SGA : Avoiding lag and optimising your router for online gaming
EDIT: Thanks for the likes dudes. Wow My 1st front page :)
[spoiler]Hi Dr Skinless :)[/spoiler]
This will be a long post, but hopefully worthwhile to most of you that think Plug & Play actually works.
[quote]This will not cover any specific router or setup, only give you information on the best options, specifics are covered by the instruction manual of your router[/quote]
I've been in this community since the Beta and I have over 15 years experience in networks and IT Systems, and lately people seem to be having more and more problems getting setup for playing online games. Most of you will say that I'm drunk, and you might be right, others will say that Bungie needs to fix their shit, and others out there are mystified as to why they are banned from trials. Lets get started.
First, Destiny's PvP mode is based on a Peer-to-Peer host model. This means that when you start a PvP match, Bungie looks for other players right? Its also determining the host for a match. The host connects to the Bungie Servers, everyone else connects to the host. So its probably 90% not your connection or Bungie servers. PvP in Destiny means that you need to play against other peoples bad network setups.
Secondly the speed of your network connection doesn't really translate to how good an experience you will have. Destiny uses about 0.8Mbps upload from your console to the host. It can be slightly higher if your host, maybe about 1.2-1.5Mb/s. So your 300GB download over fiber does dick all to help you.
How can you fix it? Well for a start you know how Xbox One and PS4 have Wireless built-in to the consoles? Yes? Well here is a pro tip,
[b]DON'T USE WIFI FOR ONLINE GAMING. EVER[/b]
Always hard wire your console to your router using Ethernet cable. Ethernet is a pretty robust protocol, to the point where it can continue to function even if either your network cable or the cable plug or even the port on your router is damaged. I’ve had instances where a network cable was plugged in but not fully seated in the switch port. The system was online, but it was very slow and was seeing occasional packet loss. Sure enough, when I checked the cable I heard the little noise you hear when the little key/lock on the cable engages. Once the cable was securely connected everything worked perfectly.
If you can't directly Hard wire your console to your router then there are other solutions like Power-line Adapters.
These come in various forms but connect Ethernet cables over your house power grid. Clever, eh?
Try to not let your little brother download a ton of porn while your playing Destiny. Also streaming audio and video eats bandwidth. A typical HD VoD stream can eat anywhere between 5 and 20 Mbps download and for low bandwidth connections this will use upload speed at the same time. Also try not to stream your gameplay either if your on. Its great to have people watching you and all, but its kind of like Netflix in reverse if your streaming at high quality. i think Twitch is about 3-3.5Mps, so if like me you have a 5Mbps upload then that's going to get saturated very quickly. If either upload or download gets maxed out then it will cause lag in the router.
Yes I'm getting to it! That was only the start dudes, strap in for the long haul.
Make sure your Router has the most up-to-date firmware installed. Always.
Your router has the ability to dish out IP addresses automatically called DHCP. That's great and all, but your console needs a fixed IP address. The automatic one can change and this can cause problems for online games. Your router may have an option to set a Reservation, this will save you some work here. If it doesn't set your IP address on your console outside of the range of addresses your router can dish out.
eg if your router can give out 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.50, give your console 192.168.1.51.
Now you have a choice here. Use QoS, DMZ, port forward or uPnP. That's great but what does that mean?
QoS is a way for modern routers to manage bandwidth through a technique called Quality of Service. If you're lucky, you'll be able to adjust QoS via the router software simply by selecting a category (such as voice, applications, or gaming) and assigning it a priority (such as highest or normal). This method is by far the least painful method of optimization. On my router I need to do it by MAC address. If you can also set the maximum upload speed to be 98% of the maximum. If your ISP says its 5Mpbs, then set it at 4.8. If you don't know go to [url]speedtest.net[/url] and find out. This will stop your upstream saturating and causing lag elsewhere on your network.
Put your console in a DMZ if your router supports it. This is just another way to direct network traffic to your device involves putting it in the DMZ. No, it doesn't ship to North Korea--it simply moves your device from behind the firewall and out in the open, where it can receive all traffic without interference from the router. This arrangement typically gives the device your broadband IP address--with all the vulnerability that entails. Such vulnerability is why each router has its own firewall. The DMZ is usually reserved for a server or a PC that you'll use for gaming or for serving Websites. Since a console is a sealed black box, its OK to put this into a DMZ. For PC's or servers this would be a last resort option.
If your router doesn't support DMZ, then you have to either port forward or use uPnP. Port forwarding sends all traffic traveling through a specific port or ports to a specific device. This technique lowers the lag at the router and lets the destination device handle the processing. Keep in mind that a forwarded port then becomes unavailable to other devices. Generally, you specify the port number, the protocol (TCP, UDP, or both), and then either the IP address or the the MAC address of the device.
Keep in mind that port forwarding doesn't support QoS and that's where the magic happens.
Port Forwarding is a pain in the arse, and I'm not going to explain it. More info can be found here [url]http://portforward.com/help/destiny/[/url]
If you use more than one console on the same network, you can't use port forwarding (thank Jeebus!!!), you will need to use uPnP instead. Mainly it does the same job as port forwarding, but it can send the same port to multiple devices, automatically.
I can hear some of saying " my router only supports port forwarding and is 10 years old", and some of you say " My ISP only supplied a modem that doesn't do any of those things"
well maybe its time you get yourself a new shiny router. If you need to you can connect a router to your existing router by disabling any WiFi , putting the new router in a DMZ or forwarding all ports to the new router, then connecting the ethernet cable from port 1 on the the old router to the ISP/internet port on the new router. Then all your connections go through the new router.
Some of you are saying " Hey Gorgon, why are you a dick?" , but most of you probably will be like "All the tips are really good, but I got other people using laptops off this connection. I cant kick them off cause they pay all the bills. Can I do something about them?" The answer is Yes. Yes you can if your router supports WMM or WME.
If you QoS the upstream(upload), WMM is QoS for wireless devices on the downstream(download)
Wireless Multimedia Extensions and Wi-Fi MultiMedia are two names for the same 802.11e wireless QoS service. By all means, enable WME or WMM if your router supports it. The setting will help with streaming applications such as voice and video on a PC or a mobile phone.
You can even take this one step further if your router, and your devices, supports Dual Band Wifi. Concurrent wireless allows you to perform ad-hoc QoS by splitting traffic between the two networks. For instance, you could name your 2.4GHz wireless network "GeneralPornDL" and your 5GHz wireless network "Netflix/Facetime." Have users connect to the 2.4GHz network for surfing or general network chores, and to 5GHz for Skype or to watch HD video.
"I thought you said this would bust my lag", well nothing can do that, but if you follow the above advise then you can seriously reduce your lag, and improve the quality of your network. There will always be lag, but its how you minimise it that counts ;)
Skinless Out !!!
1. never use wifi, always use ethernet. Use Powerline adapters if necessary. Check your cables are not bust!
2. Fixed IP for your console
3. Qos the upstream, or DMZ, or port forward (ewww)
4. set max upload on QoS as 98%
5. Enable WMM for downstream WiFi devices (you can adhoc QoS by using the dual band WiFi channels)
6. Maybe, enjoy a much less laggy PvP experience in Destiny
[spoiler]This stuff gets my dork part tingling :p[/spoiler]