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How to Get Rid of Lag on an Xbox 360

Updated on May 31, 2012
Lagging out of your Xbox Live game is a very frustrating experience!
Lagging out of your Xbox Live game is a very frustrating experience!

Nothing is less fun or more frustrating than trying to play on Xbox Live with lag. Your controls feel unresponsive, other players are jumping around on the screen, and you can't see what's going on properly.

90% of the time, lag is caused by unoptimized configurations on your part, and with a little tweaking, you can get back in the game lag-free. Try these helpful tips to reduce lag during your online gaming experience.

For this tutorial you will need access to your router settings page. This is usually located at either or . You will also need the username and password. If you have not configured the router before, this is often admin/admin, but it should be changed for security.

1. Used a Wired Ethernet Connection or Wireless-N Network Adapter

While using a wireless adapter will give you flexibility in where you locate your Xbox, it will deprive you of the speed and responsiveness of gaming over a wired ethernet connection. The original Xbox 360 wireless adapter has a maximum speed of 54 Mbps, and that is usually greatly reduced by distance away from the router and penetration through walls. The result is a slow connection that can barely handle normal gameplay, and buckles under high load situations such as a big explosion in Battlefield. It also loses effectiveness from electronic interference and it will suffer if you do not have an expensive router or it is not positioned properly.

It is much better to wire your Xbox 360 directly to your router with Cat5e Ethernet Cable, which gives your Xbox speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps on your network, which means you can be assured that you are getting the fastest possible connection from your ISP.

If your Xbox is located in a different room than your router or you simply cannot run a wire, another option is buying the Wireless-N Network Adapter for Xbox 360. This adapter is twice as fast and strong as the original when used with a Wireless-N router. Although it's not quite as good as a wired connection, it will still provide a much better wireless signal and less lag.

Best Xbox Wireless Adapters

2. Enable QoS to Prioritize Gaming Traffic

Obviously if you want to reduce lag while playing Xbox you should ensure that no other bandwidth-intensive tasks, such as torrent software or downloads are running on the network. However sometimes you can't predict when a sibling is going to download something, or you just don't want to hassle with pausing your downloads every time you play Xbox. This is when QoS (Quality of Service) comes in.

QoS is a feature found on many routers that allows you to prioritize certain types of traffic. We'll be using it to put Xbox network traffic as a higher priority than regular traffic. This means that when there isn't enough bandwidth to go around, email, browsing, downloads, etc with slow down but your gaming experience will not suffer. You can find a guide to setting up QoS here.

If your router does not support QoS, it is probably time to uprade to a quality wireless router that will deliver better performance. You only need to spend $50 to get a top-notch router that will last for years to come. The routers below are all powerful but affordable choices with Wireless N.

Best Wireless Routers for Gaming

3. Ensure Proper Port Forwarding Settings

Port Forwarding is a router setting that ensures all Xbox traffic that your router receives from the internet is sent to your Xbox and not another computer on the network. Often if your ports are not forwarded properly you will experience lengthy wait times while joining sessions, and random disconnects from games. Check out this guide which shows you how to set your router properly to ensure that ports are forwarded.


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    • profile image

      jim 3 years ago

      Clear your cache in the hard drive

    • profile image

      Yuri 4 years ago

      same here...

    • profile image

      sam crain 4 years ago

      No matter what game I am on its lagging and I check my router and network signal and they both are fine. this only started 2-3 days ago. is there something wrong with my xbox or something?

    • CitizenPM profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      One other tip I can suggest is if you have an xbox or ps3 in another room is use a Netgear power wall plug (like an xe103). You simply use the wired eithernet port of your router to plug into one wall plug then your entire house carrys the signal. You then use a second plug and cable that one directly into your devices eithernet port. It works MUCH better than a wireless signal and your lag is reduced significantly. If you have more than one device you just get another plug, put it in that room and now that device is wired as well. You can do this as many times as you want but keep in mind your modem still only has soo much capacity depending on your service.

    • profile image

      josh 5 years ago

      i too have had that same problem, its from your service provider overselling the service in that area. so at the times when most people would be using in that area you will have a slower connection, I pay for a 10mb service and only around 2-3am will i even come close to that, but call your provider and bitch and you can at least get your bill dropped down

    • profile image

      ben. 5 years ago

      yes i seem to have really bad connection on most games, but then at about 1:00am, onwards in the morning its great internet. i have talked to my internet provider and they said they couldn't find that problem. please help.

    • profile image

      phil 5 years ago

      my xbox keeps buffering before i go on the dashboard i don't think its my internet also in games on fifa it lags bad and on cod but at night gets better any1 know what this could be ?

    • profile image

      SimplyInfinite 5 years ago

      Great tips. Surely will try everything on this page.

    • profile image

      ian 5 years ago

      Xbox 360 has a 10/100mb nic so u won't get 1000mb throughput using cat5e

    • profile image

      dorian amoson 5 years ago

      that kinda helped but i have a wireless

    • TwO1FouR profile image

      TwO1FouR 7 years ago from Dallas, TX

      Good tips thanks!