Gaming Skill And Internet Troubleshooting Go Hand In Hand

There's no better teacher than experience, and if you're an online gamer, you need to know a lot about how your system, the game and the Internet works to stay in the game world. You may not become a certified professional, but you can at least educate yourself in order to get the best out of your connection and to be a loved customer with great rapport with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). To understand how the Internet works with your online games, take a look at the gaming process and what happens with certain problems.

Lag: The Ultimate End Boss

In a sprawling fantasy game, a Mage travels across savage lands to defeat primal beasts and hardened warriors. The magic is strong, but just a few hits from the enemy and the Mage is pounded into a smear of blood and robes. Thankfully, the player can cast spells quickly and is skilled at running circles around enemies.

Then, the most powerful enemy known to the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) world sets its eye upon the Mage: lag

Lag isn't just game slang. In network, lag means that information is arriving at its destination late. To make matters worse, since so many interconnected systems depend on the delivery of one piece of data, delays can become widespread and eventually lead to long pauses or disconnections.

For the Mage, lag is like being suspended in time. The player may press a button to cast a fireball, and it might look like the spell is casting...but nothing comes out. Pressing the button again does nothing. Depending on the game, the player may try to run around and notice that everyone else in the game is standing in place, or they may run in place.

If the player is lucky, the lag will go away in time to recover and get to safety. If they're unlucky, the Mage may be dead by the time the game recovers. The player may disconnect and reconnect fine, or the lag may have kept the player long enough for the Mage to be killed. There are many different variations of what could go wrong.

What Causes Lag?

Delays that lead to disconnects or in-game death have no shortage of causes. First, the issues that you can do something about.

One common, yet innocent, cause of lag is downloading. Downloading isn't just clicking a file for a large download; watching videos or listening to music can cause it as well. If you or someone in your household is downloading, that can affect the overall bandwidth (Internet capacity) for your home.

You don't have to stop all downloading to play games, but there is a limit. Even if you increase your Internet speeds, your household users may simply increase their Internet consumption. Some people may not know how to set speed limits, while others may just be greedy.

Set some ground rules for maximum speeds, or if you can't come to an agreement, ask an Internet Service Provider to configure your modem for balanced, restricted speeds. The speed restrictions can be a fair maximum for every computer, or in your favor if you're in charge of the bill.

If the speed issue isn't in your home, it's either the ISP or the game servers. You can contact your ISP and ask if there's an outage, or check the game's support page or forums for a game issue. Be sure to ask other customers and players as well. Contact an ISP to discuss better speeds and Internet performance to stay alive in the game world longer.