1. Eliminate Wi-Fi interference
If you’re playing your online games via Wi-Fi but suffer from slow or dropped connections, there may be something messing up your signal. This is usually the case if you find that your Wi-Fi range is bad, your speed is slower than it should be, or you get kicked out of online games altogether on occasion.
While walls are no good, especially if they’re made of solid concrete, household objects might be the culprit. Common signal disrupting objects that you want to keep away from your router include microwaves, security alarms, TV remotes, and other devices that emit wireless waves. Metal absorbs radio waves and thus should definitely kept far from your router if possible.
2. Limit other Wi-Fi devices
It’s easy to forget how many devices are all sharing the same Wi-Fi signal in the average home. The more your smartphones and tablets are doing while connected to your Wi-Fi, the less bandwidth your gaming console has to use while playing.
It’s even worse if someone is streaming Netflix or doing other bandwidth-demanding tasks. As tedious as it sounds, making sure your other devices aren’t running while you hop online to play may prove to be the difference between a laggy and smooth experience.
3. Tweak your router’s antenna
Adjusting your antenna’s position can make a big difference when it comes to your Wi-Fi router’s signal strength and range. If you live in a two-story home but do your gaming downstairs or in a basement, position your antennas parallel to the ground to extend its vertical reach. to extend horizontal range simply move the antenna so it is pointing directly up.
That’s what’s great about having a Wi-Fi router with two or more antenna— you can place one sideways and the other straight up to increase overall signal reach. Replacing your router’s antenna (if it supports removable antenna) with a new one might also do the trick.
4. Reposition your console or router
The stability and strength of your wireless connection will always be affected by the distance between the router and your gaming console. Do whatever it takes to move them so that they’re as close to each other as possible while also making sure no metal objects are in between. Sometimes, even just a foot or two of separation can spell the difference between good and bad Wi-Fi.
While you’re at it, try keeping your wireless router as high as possible. This is because radio waves travel better downward and sideways, not upward. Instead of keeping your router on a table or low desk, place it on a tall bookcase or shelf to get a better distribution of signal.
5. Opt for a wired connection
Not everyone is able to connect their gaming console with their internet router. But as convenient as Wi-Fi is when it comes to playing your online games from anywhere in the house, a wireless connection will never be as good as a wired one. If you can, obtain an ethernet cable and hook up your PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch to experience the best online experience possible.
With a wired connection you never have to worry about staying in range or lagging due to interference. Modern ethernet connections can also reach speeds far superior than Wi-Fi— on average 3x faster. The only downside is that your console has to be kept relatively close to your router, depending on the length of your ethernet cable.
Note: Every recent home console can be connected via wired connection, including: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii U.
6. Buy a better Wi-Fi Router
At the end of the day what you might need is a new router. If your current router is a few years old then it might not feature the technology of today’s routers needed to handle so many different devices on one Wi-Fi signal. In fact, it’s recommended that you replace your Wi-Fi router every 5 years.
Your router might also have outdated technology and only support 802.11n or even 802.11g. to compare, a 802.11ac router boasts speeds of 1.3 gigabits per second while an 802.11n router can only reach 450MB per second. An 802.11ac router also usually comes with a 5GHz frequency which delivers a stronger wireless signal that’s less likely to be disrupted.
7. Get a dual-band router
While we’re on the topic of buying a new router, we highly recommend you go for dual-band. These advanced routers come with a handful of incredible features that are sure to improve your gaming experience. The biggest advantage is their ability to deliver both a 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz frequency.
Two signals means your wireless devices will have more bandwidth to share. You can also customize your dual-band router’s settings to assign certain devices to specific frequencies. Setting up your 2.4 GHz connection for your smartphones and tablets allows your gaming console to take more advantage of the superior 5 GHz signal.
8. Invest in a Wi-Fi extender
A Wi-Fi extender (also called repeaters) are amazing little devices that rebroadcast your network router’s signal. This means your Wi-Fi signal will be distributed in a larger radius and with more strength than if your router were left on its own.
The good news is they’re not very expensive when compared to the price of a modern router. While not necessary, it’s also recommended that you buy a repeater made by the same manufacturer as your router. Most Wi-Fi extenders are universal but devices made by the same minds tend to work better together.