Lag: We All Hate It

If you’re playing an online video game, in this case, Call of Duty, you would’ve already encountered lag (unless if you’ve got an epic connection).

There are several reasons why you are experiencing lag. Running, aiming and shooting is casual gameplay. Add delays to it (referred as lag) and boom, your gameplay is affected. This is when you start swearing (like that guy to the right), which is not a problem.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, technically, to get all this synced and in motion.

What the *censored* is causing the problem?!

Call of Duty games are maintaind on a central server (consoles only, PCs have dedicated servers), meaning a third party is mediating between you and the enemy. (The process is more complex than that, but would you seriously read 100 more words of explanation?)

That means the lag your experiencing is because the server can’t keep up with you. I’m thinking right now that the “robots taking over the world doomsday” is a hoax of a rather sad a-hole wanting to scare the world.

These are the effects of lag. Note the differences between what the what player sees (bottom screen) and what the host sees (top screen).

How can I possibly reduce lag?

Before you throw your controller at the screen, causing the screen to break ending you up in a $750 bill of buying a new TV, here are some tips to help you reduce lag and probably save you $750.

  • Don’t play at peak hours. Just like your own internet connection, servers have limited bandwidth. Play at different times of day, early mornings best, to see which time has the least lag.
  • Check your internet connection. A 56K connection won’t cut it in MW3. Welcome to the 21st century. Your connection should be able to download 10 mb/s at least.
  • Reset your router. If you’re using WiFi, unplug your router, wait 30 seconds then re-plug it. They need breaks too.
  • Use a non-wireless connection. A non-wireless connection will best a wireless connection. If you can’t, move your router closer to your console.
  • Do nothin’. The problem may be much bigger than your connection. Try shutting down your console, waiting a few hours, and turning it back on.
  • Shut down file sharing clients. File sharing clients like BitTorrent and Vuze can suck up a lot of bandwidth. Also close other programs draining your bandwidth.
  • Check your connection bars. Press select while in an actual match. Look for your name and there should be bars next to it. The more the bars, the better your connection. Just like on your phone.
Unfortunately, MW3 does not have location filtering of matches so you can play only with people nearby (like in Black Ops), which reduces lag. Those 7 tips should’ve helped.
Original Post MW3 Multiplayer

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