Effective Overwatch Lag Fix Guide
With the unveiling of Overwatch, Blizzard has stepped into the arena of first-person shooter games. The game offers players a breath of fresh air compared to already popular multiplayer FPS co-op titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops and Counter-strike: Global Offensive as it boasts an array of different Heroes, all with their own unique abilities and fighting styles.
However, like most FPS games, problems that have been ever-present in online multiplayer games have also surfaced in Overwatch lag being the most common. Here are some Tweets of Overwatch players who faced lag when playing the game:
overwatch is unplayable for me i get lag spikes literally every game its not enjoyable anymore lol and its not my isp either its the fucking game
— moth like the bug (@bitcoinpurchase) April 9, 2018
@PlayOverwatch Had 2 matches tonight with over 500ms latency for everyone on my team (with the other team claiming no lag), every other game has been fine, cheating or are your servers fucked up atm.
— Xander Cage (@ManBearPig1ets) April 8, 2018
— Behind A Screen 🍿 (@behinda_screen) April 8, 2018
Real awful #overwatch lag, so I checked speedtest and I’m clocking in at 96Mbps down and 11 up. Check Overwatch again…
I hate how bad the lag in the NA overwatch servers has been lately..
— じゅりー🌸 (@splinteredaisy) April 7, 2018
Overwatch Lag Fix
As the game rises on the popularity charts, this problem is expected to become increasingly consistent and annoying. Here are the main reasons why you face these issues and how you can avoid them:
If you are facing consistent Overwatch lag, your hardware may be the problem to your woes. Both RAM and GPU are essential for ensuring a smooth gameplay. This is because they store temporary game data files to make them more readily accessible when playing the game. This helps to eliminate instances of lag and drops in frame rate. So, if your RAM and GPU are not up to the standards of Overwatch, you are bound to face lag. However, that’s not the the only reason why you are facing the trouble. Keep in mind that lag can be based over two aspects, which are hardware related and network related. If hardware is the case then the tips below will be able to help. However, if your case is related to the network then the best thing you can do is use Kill Ping.
One effective way to fix this issue is to upgrade your hardware. Increasing your RAM and purchasing a more powerful GPU will certainly make a huge difference to your overall gameplay. This is because your RAM and GPU will be able to store the required volume of gaming data with greater efficiency. As a result, you will enjoy a smoother gameplay with a healthy frame rate and less Overwatch lag.
Furthermore, you should also make sure that your system fulfills the minimum system requirements that are required to run Overwatch. The requirements can be seen below;
|Operating System||Windows 7 64-Bit|
|Processor||Intel Core™ i3 or AMD Phenom™ X3 8650|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GTX 460|
|Resolution||1024 x 768|
An effective strategy to boost your RAM’s performance is to check overall system usage of RAM. You can do this simply by going to the task manager application and checking the percentage of RAM being used by your system. If it is alarmingly high, you should free RAM by closing applications. Search for unnecessary background applications that are using a lot of RAM and simply close them to kill the lag. You can re-launch them after you are done with Overwatch (which you probably won’t be).
Another major reason why you may face constant Overwatch lag is due to your internet problems. When your connection is unstable or your bandwidth is not sufficient to support online multiplayer gaming, your packet data will take longer to travel to the server and back. As a result, you will face lag and other related issues like stuttering and rubber-banding.
Another common type of lag that you will face in Overwatch is input lag. You will know you are facing input lag when you input commands through the keyboard or mouse but the character does not respond to them. Input lag occurs when your packet data transfer speed is slow or when there is an instance of packet loss. In either case, you will face lag since your character will be unresponsive.
To make sure that your internet connection does not contribute to Overwatch lag, you can try a number of helpful tips. Firstly, try to disable all background downloads as they may be leeching your internet speed during your gaming session. Background downloads may include (but are not limited to) torrent downloads, torrent managers, and even the auto-update feature of software applications like your anti-virus and firewall.
Secondly, you can also try changing the internet password. This way, you can know if your internet is being used by someone else in your home or within close proximity. If this time when you play Overwatch lag is considerably less frequent, then someone was definitely using your internet. As a rule of thumb, make sure that you change your WiFi password every week so that others may not be able to use it.
The third and best solution to your internet problem is to upgrade to a faster connection – one that offers you a higher bandwidth. As far as playing fast-paced action-packed online multiplayer games like Overwatch is concerned, you need a fast and stable internet connection. Hence, it is best to go for an internet connection with a bandwidth of 4 Mbps or higher. Also, make sure you go for a wired connection rather than a wireless one which is less stable and does not offer consistent data transfer speeds.
Checking Ping in Overwatch
While players might be facing Overwatch lag, they still remain unsure of how much delay, high ping they have in the game. As for now there isn’t any official way to check it but we hope Blizzard will add it with the game’s official release.
However, one way through which you can check your ping times for the game is by directly performing a traceroute to the game server.
According to Blizzard’s official website, the following IP Address are dedicated for Overwatch for the region Europe as well as Americas.
So in case you are facing Overwatch lag it is better to check your ping times with the game server prior to running the game.
Enter the command prompt by typing run in start menu. Now type
-ping xx.xxx.xxx.xxxx –t
Replace the ‘X’ with one of the ip address shown above depending on the region where you connect. The result would be something like this
Performing the action shown above will give you a good idea of what ping you will be receiving in the game and if you might face any sort of Overwatch Lag.
Update: Checking Ping In-Game
The above mentioned was the only method through which Overwatch players could check their ping for their respective regions. Now, however, players have the liberty to check their ping in-game to actively be aware if they are facing Overwatch lag or not. Just press CTRL+SHIFT+R during a game and you will be shown the current ping, fps and RTT for the game. You can view this on the top left corner of your screen.
If for any reason, you are not aware what RTT or RTT lag mean, the terms are being described below.
RTT and RTT Lag
Describing it in network terms, RTT means a ‘Round Time Trip’ that a packet takes from a user to the server and back to the user. For Overwatch, if this value is higher than your average ping it means that the server is taking more time to respond than it really should. This RTT lag in more general terms can lead to Overwatch lag which you usually experience when playing the game.
Countering Packet Loss
One of the main reasons why someone would be facing Overwatch packet loss can be due to the type of internet connection they are using. Generally, due to ease of use, players tend to set themselves for a wireless connection and connect to the internet via a Wi-Fi device. Laptop’s users are commonly prone to this problem as the ease of mobility costs them packet loss in online gaming. It is therefore, advised to switch over to a wired connection even if you are using a laptop for gaming. Switch to a CAT6 or CAT5E cable connection and you are most likely gonna solve your Overwatch packet loss problems if they were at your end.
As of recently, another common issue related to Overwatch lag has been the rubber banding effect. Though mainly a server side issue, sometimes it is solely related to a problem with Asus ROG users. This was identified over Blizzard’s official Overwatch forum and the remedy to it is by disabling/ uninstalling ‘GameFirst III’ from your computer.
All you gotta do is search for the said application and hit the uninstall button. Make sure that application is out and then restart your computer. Once done, it is mostly likely your rubberbanding issue will get solved. If not, then the reason would definitely be on the server side right.
To make things more believable for you I have added an in-game picture while playing to show you the difference of ping/ lag when playing through Kill Ping. If your results in Overwatch are similar to what I would have got if not using the application, then clearly your best go-to solution to reduce Overwatch lag should be to use it.
The comparison picture can be seen below;
Using Kill Ping to Solve Overwatch Lag
One effective way you can reduce Overwatch lag is by trying out Kill Ping. It optimizes your gaming connection by connecting you through its dedicated servers which are specially designed for game data. Once the connection has been established, the application uses efficient server-routing techniques that essentially help your packet data to avoid the clutter and traffic on other servers.
Kill Ping has a dedicated network laid down only for gaming data and online games. This facilitates an enhanced gaming experience by using optimized gaming routes to the game server with a minimum number of hops. This dedicated route enables the game data to bypass the clutter and all the traffic that you may face when connecting through a conventional method. Thus, you can enjoy an increase in the data transfer rate and minimum Overwatch lag.
You can find Overwatch in the games list of Kill Ping. In case, you do not see Overwatch, you can simply add it through “Add a Custom Game” option. You will have enter the game name. In the Launcher option, browse and select “Battle.net.exe”. For the main module, select “Overwatch.exe” and click OK. We are sharing a screenshot for the game files setting to be placed when adding Overwatch:
Summing it Up
With these tips, you can drastically reduce Overwatch lag and enjoy a smoother gaming experience. Do remember though, that connecting to dedicated gaming VPN like Kill Ping that is optimized especially for gaming is the best solution to your lag issues. Especially, if you have tried all of the other ‘diagnostic’ tips that we have highlighted above then this should be your go-to option. Your choice of server (particularly in terms of its proximity to you) also plays a crucial role in determining your gaming server.
Do note that along the efforts that we can do to solve them, Blizzard itself is also aware of the common problems the game is facing and hopefully will try to lessen it from their end as well. Do let us know how the guide works out in the end for you by leaving a comment below.