Online play has become an important part of computer game functionality and some games, such as massively multiplayer online games and browser games, require an Internet connection. When you play a game over the Internet, data must be transferred to your computer from an external server through your Internet connection. The speed of Internet games can be affected by networking issues as well as other hardware and software issues; it is important to take steps to limit these to ensure that games run smoothly.
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End all traffic on your network besides your online game. If computers on your network are downloading files or being used to browse the Internet, it may compromise the performance of online games. Cancel all other Internet-based activities on your computer and any other computers on the network that you have access to.
Disable firewall programs. Firewall programs can block ports that online games use to communicate. If you have a third-party firewall program, open it and turn it off while you play online games or hold "control, alt and delete" at the same time to bring up the task manager. Click the "Processes" tab, highlight the firewall and click "End Process." For Windows Firewall click "Start," "Control Panel," "Windows Firewall," "Change Settings" and tick the box labelled "Off" and then click "Apply." Many firewall programs also allow exceptions for specific programs so you can run the firewall while allowing a game to remain unblocked.
Lower the performance options in the game that you play. Most modern computer games have options menus where you can set video performance such as the level detail of models within the game. If your performance options are set too high, it may cause the game to run slowly, regardless of your Internet connection.
Update your network adaptor's driver software. Click "Start," "Control Panel," "Administrative Tools," "Computer Management," then "Device Manager." Open "Network Adapters," right-click on your network adaptor and then select "Update Driver Software." Your system will search for and install updates automatically.
Tips and warnings
- If your computer does not meet the recommended hardware requirements for the game, it may run slow even if your Internet connection is fast.
- If your maximum Internet connection speed is too low--for instance, if you use a 56k dial-up connection to connect to the Internet--you may need to upgrade your Internet connection to increase game performance.
- Another way to update network adaptor drivers is to search for driver updates at the website of your adaptor's manufacturer. If an update is available, download the set-up file and then run it when the download completes.
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