There are a number of barriers to high-end gaming for many people, but this is where cloud gaming services offer the best of both worlds. With a few little tweaks though, you can improve your cloud gaming experience instantly.
Latency, Jitter, and Pin: What are they and why do they matter?
You may have heard latency referred to as lag. Lag is one of the banes of many gamers’ existence and, in simple terms, the most common experience of latency will be pressing a controller input and then seeing an on-screen character perform an action or move.
Jitter is a little harder to spot, but this is effectively when data packets do not reach their intended destination. This means unintended movements and just an annoying experience when gaming. Graphical glitches, choppy audio, and more can be prevalent when packet loss is high.
Hardcore gamers will probably already know all about Ping. This is just the time that it takes one data packet to travel from your router or device to a server and back. A low ping is a good thing, and we’d say that anything under 50ms is about ideal. Above the 150ms threshold and you may start to see noticeable lag.
Naysayers will instantly point to these three tenets of internet connectivity as reasons why cloud gaming isn’t feasible or viable. That’s not the case for everyone and it’s worth trying these services out for yourself as services like GeForce NOW have servers dotted all over the planet to ensure an almost native level gaming experience.
How to improve your cloud gaming experience
While services such as GeForce NOW mitigate the negative effects of latency, jitter, and a low ping with those aforementioned global servers, we can do a few things to ensure the best possible experience when playing our favorite PC titles on the go.
Use a wired controller
When gaming on a Wi-Fi connection, try to avoid connecting your favorite controller or gamepad to your devices via Bluetooth. Sure, in most cases this makes no difference and you’ll never spot any gameplay differences. However, plugging a controller into your smartphone, tablet, or PC directly eliminates another layer of potential packet loss and, therefore, could tighten up your gaming sessions just enough to be noticeable.
Adjust your Wi-Fi settings or plugin
If you’re gaming on your smartphone or a laptop then try tuning or tweaking your Wi-Fi settings. Avoid slower 2.4GHz connections and ensure that you are connected to a 5GHz network. This should help as your connection should be faster and stronger. It goes without saying but also try getting closer to your router.
Although it’s not always feasible, connecting to your router via Ethernet will get you the most stable and consistent connection possible. Wired is always best when you can connect to your router or network in this manner.
Select the closest NVIDIA server to you
Cloud gaming relies on server connections, so you need to make sure that you’re connecting to the best server for where you currently are. NVIDIA has a full list of global servers for you to select from or let the service automatically select what it thinks is the best option to enhance your gaming sessions. Try using the “Test network” function to check the health of your current connection and get more details on what is going right or wrong so that you can make tweaks and improve your cloud gaming experience.
Invest in the RTX 3080 Membership tier
Sure, the free GeForce NOW gaming tier is great and plays superbly with little lag or problems on a stable connection. You’re still able to enjoy over 1,000 games, all fully playable in the cloud with zero installations, but thanks to the new RTX 3080 Membership, PC gaming is fully portable and gives you what can only be described as a “native” RTX 3080 on just about any device you own. That includes Chromebooks and older PCs, which can access 1440p gaming at up to 120fps.
If you want truly portable gaming, the Pixel 6 Pro is one of the few devices that are capable of streaming the biggest titles at 120fps thanks to the RTX 3080 tier. That’s console beating power in your pocket anywhere you go and with the benefit of working on any laptop, Chromebook, tablet, or any other connected device you own.
NVIDIA is also constantly working with studios to support more games, improve the cloud gaming experience, and give fans and subscribers convenient weekly updates courtesy of “GFN Thursdays.”
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