Online multiplayer gaming is one of today’s hottest video game trends. But one of the biggest frustrations that gamers face is when games slow down or crash because too many people are playing at the same time. To solve this problem, Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft is teaming up with Google to create a new gaming developer framework designed to optimize multiplayer gaming in order to reduce online lags and crashes.
The Agones project (named for the Greek word for “contest”) will use the Kubernetes open-source platform to build dedicated game servers that can better allocate resources in order to allow smoother play for more players. Google joins Microsoft and Amazon, which also offer their own gaming developer frameworks, illustrating the growing demand for better online multiplayer gaming.
While some online gaming issues like this lie on the server end, there are also steps individual gamers can take to optimize their gaming connectivity. Here are four steps you can take to maximize your gaming uptime and enjoyment.
Choose the Right Gaming Device
The sophistication of today’s top video game graphics usually needs support from a PC or console, but a growing number of games are designed for mobile play. If you want PC-quality gaming on a mobile device, you need to choose the right gaming device. You’ll need a GPU with sufficient power to display realistic 3D shapes using high vertex counts, shading and large-volume draw calls. You also need a device that can support 4G or 5G connectivity if you want real-time gaming performance. Additionally, you need a device with a large screen so you can enjoy a good visual experience.
While today’s top smartphones can deliver good graphics quality, for optimal mobile performance, you’ll want a laptop with the power, connectivity and screen size to support quality online gaming. For example, the latest Snapdragon-powered laptop platforms, such as the 835 Mobile PC Platform featuring an X16 LTE modem, are capable of supporting today’s best graphics, including VR display, as well as today’s fastest mobile connections.
Use a Fast Connection
When it comes to your connection, three variables have the biggest impact on your online gaming performance: upload speed, download speed and ping rate. For good performance on the majority of online platforms, you need a minimum download speed of 3 megabits per seconds (Mbps), a minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps, and a ping rate below 150 milliseconds (ms).
While some 3G networks can deliver this level of performance, most will lag under these conditions. For best performance, use a 4G network, which provides a top download speed of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). When 5G networks begin rolling out later this year, maximum download speeds will increase to 20 Gbps, which will help support streaming virtual reality gaming.
Keep Your Drivers Updated
Another key to optimal gaming performance is keeping your video adapter driver and sound card driver up-to-date. If you’re on a PC, there are a couple ways to do this. One is to go to the website of your video adapter and sound card’s manufacturers and make sure you’ve downloaded the latest drivers. Alternately, if you don’t know the manufacturer, you can search for the dxdiag.exe diagnostic tool and go under the display tab to find your video adapter device and manufacturer and the sound tab to find your sound card device and provider.
If you’re on a mobile device, updating drivers is typically done automatically when you update your operating system. Making sure you keep current with your device’s latest operating system upgrades should take care of most driver issues.
Limit the Number of Players Per Game
Another variable that can affect online gameplay is the number of players involved in your game. The more players, the more likely you are to have performance issues. For most online multiplayer games, the host who creates the gaming session can set a limit to the number of players who are able to join. You can also restrict the number of players who actually join the game.
Choosing the right gaming device lays the foundation for enjoyable online gaming. Using a fast connection and keeping your drivers updated will also help optimize your gameplay. If you’ve got a lot of people playing at once, limiting the number of players may improve your performance. Following these steps should help you get the most out of your gaming so that you can game more often with fewer performance lags.