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Sluggish Games

Friday, August 11th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
I like to play some games online, but lately they have been running so sluggish and slow. What could be causing this? Please help, I love my games!

A:
Online games work with your Internet connection and the game’s server by a ping meter reading. Ping stands for Packet InterNet Groper, which is a utility used to determine whether or not certain network data is capable of running without errors. It’s basically used to check for network errors within your system. In regards to online games, the ping is the measurement of the connection between the game server and your computer. It determines how fast or slow it is. The lower the number, the better connection you have and the faster you will be able to play your game.

Okay, now on the stuff you really want to know: what’s causing your games to run slow? One factor could be your connection speed. This is a pretty common problem with online gaming. If you use a modem (especially dial-up) for your Internet connection, you are going to have a much higher ping rate than other players who may have something different. For example, if you use broadband Internet, you’ll probably have a lower ping number.

Either way, if you’re experiencing sluggishness, you can always test your Internet connection to see what’s going on. This is usually done by downloading something onto your computer to see how long it takes. Read more about speed testing your connection here. The test will help you in figuring out if the slow connection is because of your Internet connection or the game server connection.

On that note, the other big factor in this is your actual server. Depending on where the server is located, how many people are playing games on the same server at the same time as you, what type of connection your computer has, etc., you can experience some slow game times. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to resolve this issue.

First, if you can, check with the other users you are playing with and see if they’re experiencing high pings as well. If they are, it’s possible that the server is running on a slow connection or that there are just too many players using it at one time. If this is the case, try an alternate server (go into a different game room, etc). Servers are located all over the world and if you’re connected to one in another country, it’s going to make some games run much slower. The other thing you can do is just leave the game for awhile and come back to it later. You may be trying to access it during a busy time of day and if you come back at a later time, you might have more luck. You just need to find a time to access the game’s server when it’s not being bogged down by such a heavy work load.


One last thing you can do to speed up your game connection is check on updates for the particular games you like to play. Make sure you’re using the latest version of the game, along with updating the hardware drivers, etc. You should also run updates on your operating system just to make sure everything is running on the freshest material available. This can improve your gaming experience on and offline.

Once done, you can hopefully enjoy your games in the best capacity possible. Happy gaming!

~ Erin

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