Ping is a buzzword that pops up a lot in competitive gaming these days. It is a random statistic that can be blamed for any bad performance in a game. In some contexts, it seems like Ping is the most important thing when playing games. So how exactly does Overwatch Ping work? It is a stat that can illustrate your connectivity. Your ping is what determines how quickly your interactions in-game are communicated to the server. This guide covers what you need to know about Overwatch ping, if it matters, and how to improve it.
What is Ping?
Ping is essentially the time it takes your equipment to communicate with the server, and to receive communication back. It is a number that can illustrate how much lag you have. The ping itself is a measurement of the time it takes a signal to go back and forth, measured in milliseconds. Each packet has to be communicated to the server and back to allow you to actually interact in the game.
A higher Overwatch ping means that your PC or console is taking longer to communicate with the server. A high ping can feel laggy and unresponsive. A low ping means you’re communicating quickly, so there is minimal lag between your input and the game, along with seeing the interactions of other players. It varies depending on proximity to servers as well as your equipment, which is Overwatch Pro Players don’t tend to play their best across different servers.
You can see your Overwatch ping by turning on display system stats. Doing this from time to time is helpful so you can know just how good or bad your connection is. So if you’re looking to blame every loss on your ping rather than your aim, turn this on to find out if you have a decent scapegoat for dropping ranks.
Does Ping Matter in Overwatch?
Ping does matter in high-levels of all competitive games. Overwatch ping isn’t an exception to this. A high ping means that your inputs and actions aren’t being communicated in-game as quickly as they should be. This essentially puts a lag on all of your reactions and reduces your ability to pull off any tight maneuvers, split-second aiming, or generally react at a decent speed.
Ping does matter since it makes a big difference for reaction times. In lower levels though, It isn’t as important. Quick reactions are always important, but in lower ranks it isn’t as vital. Ping gets more important as you play with higher level players.
What’s a Good Ping in Overwatch?
A good ping in Overwatch is lower than 30. While the lowest ping is the best one, anything under 30 is going to give you a pretty good response time. High-level pros obviously need something lower than this, but under 30 works fine for all players. Under 60 is generally fine for lower levels of play too.
Why is Your Ping so High in Overwatch?
Ping can be a bit complicated to fix, or to figure out why it is so high! It is possible that your Ping is bad because of poor internet infrastructure. Your speed and distance from a server might give you a high ping even if you’re doing everything right!
However, sometimes your Overwatch Ping is high because of factors that you can control. There are some simple ways to try and boost your ping. You should run through the steps to improve your ping, run some tests, and see how if it can improve your situation.
How to Improve Your Ping in Overwatch
- Reset your Network Devices – This can improve your Overwatch ping in some situations.
- Release and Renew Your IP – This guide here covers how to do this.
- Flush Your DNS – Another technical solution, this guide covers this one.
- Use A Wired Connection – Wi-Fi is a lot less responsive than using an Ethernet cable.
- Other Internet Use – Try to shut down as many other devices or programs that are also using your internet connection to prioritise your ping.
These steps should be able to help you boost your Overwatch ping.
Overwatch Ping on Consoles
Overwatch Ping on consoles works just about the same as it does on PC. Your Ping is still important for how responsive your gameplay is, and improving it can have a real effect on how well you play.
On console, you should try to still use a wired connection as often as possible. This is simple enough when you’re playing Overwatch on PS4. If you’re playing Overwatch on Switch then it gets a bit more complicated. You’ll need to use a separate ethernet adapter that is available for the Switch. It works best in the dock, but you can use an adapter to hook it up for handheld play too. When playing Overwatch on Xbox or PS4, just plug the ethernet cable into your console and you’re ready to go. This will cut down on patchy service.
Also stop any downloads or background updates that might be happening on your console, this can reduce your speed by quite a bit.
Ping Isn’t Everything
While those tips should help you improve your Overwatch ping, it isn’t the only decider of how well your game runs. Your frames per second is another key factor, which can limit your response times significantly compared with players using a higher frames per second. There’s also the small matter of your actual skill in-game that might be to blame.
While a low Overwatch Ping is great, if your location in relation to the server limits you to a higher number, it’s not the end of the world. Great players outplay a high ping, even at higher levels of the game.