Question Im getting short lag spikes every 3-4 minutes when playing video games

Nov 16, 2020
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So last week this problem started happening. My internet is dropping sometimes however 99% times its alright and its running fine. Im usually having the lowest ping in the video games. HOWEVER, since last week almost every 3-4 minutes i get a small lag / spike and then again after 3-4 minutes. I see this problem only when playing online video games, but i guess it happens all the time i just dont see it when surfing on internet.

I tried almost everything, i tried reinstalling the video games, clearing the disk, downloading the games on SSD, downloading all the windows updates and updated all nvidia drivers, checked temps of my PC (fine), downloaded some firmware / update on my router and it still happens.

Im fairly sure its because of packet loss, however the internet provider / router arent the problems, it should be my pc, since other PCs in my family are running just fine on the very same internet. I tried 2 different internets and routers and its both having the same problem, high packet loss from time to time.

Does anyone know what might cause this? Dont be shy just shoot me some opinions and ill try them out! Thank you a lot

And yes im using wired connection.
 
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Nov 9, 2020
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so i pinged 8.8.8.8 for 5 minutes and 0% packet loss, however the problem is still here somewhere. what can i test next? thank you!!
Check your motherboard manufacturer. For me I had a similar problem and I just had really outdated intel onboard NIC drivers. There should be a page that has a whole list of drivers available for your mobo model.
 
Nov 9, 2020
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ill check it however i dont think its it because on my brothers PC we're having the same lags when playing online video games. however still thanks so much for trying to help me!! ill check the motherboard for sure.
  • Alternatively you could check your router as well. Is your router rated for the speed that you should be getting? When is the last time the router was power cycled?
  • There is also a possibility that it is overheating if it is not in a well ventilated area. Normally routers will update their firmware automatically when connected but there is a chance it needs to be updated and just needs confirmation from user via the router login site.
  • Is it possible you have the right bandwidth on your ethernet? Check the cable going to your computer as well as the one going from your modem to your router if you have one. (Cat 5 or better, Cat 5 is 10 or 100 Mbps)
 
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  • Alternatively you could check your router as well. Is your router rated for the speed that you should be getting? When is the last time the router was power cycled?
  • There is also a possibility that it is overheating if it is not in a well ventilated area. Normally routers will update their firmware automatically when connected but there is a chance it needs to be updated and just needs confirmation from user via the router login site.
  • Is it possible you have the right bandwidth on your ethernet? Check the cable going to your computer as well as the one going from your modem to your router if you have one. (Cat 5 or better, Cat 5 is 10 or 100 Mbps)
1.) i think thats fine
3.) i think thats fine too since its been fine for like a year or since we got it

however 2.) might be it!! ill place it better (ive been using some steelbook to cover the lights of the router so 99% times its covering almost the whole router), ill make sure to clean it and place it on a better spot without covering it. i would just never think that this might cause lags. ill let you know if it helps!! thank you a lot
 
Nov 9, 2020
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1.) i think thats fine
3.) i think thats fine too since its been fine for like a year or since we got it

however 2.) might be it!! ill place it better (ive been using some steelbook to cover the lights of the router so 99% times its covering almost the whole router), ill make sure to clean it and place it on a better spot without covering it. i would just never think that this might cause lags. ill let you know if it helps!! thank you a lot
Most routers are passively cooler so covering any holes will definitely cause it to get toasty. Routers are basically like little computers and when they get too hot they can overheat and cause "throttling" similar to what PCs do. I actually had installed a mini usb fan on top of my router once just to make sure it stayed cool.
 
Reactions: penguini1987
Nov 9, 2020
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1.) i think thats fine
3.) i think thats fine too since its been fine for like a year or since we got it

however 2.) might be it!! ill place it better (ive been using some steelbook to cover the lights of the router so 99% times its covering almost the whole router), ill make sure to clean it and place it on a better spot without covering it. i would just never think that this might cause lags. ill let you know if it helps!! thank you a lot
I also hate how bright the lights are on my router, wish there was in integrated feature for turning them down or off. I just used small pieces of electrical tape and that did the trick rather well.
 
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I also hate how bright the lights are on my router, wish there was in integrated feature for turning them down or off. I just used small pieces of electrical tape and that did the trick rather well.
I know right? But sadly even after making sure the router doesnt overheat, its still having the same problem. Now we have encountered a new thing, we created a brand new fresh windows account, and im having there the same exact lags HOWEVER this time on the new fresh windows account the net graphs can actually see the packet loss and im getting 6% packet loss when pinging 8.8.8.8 on the fresh windows account and 0% packet loss when pinging on the ''normal account''. Yet the lags in the video games feel absolutely the same. Its like the graphs on the ''normal account'' just dont see the packet loss! Have you got any idea what might cause this?
 
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That is rather strange... have you tried just maybe plugging into a different port on the back of your router? I don't know if you know how to change it but have you tried looking at changing your NAT settings, ideally it should be set to open. If anything you could still try to do a NIC driver update. There's a possibility that both PC's have outdated NIC drivers that aren't optimized well.

How many devices are set up to connect to your Router? (either wifi or ethernet) I would recommend trying to login to your router and check how many devices are connected to it. You might even want to hard reset your router to see if that makes any difference. Pretty much just turn it off and on again.

Might be a far fetch but are you 100% sure what you are seeing in games is actually lag and not frame drops, micro-stuttering, or just the PC underperforming? Depending on the severity it can be hard to tell the difference. Sometimes in games it can show significant jumps in PING even though it was the PC that was the issue. It use to do this when my CPU would cap out (and my system was just poorly optimized anyway) Just a thought. Could be totally wrong direction but doesn't hurt to try and optimize your PC for gameplay. If you want some steps to help optimize settings let me know, I drafted a list of things to try.
 
Nov 16, 2020
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That is rather strange... have you tried just maybe plugging into a different port on the back of your router? I don't know if you know how to change it but have you tried looking at changing your NAT settings, ideally it should be set to open. If anything you could still try to do a NIC driver update. There's a possibility that both PC's have outdated NIC drivers that aren't optimized well.

How many devices are set up to connect to your Router? (either wifi or ethernet) I would recommend trying to login to your router and check how many devices are connected to it. You might even want to hard reset your router to see if that makes any difference. Pretty much just turn it off and on again.

Might be a far fetch but are you 100% sure what you are seeing in games is actually lag and not frame drops, micro-stuttering, or just the PC underperforming? Depending on the severity it can be hard to tell the difference. Sometimes in games it can show significant jumps in PING even though it was the PC that was the issue. It use to do this when my CPU would cap out (and my system was just poorly optimized anyway) Just a thought. Could be totally wrong direction but doesn't hurt to try and optimize your PC for gameplay. If you want some steps to help optimize settings let me know, I drafted a list of things to try.
Im not sure how to find out whether my NAT settings are open or not but i think its strict. Also theres usually 0 people connected to the router.

Also i think that my brothers PC is running fine it was just some random lag not related to my problem. Its just my PC lagging no matter what internet i use, yet my brother is using the same net usually and hes got no problems.

Also im fairly sure its actual lags, not frame drops or stutters, because i got pretty decent PC and ive been playing for some time. Also everytime the lag happens, i can see loss % going up in the graph. Still thanks for your help im really thankful that youre trying to help me.
 
Nov 16, 2020
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Its usually looking like this https://streamable.com/er6fk3

(the person im shooting on just moves 1 meter away from his previous position if you take a closer look and suddenly my loss % goes up in the graph in the bottom part of the game, hes not supposed to teleport like this, sorry for bad quality)
 
Problem is games are worse than some of the kids that play them. They tell lies all the time and blame the network when it is the game itself having a issue.

Open a couple of CMD windows in the background. Leave constant ping run to your router ip an another window to some common IP like 8.8.8.8. When the game says you have packet loss see if these 2 windows agree. Now if it show loss to your router then I would try leaving ping to the router run on another machine and see if it also get loss at the time the game says there is loss. If the other machine does not see loss then you start to suspect software on your machine.
 
Nov 16, 2020
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Problem is games are worse than some of the kids that play them. They tell lies all the time and blame the network when it is the game itself having a issue.

Open a couple of CMD windows in the background. Leave constant ping run to your router ip an another window to some common IP like 8.8.8.8. When the game says you have packet loss see if these 2 windows agree. Now if it show loss to your router then I would try leaving ping to the router run on another machine and see if it also get loss at the time the game says there is loss. If the other machine does not see loss then you start to suspect software on your machine.
I tried this and although im getting often packet loss on 8.8.8.8 (my router ip is not getting any packet loss), it doesnt seem to match with the video game packet loss. what does it mean if i get packet loss when pinging 8.8.8.8 but not when pinging my router ip at the same time?
 
If you get no packet loss to your router then the problem is not your PC or your router. If you get packet loss to 8.8.8.8 it means the problem is past your router.

This is where it gets more complex to try to find this.

So first run tracert to 8.8.8.8 you can also use the game server ip if you know it. This will likely show nothing interesting. The goal is to get the IP addresses of the routers in the path.

What you now want to do is go hop by hop and run constant ping to the IP addresses. You have already done hop 1 which is your router. Hop 2 generally is first ISP router and represents the connection to your house. This is the most common point to see errors and the easiest to get the ISP to fix. If hop 2 also shows no problems you continue to work toward the remote ip. Problem is the farther away the problem is the more likely it is not in your ISP network and they can't fix it for you. Note many times hops in the path will refuse to respond to ping or trace. This is a configuration to prevent denial of service attacks but it also prevents you from testing. All you can do is go to the next hop. You also have to be somewhat careful if say hop 3 says there is a issue but hop 4 does not. This means the errors in hop 3 are not real. A real problem starts in say hop 2 and happens in every hop past it.
 
Nov 16, 2020
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If you get no packet loss to your router then the problem is not your PC or your router. If you get packet loss to 8.8.8.8 it means the problem is past your router.

This is where it gets more complex to try to find this.

So first run tracert to 8.8.8.8 you can also use the game server ip if you know it. This will likely show nothing interesting. The goal is to get the IP addresses of the routers in the path.

What you now want to do is go hop by hop and run constant ping to the IP addresses. You have already done hop 1 which is your router. Hop 2 generally is first ISP router and represents the connection to your house. This is the most common point to see errors and the easiest to get the ISP to fix. If hop 2 also shows no problems you continue to work toward the remote ip. Problem is the farther away the problem is the more likely it is not in your ISP network and they can't fix it for you. Note many times hops in the path will refuse to respond to ping or trace. This is a configuration to prevent denial of service attacks but it also prevents you from testing. All you can do is go to the next hop. You also have to be somewhat careful if say hop 3 says there is a issue but hop 4 does not. This means the errors in hop 3 are not real. A real problem starts in say hop 2 and happens in every hop past it.
Im afraid i dont know much about this and i would leave it to people who know more about it. I think knowing that the problem is not my PC or Router (if i get the packet loss when pinging 8.8.8.8 but not my router) is good enough. However what can be the problem if its not my PC or router, but at the same time it doesnt matter which internet connection i try out (theyre both probably flawless), yet im having problems with both of them when other PCs in my house are running just fine? Like the two internets have to use different IPs anyway, no? (except the mine one). Sorry for my ignorance, i just dont understand this so much.
 
Nov 16, 2020
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Okay some news: Im getting packet loss only when im playing video games (so i guess when im actively using the net?), however when just surfing on the net im not getting anything.
 
Its usually looking like this https://streamable.com/er6fk3

(the person im shooting on just moves 1 meter away from his previous position if you take a closer look and suddenly my loss % goes up in the graph in the bottom part of the game, hes not supposed to teleport like this, sorry for bad quality)
That has nothing to do with losing packets, every online multiplayer game operates on a tick rate, this is how often the game synchronizes everything that is happening, because you are playing at 200FPS someone else might play on 100 and another one at 40FPS, the server updates everything on each tick and that tick is on a slightly different point in the game than your PC is, so at each tick everybody gets synchronized.

If that confused you search for tick rate on google to get a better explanation.
 
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That has nothing to do with losing packets, every online multiplayer game operates on a tick rate, this is how often the game synchronizes everything that is happening, because you are playing at 200FPS someone else might play on 100 and another one at 40FPS, the server updates everything on each tick and that tick is on a slightly different point in the game than your PC is, so at each tick everybody gets synchronized.

If that confused you search for tick rate on google to get a better explanation.
So whats happening when this happens is many online video games? Whats the problem?
 
So whats happening when this happens is many online video games? Whats the problem?
There is no problem, that's how it works.
Everybodies PC runs games with different speeds and that's the only way to connect all these PCs that run on different speeds.

(well they could also put in a frame limit at something that everybody could achieve like 30FPS, but nobody wants that)
 
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There is no problem, that's how it works.
Everybodies PC runs games with different speeds and that's the only way to connect all these PCs that run on different speeds.

(well they could also put in a frame limit at something that everybody could achieve like 30FPS, but nobody wants that)
Thats weird. Ive never ever lagged when playing video games for the past what, 4 years? And now recently i started lagging and experiencing packet loss every 3-4 minutes.
 

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