Inside the Internet
How to Reduce Latency on Xbox One
May 16th, 2019
When you fire up a multiplayer game on your Xbox One, lag is your number one enemy.
Whether you're battling it out in Overwatch or just trying to outmaneuver the other side in Rocket League, milliseconds count. And nothing is more frustrating than losing because your network can't keep up.
So, what is Xbox latency?
When you're playing online, every action you take gets sent to the server, and the server has to send back a reaction. Latency is the amount of time that communication takes.
Here’s a slightly more in-depth explanation. With high latency, you'll notice more lag, especially in FPS, racing and sports games where timing matters most. Anything above 100 milliseconds (ms) will be extremely noticeable and probably means you're going to lose the game. Again and again. Constantly.
Well, how can you reduce latency on your Xbox One? Glad you asked!
Refresh your connection
Yes, it's obvious advice, but there's a reason — a lot of the time it works. Go to your Xbox One's Network Settings and choose "Go offline." Once you disconnect your console, reset it and re-connect. This will reset your connection, give you a new IP address and, in many cases, get you back in business.
Re-start your modem and/or your router
Some routers may require you to unplug them. The Starry Station lets you cycle power directly from the on-screen interface and the Starry app. Either way, this completely refreshes your connection to the network and that can reduce Xbox One latency.
Plug directly into your router
If you're having consistent problems with your Xbox lagging, it may be because there's some congestion on your WiFi. Wiring your console to your router helps ensure you're getting the fullest-strength, highest-test internet your provider offers.
Turn off background apps
The problem with lag might not be your internet. Your Xbox One may not look like it, but it's really just another computer. And like any other computer, if you're running a bunch of apps, it can slow everything down. Go to your home screen, hover over the open app, push the Menu button and choose Quit.
Make sure your network actually works
Usually the biggest single improvement you can make to cut down latency is to upgrade your internet provider. Connections that use older and less advanced network systems can cause everything from high latency rates to high packet data loss.
Hold up, what's high packet data loss?
Online data isn't sent all at once. It‘s broken apart and sent in packets, like mailing a couple pages of a book in a bunch of different envelopes. High packet data loss is like losing too many of those envelopes along the way. A better, more advanced network means fewer of those envelopes get lost (low packet data loss) and they take less time to get to their destination (low latency).
A next-generation network like Starry has average latency as much as 4 times lower than competitors who offer the same download speeds (Psssst — you can check to see if Starry is available at your address here.)
Hopefully, one or more of these methods can eliminate your lag spikes. Go forth and good luck.