How to Get Rid of Lag on an Xbox 360
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 http://192.168.1.1/ or http://192.168.0.1/ . 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
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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.