Unturned packet loss: What is it and how to fix it?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • Unturned is a popular free game on Steam that lets you explore a post-zombie-apocalypse world. You gather resources and team up with others to survive as much as possible.
  • However, packet loss might ruin your online playing experience by triggering issues such as high latency, rubberbanding, and even disconnections.
  • Check out the best VPNs that can improve packet loss.
  • Visit the Gaming Hub to learn more about troubleshooting common gaming VPN issues.
Unturned packet loss

Unturned is a popular free game on Steam that lets you explore a post-zombie-apocalypse world. If you never played it before, you could think that it’s a silly version of Minecraft.

While graphics are somewhat similar and you still get to fight zombies, Unturned offers you gameplay that’s more action-focused than Minecraft does.

For instance, you can find cars that you need to fuel up before you can drive them. This gives you an advantage that you won’t find in Minecraft. We’re talking about covering a lot of ground in a pretty fast way.

Well, here comes the fun part. Much like Minecraft, you can also play Unturned online with your friends, or other players that you haven’t had the chance to meet yet.

And like any other online game, Unturned too has to face a series of technical issues. For instance, jitter, network congestion, and packet loss. Sounds familiar?

What is packet loss in Unturned?

While playing Unturned, packet loss can be often noticed to trigger other issues. For instance, if you notice another player rubberbanding, or check their ping and see that it skyrockets every once in a while, it may be because of packet loss.

This unwanted phenomenon occurs whenever data packets can’t travel all the way from their origin point to their destination. They never make it to the remote server, or back to you, for that matter.

As a result, you may experience high latency, rubberbanding, or even sudden disconnections. The latter occurs quite rarely, and only if the packet loss situation is severe and lasts for a few consecutive seconds.

To put it shortly, when data doesn’t travel the way it should and gets lost on the way, we refer to it as packet loss.

What can cause packet loss in Unturned?

A bunch of things can cause packet loss in Unturned, but there’s no 100% sure culprit usually. Most of the time packet loss occurs as a result of network congestion.

If there are a lot of Unturned players on a server, you might start hogging each other’s bandwidth. Consequently, some of you might experience trouble such as high latency or packet loss.

To put it shortly, there’s quite difficult to say what’s causing packet loss every time. Sometimes it might happen because of poor-quality Ethernet cables, other times it might occur because you’re using WiFi instead of wired connections.

It’s entirely situational and a thorough analysis is required to determine the exact cause of leaking packets.

How to detect packet loss in Unturned?

  1. Launch a CMD instance
  2. Type pathping x.x.x.x (x.x.x.x = the IP of the Unturned server you’re playing on)
  3. Wait for the pathping test to come to an end
  4. Read the CMD log for each hop of the connection
  5. Check to see if there’s any anomaly for each node

Your log should look something like the screenshot below. Depending on the number of the node where you notice the packet loss, the problem can be someplace else along the connection.

Results of pathping

For instance, the first node belongs to your computer. If you notice packet loss there, then the problem lies with your device. On the other hand, if you notice packet loss on the other end of the connection, then the game server is the culprit.

It’s quite easy to spot, once you get the hang of it.

How to fix packet loss in Unturned?

1. Use a VPN

  1. Download Private Internet AccessPIA in Unturned for packet loss
  2. Install the VPN client on your PC
  3. Launch the VPN and log in to your account
  4. Connect to a server of your choice
  5. Launch Unturned
  6. Check if the packet loss issue still persists

Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN service from Kape Technologies. It comes with a lot of privacy and security features and provides you with 24/7 customer support.

VPNs such as PIA can fix packet loss situations most of the time, but there’s a catch. The problem must be caused by your ISP, either through bandwidth throttling or through improper routing.

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It’s worth mentioning that it’s best if you select a server that’s physically close to you. This will ensure that the distance between you and the server is lower, and therefore, the ping value should also decrease.

2. Troubleshoot the connection manually

  • Restart your PC, modem, router
  • Check if any portion of your connection works as it should and fix any troublesome part
  • Replace Ethernet cables with new, high-quality ones
  • Try using wired connections instead of WiFi (WiFi packet loss occurs more frequently)
  • Contact the Unturned server owner if there’s something wrong on its end
  • Reach out to your ISP and ask them if there’s something they can do to fix the issue
  • Make sure you have the latest drivers installed on your devices (router, PC)
  • Try to avoid peak hours, if possible

Note that these quick fixes won’t work all the time, as we’ve already told you that there’s no 100% sure way to determine the cause of packet loss. Sometimes it can even happen for multiple reasons.

However, going through all the steps above might slightly improve the quality of your connection. So even though it might not fix your packet loss issue, you may still notice some improvement.

Unturned packet loss can sometimes be fixed

All things considered, sometimes it might be easier to fix packet loss, sometimes it might be downright impossible. You need to understand that packet loss can happen for reasons that are absolutely out of your reach.

However, if there’s something wrong on your end, you might want to try our suggested fixes. A VPN can be the fastest way to avoid packet loss, but it will only work if the issue is on your ISP’s side of the network.

FAQ: Learn more about Unturned packet loss

  • Can VPN fix packet loss?

Yes, if your ISP throttles your bandwidth or has improper routing, a VPN might fix packet loss.

  • What is pathping?

Pathping is an awesome little tool in Windows that lets you run a traceroute, ping, and packet loss test at the same time.

  • What is packet loss?

Packet loss occurs whenever data packets can’t travel from their origin point all the way to their destination and get lost on their way.