Understanding Lag And Its Affects On Gameplay

Posted on: 10 July 2015

Whether you're becoming a professional gamer on Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games or becoming an online personality who plays a variety of games, the Internet can make or break your budding business. To make sure your skills aren't hampered by network problems, consider how lag could ruin your plans.

Lag Is The Greatest Enemy Of Online Gamers

Many online gamers know that you need decent Internet speed and a good computer to play games efficiently, but there are a few symptoms of bad performance that can be confusing. Lag is a term that is used for different issues, but you need to understand the causes and differences.

The standard meaning for lag involves slow or failing network performance. If the commands that you send to the game aren't reaching the server soon enough, your character may lag to the point of missing an attack or failing to get out of danger.

Beneath the graphics and abilities in your game, a system of information exchanges take place. The game server handled a continuous world of automated, computer managed resources such as Non-Playable Characters (NPCs). The server also handles updates from every player in the game.

These updates include movement, abilities used and anything else that can change the game world. When you shoot a gun at a player or cast a spell, your game sends an update and the server sends the results to everyone on the game or in your specific game area.

If your Internet is too slow, you could run in place because your signal to move didn't reach the server in time. You may not notice a fireball coming down on your position because information isn't coming back from the server fast enough.

You'll need to make sure that your Internet is fast enough to send and receive these updates without being significantly delayed. You also need to take the other network activities into account; downloading, voice communications or even web browsing could slow you down if your Internet connection is low enough, so be sure to contact a computer network technician to find an Internet service plan that fits all of your network usage.

The Other Lag Is A Video Hardware Issue

Not all game players are computer experts, so anything that looks like slow performance may be considered lag to them. They're not completely wrong; the game is lagging behind, but not because of network issues associated with the main gaming definition of lag.

If a person's computer resources are being used up, the game will start performing slower than usual. A game is an application, and like any application it needs a certain amount of resources to operate properly. The processor needs to be able to process everything happening on the computer, including background operations that keep the computer running in general. A graphics card helps with some of the work, but some issues can overwhelm your entire system.

If you're running too many programs in the background, you need to either close a few programs or add more resources. For example, streaming (live broadcast of your gameplay) can make your gameplay more difficult because many streaming programs are quite demanding. Looking up a lot of information in your browser while playing games can slow down the system as well, since some browser can use up a lot of resources if multiple windows or tabs are open.

Be sure to scan for viruses as well, but only while you're not playing the game. Both a virus and a running anti-virus can slow down your gameplay.

For more information, about computer networking, contact Advanced Business Systems or a similar company.