Reduce Gaming Latency (Ping) in Windows
When I connect to game servers I usually do not have a bad ping provided that automatic match making does not connect me to a server in Australia, Japan or the US (I'm from Germany). That happens at times, both in Team Fortress 2 and in Counter Strike Global Offensive, the two games that I play the most currently.
I do play a lot with friends and notice that their pings are usually a lot worse than mine. I used to attribute this solely to their Internet connection and did not really think that connection tweaks would change much in this regard.
Then I read about two Registry settings, TCPAckFrequency and TCPNoDelay, and how they can bring down the ping in games and other applications that work best with low latency. If you are a gamer and experiencing lag issues when connected to a close-by server, you may want to try tweaking those two settings to see if this makes your gaming experience more enjoyable.
- TCPAckFrequency "uses delayed acknowledgments to reduce the number of packets that are sent on the media". Instead of sending an acknowledgment each time, acknowledgments are delayed.
- TCPNoDelay determines whether nagling is enabled or disabled. Nagling "is a feature that combines several packets into a single, larger packet for more efficient transmissions".
This reduces the overall load on the network to optimize network traffic. The drawback is that latency may increase because of it. If you are using your PC mostly for gaming, or experiencing issues with lag in games, then you may want to see if turning off those features improves gaming latency on your end.
Fixing game lag
You need to make two changes to your Windows Registry.
- Use Windows-R to bring up the run box on the system.
- Type in regedit here and tap on the enter key
- Navigate to the following Registry key here using the tree-like structure on the left: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces
- Here you need to go through the list of sub-keys to locate the network adapter entry that is used to connect to the Internet. If you are using DHCP, you need to look for DhcpIPAdddress here to find the correct adapter, otherwise you need to look for IPAddress here.
- Most of the entries did not contain any useful data on a test system, so that finding the right one should be relatively easy.
- If you do not know your local IP address do the following to find it out: Use Windows-R to bring up the runbox, type in cmd and hit enter. Here you then need to enter ipconfig to display the IP address.
- Once you have located the correct key right-click it and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
- Name it TcpAckFrequency and click ok.
- Double-click the value afterwards and set its value to 1. (To restore the default setting, change the value to 2 or delete the key)
- Now navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSMQ\Parameters
- Right-click on the key again and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
- Name the new parameter TCPNoDelay
- Double-click it afterwards and change its value to 1. (To restore the key at a later point in time change it to 0 or delete the key)
All that is left now is to reboot the PC, log off and on again, or kill and restart the explorer.exe process.
The effect depends a lot on the games you play, your Internet connection, and the servers you connect to. There have been reports by users who claimed that this reduced their ping times by 100ms and more in games they play.Advertisement