Question Weird internet jittering in games

Mrpickles115

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Hello,

Recently I've had a weird internet issue that really only affects me in-game. I have a video of what it looks like too:
View: https://youtu.be/SAp4xbdd8H8

Everything just pauses, and then catches up with itself, like it lost connection for a second, and got it back. It's really weird as it also happens on Destiny, but it'll just every now and then tell me it's connecting to servers, and sometimes boot me for my connection or something. I've port forwarded, added QoS rules, opened ports on my computer, everything, and nothing works. What's weird about it was everything was fine, and then it just popped up one day. And it's not just me, my brother who is on the same internet, but a different router. (We have the main internet connected to a router that routes that into the house but either way on the same network) He gets the same weird jittering in Apex as well. I'm wondering if it's a hardware issue or something. I'm using an Ethernet cable, and so is he. Is it possible on the the cables providing the main connection for the internet, is damaged in someway? I called my ISP, and they told me nothing was wrong with our connection from their end. I have no clue what started it either, as I didn't add or modify my hardware on my computer, nor did I do anything to the router's settings that may have caused this. It just started happening randomly one day. I think that covers about everything... But I'm really hoping that y'all can help. I've been here before, and I've gotten the best answers, so I'm hopeful. :)

Thanks.
 
What happens in a game has way to many variable to be of much use.

You need to use more simple tools. Leave a constant ping run to 8.8.8.8 and see if you are getting jitter or packet loss. The next step will depend on what you see.

I would remove all the QoS and port forwarding rules if you can. Especially the QoS, it take cpu power on the router to examine the data and you may get cpu load issues on some routers. The default configuration in most routers is to bypass the cpu chip so it does not delay things but when you run QoS the cpu must handle the data.

In many ways you hope the problem is packet loss because the ISP can find and fix that easier. Random packet delays and spikes are normally caused by traffic and not actual errors and is much harder to fix.
 

Mrpickles115

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What happens in a game has way to many variable to be of much use.

You need to use more simple tools. Leave a constant ping run to 8.8.8.8 and see if you are getting jitter or packet loss. The next step will depend on what you see.

I would remove all the QoS and port forwarding rules if you can. Especially the QoS, it take cpu power on the router to examine the data and you may get cpu load issues on some routers. The default configuration in most routers is to bypass the cpu chip so it does not delay things but when you run QoS the cpu must handle the data.

In many ways you hope the problem is packet loss because the ISP can find and fix that easier. Random packet delays and spikes are normally caused by traffic and not actual errors and is much harder to fix.
I did the ping on 8.8.8.8, and the ms between pings is huge, like 26-35ms, and lows of 15ms. But, i'll take off those QoS rules, cause I feel like the port forwarding actually helped a little bit cause Modern Warfare's nat type was stricted, and when I opened ports for gaming, and such, it fixed the nat type. So, what would I tell my ISP the problem is? Cause they told me I didnt have any issues.
 
That is not huge it is not optimum but that small amount will not be noticeable. Huge is 100-200ms of difference.

The next step is to run tracert to 8.8.8.8. It will not likely show anything real useful the goal is to get the ip addresses in the path. You would then want to ping hop 1 (your router) and hop 2 (the first ISP router in most cases). Hop 1 you should always get very small values likely under 2ms. Hop 2 depends on the technology. What is most important is not the actual number but that it is very consistent. Again a few ms here and there is not a issue you are looking for large variations or packet loss.
 

Mrpickles115

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That is not huge it is not optimum but that small amount will not be noticeable. Huge is 100-200ms of difference.

The next step is to run tracert to 8.8.8.8. It will not likely show anything real useful the goal is to get the ip addresses in the path. You would then want to ping hop 1 (your router) and hop 2 (the first ISP router in most cases). Hop 1 you should always get very small values likely under 2ms. Hop 2 depends on the technology. What is most important is not the actual number but that it is very consistent. Again a few ms here and there is not a issue you are looking for large variations or packet loss.
How would I run a trace on 8.8.8.8? And ping hop? Sorry I don't know a lot of internet, probably the one thing I know the least of, related to technology. Should I just contact my ISP and ask them to fix it, or is there a way I can fix it on my end?
 
So far you have not actually found a network problem. It can very well be the game itself. I know people have fixed so called "network" problems by changing video driver settings. Does not make any sense but games sometime will blame the network when what happens is game is very busy in some video function and it delays looking for data from the network. It then blames this delay on the network when the data has been sitting there all the time waiting for the game.

The command is
tracert 8.8.8.8

But the first step is to do
ping 8.8.8.8 -t
Leave if run for a while, you can even leave it run in background window while you play the game. You could quickly check it when you get a issue in the game.

I leave a ping run all the time on one of my machines. This is what I get after a couple of days of constant running. There is almost no loss and the key to good jitter is that minimum and average number are very close.

Packets: Sent = 463466, Received = 463437, Lost = 29 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 9ms, Maximum = 1124ms, Average = 15ms
 

Mrpickles115

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So far you have not actually found a network problem. It can very well be the game itself. I know people have fixed so called "network" problems by changing video driver settings. Does not make any sense but games sometime will blame the network when what happens is game is very busy in some video function and it delays looking for data from the network. It then blames this delay on the network when the data has been sitting there all the time waiting for the game.

The command is
tracert 8.8.8.8

But the first step is to do
ping 8.8.8.8 -t
Leave if run for a while, you can even leave it run in background window while you play the game. You could quickly check it when you get a issue in the game.

I leave a ping run all the time on one of my machines. This is what I get after a couple of days of constant running. There is almost no loss and the key to good jitter is that minimum and average number are very close.

Packets: Sent = 463466, Received = 463437, Lost = 29 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 9ms, Maximum = 1124ms, Average = 15ms
I'm going to try that, but how could that also be affecting my brother's computer too? Like nothing happened to any of our hardware, our games just started lagging all of a sudden one day. Like it'd make sense if it was only affecting me, but it's also affecting him. And then also, you mentioned ping hopping once I've done the trace, how do I do that?
 

Mrpickles115

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Also I did change out parts on my computer the day that it started happening, but that doesn't explain why it's happening to anyone else on the network.
 
You need to learn how these commands work. Troubleshooting problems is not some click a box and it fixes it.

You are still at step 1. You need to find a way to see network problems when the game reports them.

Leave a constant ping run to 8.8.8.8. If there is a network issues you should see large variations in the ping times or packet loss when there is a problem.

Only after you are sure you have detected the problem can you take the next steps of trying to find which node is causing it.
 

Mrpickles115

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You need to learn how these commands work. Troubleshooting problems is not some click a box and it fixes it.

You are still at step 1. You need to find a way to see network problems when the game reports them.

Leave a constant ping run to 8.8.8.8. If there is a network issues you should see large variations in the ping times or packet loss when there is a problem.

Only after you are sure you have detected the problem can you take the next steps of trying to find which node is causing it.
Is there another node to try than 8.8.8.8, cause I was running it while playing Apex, and whenever the jitter would happen, I only saw maybe a high of 40ms. And a low of 25ms.
 
You could try the game server ip, you should be able to see it in the network tab of the resource monitor.

Problem is it does not do you much good. If it has some issue to the game server but not google dns (ie 8.8.8.8) all that means is there some difference in the path your data takes to the other server.

You have no control over the path. Your only choice is to send and receive data on the connection coming to your house. The connections between ISP is a based on agreements they have. Your only real way to maybe change your path would be to get a different ISP.

Really the only thing you can fix is stuff inside your house and the connection you pay for between your house and the ISP. This generally is all the same equipment so it should affect all traffic.

I guess a ping to the game company maybe a good next test. Although it is not guarenteed what might work is to use a vpn. Your ISP may have good connectivity to the VPN company and then the vpn company may use a different path to the game company ISP. In this case you want ot look for one of the gamer VPN. They try to have better connections to the ISP the major game companies use. Because of the vpn overhead it should always be worse but for some people it helps. These are primarilly used by people in asian countries because of the poor connectivity to some of the eu or USA networks.
 

Mrpickles115

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You could try the game server ip, you should be able to see it in the network tab of the resource monitor.

Problem is it does not do you much good. If it has some issue to the game server but not google dns (ie 8.8.8.8) all that means is there some difference in the path your data takes to the other server.

You have no control over the path. Your only choice is to send and receive data on the connection coming to your house. The connections between ISP is a based on agreements they have. Your only real way to maybe change your path would be to get a different ISP.

Really the only thing you can fix is stuff inside your house and the connection you pay for between your house and the ISP. This generally is all the same equipment so it should affect all traffic.

I guess a ping to the game company maybe a good next test. Although it is not guarenteed what might work is to use a vpn. Your ISP may have good connectivity to the VPN company and then the vpn company may use a different path to the game company ISP. In this case you want ot look for one of the gamer VPN. They try to have better connections to the ISP the major game companies use. Because of the vpn overhead it should always be worse but for some people it helps. These are primarilly used by people in asian countries because of the poor connectivity to some of the eu or USA networks.
I actually contacted EA about it and asked if their servers were messing up, or anything, and they said it was all good on their end, but I don't think it's the game cause it happens with Destiny also. Like this doesn't affect me at all, besides on multiplayer games. Discord doesn't even go out when the connection gets lost and the game jitters. If I did replace things on my internet, would it be wise to start with a new modem, or maybe just try replacing cables and see if that was the problem? And I'll look into a gaming VPN.
 

Mrpickles115

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Ok, so I pinged the games servers that I found through the resource monitor, and it wasn't any help, as the jitters would happen, and the ms would still be 40-50. It saw a high of 75 in a 20 minute session. And there was a quick spike of 115ms.
 
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This is the problem when the tools can not detect the problem. Now game traffic is not exactly the same as a ping command but it is not really simple to simulate since you would need equipment on both ends. That is what is nice about ping, almost every device supports it.

Are you sure that both machine you have see issues at the same time. Is it only 1 game or many games. There are a number of things it can be if it was only 1 pc but multiple unless they are identical is not likely.

Maybe in desperation factory reset your router. Then only set the admin password and wifi ssid and passwords. This should set everything else to the default value. Maybe there is some strange setting that was accidentally turned on.
 

Mrpickles115

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This is the problem when the tools can not detect the problem. Now game traffic is not exactly the same as a ping command but it is not really simple to simulate since you would need equipment on both ends. That is what is nice about ping, almost every device supports it.

Are you sure that both machine you have see issues at the same time. Is it only 1 game or many games. There are a number of things it can be if it was only 1 pc but multiple unless they are identical is not likely.

Maybe in desperation factory reset your router. Then only set the admin password and wifi ssid and passwords. This should set everything else to the default value. Maybe there is some strange setting that was accidentally turned on.
Well last night it felt like the connection was better, and that was when he wasn't on. But yeah he has the same issue I have with any online game. The connection will just go out, we'll lose connection to the game, or it'll just jitter and catch up. It just depends on the game, but all online games at some point, the connection just craps out. And I'll try to factory reset the router, and see if that helps. But if it doesn't, should I replace something in our internet system?
 
I have no idea. Everything says you do not have a network problem and you do not have have a pc problem because it is multiple machines. So this means you don't have any problems :)

If the internet actually goes down that should be extremely obvious in the ping reports. Maybe you are just getting unlucky and not seeing capturing the outage.

If there are logs in your modem maybe it will give you a clue.

There really are only 3 things you have any control over. The pc, the router and all the associated wiring inside your house, and indirectely the connection you pay for between your house and the ISP. If the problem is past that point you can not do much about it. Still the vast majority of issues are in the three things you do control.
 

Mrpickles115

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I have no idea. Everything says you do not have a network problem and you do not have have a pc problem because it is multiple machines. So this means you don't have any problems :)

If the internet actually goes down that should be extremely obvious in the ping reports. Maybe you are just getting unlucky and not seeing capturing the outage.

If there are logs in your modem maybe it will give you a clue.

There really are only 3 things you have any control over. The pc, the router and all the associated wiring inside your house, and indirectely the connection you pay for between your house and the ISP. If the problem is past that point you can not do much about it. Still the vast majority of issues are in the three things you do control.
Well in all the games I've tested it in, the connection will sometimes freeze and catch up, and others will just kick me out for losing connection, or just wait until my connection is stable. I'm just wondering what might be the best course of action, even if it's a guess or possibility. I'm just getting really annoyed that I'm not able to capture anything that points to it, my ISP says nothing is wrong, just... 😞 I feel lost here, and I know nothing about the problem. And it's stupid that it ONLY affects online games. TV streaming, any streaming really works just fine, downloading works just fine too.
 

Mrpickles115

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Wait, is this possible by any chance? I upgraded my motherboard, cpu, ram, and that was the same night that this all happened. Is it possible somehow our computers are conflicting in someway and lagging our games? Cause last night, I don't think there was much of the jitter when he wasn't on.
 

Mrpickles115

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I called the ISP again, and tried to explain my issue, and they said that me and my brother were both using wired connection, so we're "stretching" the bandwidth I guess by playing online? I don't really believe it. And if so, is that something only the ISP can fix, or maybe a more powerful router? They also told us that if we are "stretching" the bandwidth, we could get another line in the house for 60 bucks...
 
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2 people playing games will not overload a internet connection. Most games use less than 1mbps up and 1mbps down. Now if you have a very small DSL connection it would be possible to exceed the upload rate with 2 games running.

It all depends on the bandwidth you have. If you say only had 20mbps down someone watching hd netflix at the same time as you play games could exceed that. Also if someone where to download a huge patch it could overload even a fairly large internet connection.

BUT...your testing would show this. A overloaded connection would show very high average ping times to 8.8.8.8 or even packet loss. Since the ping packets are competing for bandwidth they would also be affected.

This is going to take some careful investigation of what the 2 machines are really doing. You can see a lot in network tab of the resource monitor. It will show you all the open sessions and the rates they are transfering. Some types of sessions even show you the latency. Be very careful though some things on this screen are in BYTES/sec an others are in BITS/sec
 

Mrpickles115

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2 people playing games will not overload a internet connection. Most games use less than 1mbps up and 1mbps down. Now if you have a very small DSL connection it would be possible to exceed the upload rate with 2 games running.

It all depends on the bandwidth you have. If you say only had 20mbps down someone watching hd netflix at the same time as you play games could exceed that. Also if someone where to download a huge patch it could overload even a fairly large internet connection.

BUT...your testing would show this. A overloaded connection would show very high average ping times to 8.8.8.8 or even packet loss. Since the ping packets are competing for bandwidth they would also be affected.

This is going to take some careful investigation of what the 2 machines are really doing. You can see a lot in network tab of the resource monitor. It will show you all the open sessions and the rates they are transfering. Some types of sessions even show you the latency. Be very careful though some things on this screen are in BYTES/sec an others are in BITS/sec
Alright, got it. What's also weird, is no one is on right now, the connection is fine, and then after maybe 15 minutes, it'll start to jitter again...
 

Mrpickles115

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Alright, got it. What's also weird, is no one is on right now, the connection is fine, and then after maybe 15 minutes, it'll start to jitter again...
I also found out something yesterday. I'm starting to think they're throttling us, or someone is using our connection, cause everything was fine, and was running perfect, so I decided to put on a youtube video on my side monitor, 5-10 seconds later, the game started to jitter. So, basically me and my brother are talking to each other and letting each other know when they're watching youtube, as we are in the process of getting a new modem, and if that doesn't work, then a new router... Or it's just these certain games that are lagging, but that doesn't make sense anyways, cause it just started happening out of no where, and none of their servers were updated or anything. This jitter thing actually used to happen on just EA games, like Titanfall, and then we upgraded our router, and it stopped, I believe...
 

Mrpickles115

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UPDATE: Unplugging our access points that were basically just a wifi copy of our gateway, fixed most of the lag but it still happens, just not as much. I'm replacing my router and modem for sure. Thanks for the help though! Much appreciated.
 

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