Wireless connections are renowned for their flexibility and convenience, but come with their own unique set of problems. Lag spikes can occur for a wide variety of reasons; the result is usually the same -- periodic moments of network unresponsiveness or delays in commands. Lag spikes are a serious problem when playing games online, as any delay between your controls and the game environment can lead to the death of a character. You can reduce wireless lag spikes.
Reduce the number of devices operating on your wireless network. Shutting off all devices but the one you are currently using will help you differentiate between network issues and bandwidth issues.
Shut down all non-essential software on your computer. Various programs connect to the Internet for information or updates and can temporarily spike your network usage. Anti-virus software in particular can tank a wireless connection when attempting to download new virus definitions. Shut these services down using your task bar, but remember to complete necessary updates later.
Disable the network auto-configuration feature. In Windows XP and Vista, lag spikes can be caused by the computer occasionally trying to find new wireless networks. You can turn this feature off by pressing the Windows and "R" keys simultaneously to open a Run prompt, then typing "cmd" and hitting enter. On the command prompt, enter "netsh wlan set autoconfig enabled=no interface=[Wireless Network Interface]," replacing the text in brackets with the name of your network card and hitting enter. This should clear up a significant amount of Vista and XP lag.
Move your computer and router into better positions. Ideally, the router will have a direct line of sight to the computer. While wireless network signals can make it around corners and up stairs, the closer you are to the access point the less likely the connection is to be sapped by interference.
Run the Regedit tool. To do so, open the command prompt and type "REGEDIT." Hit "Enter" to open the registry.
Browse to the following registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces
Locate the IP address of your network under the "Interfaces" entry. If you're unsure of your network's address, try a site like whatismyip.com or whatismyipaddress.com to find out.
Right-click the entry and select "New," then "DWORD (32-bit). Name the new value "TCPNoDelay."
Right-click the new entry and click "Modify." Enter "1" and make sure the "Hexadecimal" button is selected.
Exit the registry editor and restart your computer to apply the changes. This should result in a significant improvement in gaming latency.
Tips & Warnings
- If you disable the auto-configuration feature, you can re-enable it by going back to the command prompt and entering "netsh wlan set autoconfig enabled=yes interface=[Wireless Network Interface]." Just change "enabled=no" to "enabled=yes."