One of the most overlooked variables of PC gaming is completely outside of the computer itself. It’s something that most computer owners take for granted: their Wi-Fi router. If your gaming experience—especially when playing games online—isn’t living up to expectations, consider upgrading to a gaming router.
Signs that your router is holding back your gaming
Lag is the enemy of any gaming experience, and when your router isn’t up to the job, PC gaming is full of lag. It’s frustrating. But the good news is one upgrade can work wonders for eliminating lag, for both online and LAN gaming: a gaming router.
Basic upgrades offered by gaming routers
There’s no mistaking a gaming router for an average Wi-Fi router. They’re big, bristling with antennas and covered with ports. But there are good reasons for all this.
Gaming routers start with the latest, advanced Wi-Fi technology as basics. Pick up something like the ASUS RT-AC3100 and you’ll find dual-band high speed 802.11ac (in this case up to 3167 Mbps throughput), multiple external antennas to broadcast a strong signal, extra gigabit LAN ports (because sometimes a wired connection is the best option), MU-MIMO support, beamforming, smart connection, and a powerful CPU to manage all the traffic without slowing to a crawl.
Naturally, a gaming router will offer QoS to prioritize gaming packets. No more issues with someone streaming a 4K movie and having that cause a hiccup in your Wi-Fi network that ends in disaster for your Fortnite match. Gaming gets the bandwidth first and foremost.
In short, you can expect a gaming router to offer Wi-Fi performance that’s optimized for gaming. And there will be extra LAN ports in case you want to plug in directly to eliminate Wi-Fi altogether as a source of lag.
At the upper end, gaming routers deliver blistering Wi-Fi and gaming-specific extras.
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 has tri-band Wi-Fi at up to 5334 Mbps—and one of those bands can be dedicated solely to gaming hardware. It also has premium gaming features including Game IPS (Intrusion Protection System) to protect your game network from hacker attack, and access to WTFast Gamers Private Network for automatic route optimization to reduce ping time to game servers. That means it improves your online gaming experience even beyond your own network! You can read my review of this mighty gaming router here if you want to learn more.
Helps your online console gaming (and streaming) too
While improvements to your computer are usually specific to that machine, upgrading to a gaming router means better Wi-Fi for your entire home. Playing online games on a game console like a PS4 or Xbox One will also get better. The high performance of these routers is optimized for gaming, but expect other Wi-Fi experiences like movie streaming to improve as well.
Want some more tips on improving your PC gaming experience? We’ve just wrapped up a lengthy series of posts on the topic, including how to pick a gaming monitor and how to create the ultimate PC gaming setup. And if you could use some new hardware—such as a gaming router—Best Buy has you covered with everything you could possibly need for PC gaming.