- If you enjoy playing online games in different regions other than your own, you may already know that your ping might increase in this situation.
- Sometimes, you can lower your ping by using third-party software or troubleshooting your connection by yourself.
- To stay in touch with everything that's happening in the gaming world, check out our Gaming section.
- Visit our VPN Troubleshooting Hub to discover more guides on various VPN issues.
Let’s all agree that playing video games can be a tremendously fun pastime activity. More so if you’ve decided to take the experience online with your buddies and discover a whole new world ahead of you.
However, besides toxic communities that you may stumble upon everywhere (and are best to ignore), there are a few technical issues that may get in the way of your awesome gaming sessions, such as high ping.
Does playing in other regions increase ping?
High ping, also known as the destroyer of fun or doom-bringer of joy, is a very popular issue that gamers all around the world have to face on a daily basis. However, in some cases, its occurrence is more certain than in others.
For instance, if you want to play an online game with a friend from another country or host a game server, you may have to choose servers from another region.
And we all know how playing in other regions can seriously pump up that ping value, making your game unplayable.
The main reasons for this event are distance and lack of optimization. We’re not implying that servers in other regions lack optimization at all, they’re just not built to accommodate players from other regions.
However, there are some ways you can circumvent these physical limitations, and most of them involve reducing the distance between you and the server virtually. Sure, you may still lag, but it won’t be as bad.
How to lower ping for servers in other regions
1. Use a VPN
- Purchase a premium VPN subscription (we recommend Private Internet Access)
- Download and install the VPN on your PC
- Launch the VPN and log into your account
- Select a server located in the region you want to play in
Using a VPN such as PIA won’t remove the physical distance factor that can trigger high latency. However, as opposed to game servers, VPNs are optimized to reduce ping, even in locations that are not exactly next-door.
Furthermore, you can also reduce ISP throttling with VPNs. If your ISP limits your bandwidth, a VPN can easily bypass this restriction by re-routing your traffic away from your Internet provider’s throttling infrastructure.
Private Internet Access is such a service that can help you lower ping while playing in other regions. This service is brought to you by Kape Technologies and is one of the few providers that have 24/7 live chat support.
Private Internet Access
Do you want to lower your ping while playing in other regions? PIA might come in handy in this situation.
It also has one of the largest (if not the absolute largest) networks of servers in the world, counting almost 16,000 servers at the time being.
Thus, even if a server doesn’t seem to do much about lowering your ping, you can just switch to another one in that same region and try again.
2. Optimize your graphics settings
More often than not, PC users get a bit over-zealous and crank graphic quality settings all the way up, even in lack of proper hardware. And in this situation, two things can happen.
First of all, if the PC can’t handle all the awesomeness, it will start dropping frames like you wouldn’t believe.
Remember that a low FPS count doesn’t necessarily mean your connection is subpar, and many mistake it for high ping. Still, you can easily increase FPS on Windows PC.
Second of all, even if your PC can somehow manage to pull it off, your connection may not be as lucky.
So you’ll have to make sure your connection is fast enough to let you use maximum graphic quality settings before you drag the sliders all the way right.
With that in mind, it’s worth mentioning that one effective way to lower ping while playing in other regions is by optimizing your graphics settings. Try various configurations until you’re happy with the outcome.
You can also use third-party specialized software such as NVIDIA Control Panel for better results.
3. Use Kill Ping
Kill Ping is a great tool with a quite intuitive, self-explanatory name. It does exactly what you’d expect a tool called Kill Ping to do: reduce ping and keep it at a minimum value. Well, it doesn’t exactly kill it, but you get it.
This tool is quite easy to use. Check the following steps if you’re having a hard time operating it:
- Deploy Kill Ping on your computer
- Launch the program and input your credentials
- Log into your account
- Select the game from the main screen’s dropdown menu
- Toggle between automatic and manual server selection
- Hit Next
- Select the location you want to play the selected game in
- Click Next once more
The game should be now launched and configured to run with Kill Ping’s help. If you need to configure more options, click the hamburger button (the one that looks like three stacked horizontal lines) and select Settings.
In the configuration menu you can adjust Kill Ping startup behavior, disable your firewall, make the game skip its intro video when possible, and set Kill Ping to remember the last played game.
4. Troubleshoot your Internet connection
Run a speed test on your connection to make sure your high latency issue isn’t caused by more than just distance.
If you notice low-speed values, your ISP might be throttling your connection, in which case a VPN like PIA could greatly help you.
However, poor connection speed values might also be caused by hardware components such as routers or modems. Thus, you could try restarting your modem/router and check if there’s any improvement.
If you’re using a WiFi connection, try switching to Ethernet, even just for a while, and see if you’re experiencing lower ping values.
Wired connections are much faster and more stable than their wireless counterparts. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fix your slow WiFi.
Last, but not least, you can try flushing your DNS by following these steps:
- Launch an elevated CMD instance on your Windows 10 PC
- Run the following commands, one by one:
netsh winsock reset
Restart your PC and check if your ping value has improved for the region you’re trying to play in. Most of the time, a quick DNS flush can really improve the overall quality and speed of your connection by fixing your DNS server issues.
5. Force-close other bandwidth-heavy apps
If you have additional apps or services running in the background, you might experience higher ping values, especially if you prefer playing in other regions.
For that reason, you may want to close any programs, processes, or services that are hogging up the bandwidth. For instance, torrenting clients can be real bandwidth mongers.
It’s worth mentioning that some of these may not go away if asked nicely, so you might have to call in the good ol’ Task Manager. After all these years, it’s still a reliable tool when it comes to terminating apps and services.
6. Make sure everything’s up-to-date
The importance of running up-to-date software on your PC is often times overlooked. However, it’s not exactly uncommon or unheard of that outdated software could cause your ping to skyrocket.
Therefore, make sure to update these components and perform version checks on them regularly:
- Your operating system
- System drivers, especially GPU and network ones (you can use specialized driver updaters for this task)
- Game files (make sure you also install the latest recommended patches, if necessary)
- Gaming platform (for instance Steam, Origin, or uPlay)
7. Try using Game Fire
You’ve probably heard about it already if you’re a hardcore gamer, but Game Fire is a nifty piece of software that should never be absent from a gamer’s toolbelt.
Aside from helping you lower ping while playing in other regions (which is why we’ve gathered here today), this game optimization tool has a lot more other features. For instance, it can give you a much-needed boost by optimizing your hardware.
Furthermore, you can use it to perform HDD defragmentations and allocate more RAM to your games. It’s a perfect all-in-one tool for any diehard fan of PC gaming, so you might as well check it out.
Game Fire key features:
- Automatically allocates system resources to enhance your gaming sessions
- Allows you to customize optimization profiles according to your needs
- Provides you with real-time resource monitoring and optimization
- Lets you tweak system settings on the fly
- Enables you to manage games installed on your PC from a single location
How do I reduce ping on foreign servers?
If you want to lower your ping when playing on foreign servers, use at least one of the seven solutions we listed above.
Generally, the same rules apply: you have to be as close as possible to the hosted servers in order to benefit from low ping.
To best way to feign this when playing on foreign servers is by connecting to a VPN server from the same region as the game server.
Final thoughts on lower ping while playing in other regions
To wrap it up, if you prefer playing online games in other regions, there’s a great chance you’ll experience high ping values. However, sometimes you can achieve lower ping without necessarily reverting to local game servers.
Whether you choose a VPN like PIA, a GPN like Kill Ping, a game optimizer like Game Fire, or try your luck with manual troubleshooting, these methods are guaranteed to at least shave a few milliseconds from that nasty high ping value you’re struggling with.