format and reinstall did not help, the issue could be hardware related.
!