You fire up your rig, grab your beverage of choice, and stare at the loading screen. Today is going to be a good day. You queue up in League of Legends and watch your favorite YouTube videos while waiting for the loading screen. When you get in-game, it takes you 10 clicks before your champion goes where you want it to go.
The ping is alright, it says so in the SpeedTest. So what’s going on? Today let’s take a look at a few of the possible problems you might encounter, as well as common troubleshooting solutions we can try out before submitting a ticket. Without any further delay, let’s have a look.
A World of Possibilities
To start, ping basically just refers to latency. Contrary to our instinctual assumption, lower ping scores are actually what we’re looking for, not higher ones. Simply put, it’s how long it takes for a signal to be sent and received back to your computer.
In the world of errors, any number of reasons could cause the problem. Sometimes it’s as simple as a syncing error. For that reason, we find it best to start with the simplest solutions prior to attempting any drastic and convoluted troubleshooting methods. Below is a list of possible, if not probable causes.
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Let’s start with the most probable. Oftentimes, the root cause of lag in-game is a slow internet connection. People often mistake signal strength for speed. That is to say, even though your Wi-Fi shows full bars. A good way to tell would be to run a speedtest through third party websites. Oftentimes they show the download speed, upload speed, and ping. These all play a part in ensuring a smooth gameplay experience.
If you’re getting slow speeds, try restarting your router and checking if the network is congested. If the upload speed and download speed are serviceable but your ping is high, try switching over to an ethernet cable. An ethernet cable is leagues (no pun intended) more stable than using a wireless connection, regardless of speed.
This answer to this issue is akin to the obvious “did you turn it off and on again?” method. Try to see if everything is up-to-date, especially when you attempt to run it without using Riot’s proprietary launcher (there is a way to run it while bypassing the patcher).
Log out and restart the launcher. Check to see if the patch is up-to-date with what is currently out. If, for some reason, the patcher claims it is at the latest version despite it clearly not being the latest version, you may attempt to manually patch it on your own. Needless to say, this entails a certain degree of risk, so you should have a basic understanding of what you’re doing.
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Another possible culprit here may not have anything to do with the internet connection at all. In the world of personalized computing, there’s always a way to tweak graphics and essentially trick your computer into doing something it was not meant to do, and this is especially true with Windows machines. In fact, a lot of times, you can switch up the graphical options not even found in the game itself by tampering with the local files in the parent directory.
For the sake of this article, let’s elaborate on more probable causes and assume no tampering was involved. A new monitor running on a higher FPS (frames per second) could be the cause, as it pushes the limits of your computer without it being obvious. The settings that are fine on an older, less demanding monitor may overheat your computer when used with a 4k screen that runs 200+ frames per second.
Check your settings and system specifications to see if your computer is capable of handling it at the current graphical settings. Lowering the settings might fix the problem.
Network Error on Riot’s End
While not as common, it isn’t unheard of. This has happened several times over the years, often with Riot making some kind of statement about the known issues. The advantage here is that they fix it relatively quickly, especially when they’re made aware. Over the years, however, we’ve seen it less and less, especially with regular maintenance patches.
Nothing much can be done besides waiting. A game of Wild Rift, perhaps?
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Everything Checks Out but It’s Still Lagging. Now What?
Ping spikes is an issue that continues to plague League players worldwide. What this basically means is that, for the most part, you could have low latency, but it occasionally rises to around 150+ ms during the times you notice it. In this case, it still falls under the Internet Issues category. Another possible issue may be your ISP not using the most efficient connection route. Switching servers (if available in your country) could be a viable option here.
Subscription-based VPNs and other 3rd party “ping optimizers” are a more drastic fix, but may help you out a bit. Typically, it is recommended to submit a ticket to Riot before attempting something like this, especially for the uninitiated. In general, it is better to follow the internet issues troubleshooting guides first.
Ultimately, any one of these issues could be responsible for causing the lag. Knowing what your PC and internet capabilities are could help narrow down the cause and subsequently solve your issues a lot faster. Remember, thorough research is recommended, especially when attempting fixes that involve installing 3rd party applications and deleting files in the League of Legends folder. It’s easier to work your way from simple to complicated instead of the other way around.
Still having issues? Maybe this article on how to show ping in LoL will help.
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