Arma 3 rubberbanding and packet loss: how to fix them?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
0 Comments
Download PDF
Affiliate Disclosure

  • Arma 3 is a popular military sandbox game that you can play in both singleplayer and multiplayer modes.
  • Like any other multiplayer game, Arma 3 can face certain connectivity issues from time to time, including packet loss and rubberbanding.
  • Check out our best VPNs for Arma 3 to fix lag and high ping.
  • Visit the Gaming Hub to discover more VPN guides, tips & tricks for online gaming.
Fix Arma 3 packet loss

Arma 3 is a popular military sandbox game. It manages to place you quite realistically in a soldier’s virtual combat boots. The game’s singleplayer campaign has a wide variety of missions, such as infiltrations or armored warfare.

What makes Arma 3 stand out in a crowd is the variety of weaponry and objectives you can easily switch between. Thus, there’s no wrong way to play it as long as you manage to meet your briefing’s objectives.

But you’re not here for the singleplayer babble. Arma 3 also comprises multiplayer, which is totally awesome.

However, like many other online titles, Arma 3 can sometimes face a series of unfortunate connectivity issues, such as packet loss.

What is packet loss in Arma 3?

Packet loss occurs whenever data packets you send or receive never make it to their destination points. The connection increases the waiting time, expecting the packets to be a bit delayed, but the packets never make it.

In Arma 3, packet loss is the cause of various noticeable phenomena, including sluggish movement, rubberbanding, and even sudden disconnections.

Arma 3 rubberbanding

Perhaps you’ve heard the term rubberbanding in reference to video games at least once. If not, at least you might’ve experienced it without knowing what it is.

Has it ever happened for you to keep the focus on an enemy player and taking a shot that should’ve been a certain hit, only to realize that the enemy has been suddenly yanked to another part of the map?

Or maybe it’s been happening to you; running towards an objective and discovering that you’ve been rolled back to a previous game point or suddenly teleported to a random spot on the map?

That’s rubberbanding. We know, it’s annoying, and it can totally ruin your game if it doesn’t pass after a few moments. Fortunately, rubberbanding doesn’t happen by itself and has a bunch of easy fixes that can counter it.

What can cause packet loss in Arma 3?

Wherever you may encounter it, packet loss usually happens for the same reasons: poor connection, network congestion, bad cables, improper ISP routing, outdated drivers.

Actually, anything awry regarding your connection can trigger a packet loss episode. Truth be told, it’s quite difficult putting your finger on an exact reason if it’s not immediately apparent.

For instance, if you only experience packet loss during peak hours, it goes without saying that the reason is most likely network congestion.

How to detect packet loss in Arma 3?

  1. Find the IP address of the Arma 3 server you’re playing on
  2. Launch a CMD instance on your computer
  3. Type pathping x.x.x.x in the CMD (replace x.x.x.x with the server’s IP)CMD pathping
  4. Wait for the test to come to an end
  5. Check for packet loss at each node (hop)

Although it looks a bit complicated, the pathping method is among the most accurate ones when it comes to packet loss. It shows you all the hops your connection bounces through until it reaches the server.

Furthermore, pathping also shows ping and packet loss values for each hop. Thus, not only will you get to know for sure if the issue is indeed packet loss, but you’ll also find out exactly the connection spot where it happens.

Fortunately, the official site has a dedicated section where you can find the IP addresses of official servers. You won’t have to rely on network monitors or other similar third-party tools.

How to fix packet loss in Arma 3?

1. Rely on a VPN

  1. Buy a Private Internet Access subscription planPrivate Internet Access is one of the best Arma 3 VPNs
  2. Download the VPN installer on your PC
  3. Install PIA’s VPN client
  4. Launch Private Internet Access
  5. Log into your account
  6. Choose a fast server to connect to (nearby servers are faster)
  7. Launch Arma 3
  8. Check if the packet loss issue still persists
  9. Optionally: run the pathping test again to make sure

Kape Technologies‘ Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN tool that can help you in a wide variety of scenarios. Aside from the obvious privacy and connection security features, this VPN can tackle many other issues.

For instance, you can use it to improve packet loss, reduce in-game ping, circumvent geoblocking, and even stop ISP bandwidth throttling.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Experiencing rubberbanding and packet loss in Arma 3? Private Internet Access can help you fix these issues.

$2.85/mo. Buy it now

Although using a VPN such as PIA is one of the fastest ways to get rid of packet loss, there’s a catch. This quick-fix will only work if there’s something wrong on your ISP’s side, such as bandwidth throttling or improper routing.

Therefore, it won’t work if the packet loss occurs on your home network or there’s something wrong with the game server.

2. Switch the server

As we said just a bit earlier, the reason why you’re losing packets might have something to do with the Arma 3 server. In this case, there’s almost nothing you can do about it since it’s merely a matter of waiting for it to pass.

However, you could at least try playing on another server. Just disconnect from the Arma 3 server you’re currently playing on and choose another one.

If the problem seems to have vanished, then at least you’ll know the issue wasn’t on your side.

3. Troubleshoot your connection manually

  • Carefully check your end of the connection for any malfunctioning component
  • Fix or replace anything that might seem out of the ordinary
  • Replace old Ethernet cables with new ones, especially old Cat types
  • Try using wired connections while playing Arma 3 (Wi-Fi packet loss happens more frequently)
  • Update any outdated drivers, especially network-related ones
  • Restart your PC, router, and/or modem
  • Try restarting the game
  • Don’t connect during peak hours if possible, to avoid network congestion (or use a VPN)
  • Contact your ISP and ask them if they can do anything about it (after running a pathping test)
  • Reach out to Arma’s customer support section and let them know if there’s something wrong with the servers
  • Try lower-quality settings and see if there’s any improvement
  • Flush your DNS
  • Close any unnecessary service and/or background application that might be bandwidth-consuming
  • Try running the game on another device if possible to rule out your PC as the culprit

Agreed, there are a lot of potential fixes. However, as we’re sure we’ve told you before, packet loss is no simple matter. It can happen at any time, and for a huge number of reasons.

Thus, it can’t hurt trying our suggested fixes, especially if the first two steps didn’t seem to produce the desired effect.

Most of these suggestions are related to network maintenance. Truth be told, a healthy, well-maintained network can be less likely to host issues such as packet loss, jitters, or any other connectivity-related problems.

Final thoughts on Arma 3 packet loss

To wrap it up, if you’re among the ones who encounter packet loss in Arma 3 on a regular basis, there might be something you can do about it.

First thing first, make sure it’s packet loss you’re dealing with by running a pathping test.

After the results come back, you’ll know exactly if and where there’s packet loss on your connection. Using that knowledge you can take the most appropriate measure.

If the packet loss occurs on your ISP’s side, just use a VPN. If it occurs on either end of the connection, you’ll need to get your hands a bit dirty and perform a bunch of manual troubleshooting.