How to fix Overwatch lag spikes & packet loss
Released in May 2016, Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game that shows why Blizzard is still a leading developer. Window, PS4 and Xbox One users can enjoy all the action that Overwatch delivers. The game features a team of heroes that cooperate to restore peace in times of global crisis. This taskforce is known as Overwatch and it features soldiers, scientists and other characters that can be selected by players. You can choose a character that suits your playstyle and upgrade their skills to become victorious.
While Overwatch offers a thrilling experience, it if affected by lags, delays and other issues that can ruin your gaming experience. Many Overwatch players from around the world have reported lag spikes, packet loss and other problems. Fortunately, there are ways to solve the issues and in this guide, you will learn what you can do to enjoy seamless gameplay. In order to fix lag in Overwatch, it is important to identify the possible causes first. We will go through some of the factors that could lead to lag issues and will tell you how you can address them.
Fix Internet connection issues
Connection issues can lead to lag spikes in Overwatch so it is important to make sure that your connection is properly set up. Stability and enough bandwidth are also crucial aspects that should be checked in order to avoid input lag and other issues. If you enter a command using your keyboard, mouse or controller, but the action is not completed and there is no response from the character, you are experiencing input lag. You may see that the command are only completed after a while. In order to get fix internet connection issues and get better performance, you can try the below:
- Consider using a wired connection (Ethernet cable) instead of a Wireless network. This may give you more stability and consistency.
- Inspect the hardware to ensure that there are not issues like overheating routers, loose network cables or damaged equipment that may be affecting your connection. If needed, replace the hardware to improve the performance of your internet.
- Disable applications that are running in the background and that may be draining your bandwidth. You can stop P2P applications, file downloads, system updates, VoIP services and other options that you don’t need at that time.
- If you suspect that someone else may be using your network, change your internet password to ensure that only you are consuming the bandwidth.
- Keep in mind that Overwatch requires a high amount of bandwidth and your connection should be fast and reliable in order to enjoy smooth gameplay. If necessary, upgrade to a faster internet connection.
- Adjust your Hardware Settings
- Optimizing the hardware settings can help you to obtain better performance. If the lag issues you are experiencing are due to certain settings that are preventing you from getting the best experience with Overwatch, there are a few things that you can do to fix the issues.
- Close background processes that are not needed
Like other games, Overwatch relies on optimal RAM and GPU since they store temporary data files and make it immediately available as you play the game. You can free up RAM to get the bets performance by closing all the tasks that are not required. Some unnecessary processes run in the background and take a toll on the memory. Web browsers, VoIP services, Torrent clients and other applications use a lot of RAM. To stop them, you can open the Task Manager and close the applications that you don’t need. It should be noted that Antivirus applications can also affect speed since they scan your computer on a regular basis. The good news is that many Antivirus programs feature a mode that is suitable for gaming. When you select this option, the background scanning is disabled, which will improve the performance of your games. You can also disable background scans manually while you are playing.
Adjust the processes priority and affinity
Another option that you can adjust in order to reduce lags is the processes priority and affinity. You can set the priority of Overwatch to High so that your system relegates other tasks and focuses mainly on processing the game. This will allow you to enjoy a better performance and to prevent lag spikes. Adjusting affinity will let you choose the CPU cores that you prefer the game to run on. The specific core that you select for Overwatch will be always used instead of others. Keep in mind that this is an option that should only be modified if you are an advanced gamer. If you don’t have experience and don’t know exactly what to do, the best thing is not to adjust the affinity.
Assign Memory to Graphics Card
You can also enhance the performance of your system by assigning memory to the graphics card. It is important to note that this will only be effective if you don’t have an external GPU. Plus, you will need to make sure that a significant amount of memory is left so that the system can run other programs and prevent it from crashing. To modify the way in which the memory is allocated, you can enter your system’s BIOS and make the necessary changes.
It is also possible to adjust the Virtual Memory to improve the performance of your system. Thanks to Virtual Memory, the operating system can balance things in terms of physical memory, by storing the data on disk storage and not on RAM.
Keep in mind that in order to get the most out of Overwatch on your PC, the recommended specs include: Intel Core i3, advanced GPU such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or above and a minimum of 4 GB RAM. If your system doesn’t meed the criteria, you may need to consider an upgrade.
Adjust In-Game Settings in Overwatch
Although Overwatch offers an amazing visual experience, it is possible that the videos settings are affecting your performance in the game. You can make some adjustments to avoid lags and delays. It is advisable to disable Triple Buffering, Anti-Aliasing and Vsync. Another option to consider is to adjust the FPS (frame-per-second) to 30 FPS to prevent the lag spikes.
Turn off ASUS ROG Game First
ROG stands for Republic of Gamers and these laptops created by ASUS are specially designed to provide the high level of performance that players need. However, the ROG Game First III Service is believed to cause lag issues for Overwatch players. Turning off this feature can be a good option to tackle lag and delays. You can disable ROG Game Fist service following the below steps.
- Look for ROG Game First in the Windows search bar and open the application
- At the bottom corner of ROG Game First, you will see a switch.
- Turn the switch off and open Overwatch again.
You can also turn off ROG Game First by opening Task Manager, select the Services tab and search for AsusGameFirstService. Right click on it and select Stop service.
Reduce Ping with VPNs and other tools
There are ping reduction solutions such as Kill Ping that are designed to help you to get better performance and responsiveness, which is particularly important with FPS games like Overwatch. A VPN can also help you to reduce ping by redirecting your gaming data packets through its servers, allowing you to avoid the congestion that in on the way. This is specially handy when you want to connect to servers in a different region, which is more likely to cause lag and loss of packets since the data has to travel through a long distance and face congestion between your computer and the gaming server.
Ping reduction software can establish a new route for the data packets, sending them through a nearby server destination and routes that are not congested. Although VPNs tend to slow down your connection due to the encryption applied to protect your online traffic, there are options that can help you to enjoy better performance when you play Overwatch. These services redirect your traffic through routes that are more efficient so that you can connect to gaming servers and enjoy reduced ping rates. Here are the VPN services that you can consider.
ExpressVPN has servers in over 90 countries and it is recognized for its reliable, fast performance. It is a great option for gaming and apart from helping you to defeat latency issues, it offers strong protection for your online traffic.
CyberGhost is fast and it gives you access to more than 3000 servers around the world. The provider doesn’t keep logs of your activities, which is also important for gamers who don’t want to compromise their privacy. CyberGhost protects data with a high level of encryption, but it also provides incredible speeds that will help you to enjoy the best possible performance when playing.
Golden Frog’s VyprVPN is another service that is ideal for Overwatch since it has ultra fast servers for gaming and unique technology that can defeat firewalls and DPI. They manage their own network and have servers in over 70 global locations.
Surfshark is becoming a popular name in the VPN industry thanks to its solid combination of speed, security and a selection of features that are sure to provide amazing results for gamers. Surfshark doesn’t keep logs of your traffic and it protects your information from eavesdroppers. You can connect to over 500 servers in 50 countries.
In Overwatch, every second counts, which is why lag, delay and packets loss are issues that can ruin your game. However, there are some ways in which you can address the issues and improve your performance in Overwatch. The advice shared above can help you to fix or at least to minimize the issues and focus on enjoying the game.