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What is Packet Loss? How to avoid it?

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  • 4 min read

As fun as it is, online gaming depends a lot upon how good your internet connection and your PC hold up in the heat of the moment. While your PC may handle the loads just fine, if you’ve got a lousy internet connection, your experience can be ruined in a millisecond no matter what game you’re playing. 

In this article, we’re talking about packet loss, what it is, how it happens and what you do to avoid it ruining your favourite games. 

Also read: How to fix high ping and packet loss in CSGO?

What is Packet Loss?

Packet loss is essentially lost data between your game and the server. For example, you shoot at an enemy and if that data packet gets lost while on its way to the game server, your shot won’t register. 

A packet is essentially a small group of data. Almost all online games communicate with their servers in terms of packets as it makes for faster data transfer. However, if a few random packets go missing during a transfer stream, it can cause weird things in-game like teleportation, missed shots and whatnot. 

Packet loss can significantly mess up your gameplay.

Some of the most popular reasons behind packet loss are:

  • Network congestion
  • Network hardware issues.
  • Incorrect configuration settings.
  • Software bugs in the game.

How to check for packet loss?

For the most part, you’ll know when you’re losing packets between your game and the game server’s connection. The two most common occurrences are:

  • Lagging or freezing.
  • In-game teleportation for you or others.

In both these cases, you’re losing data packets between your game’s and its server’s transmission. Lagging is something we all have seen and raged about. In-game teleportation is the worst effect of packet loss. Not only is it incredibly frustrating, but it can also really mess your game up in a matter of seconds. 

Also read: How to fix Steam error codes -7 and -130?

How to fix packet loss?

More often than not, fixing packet loss, high latency or ping or any other internet gaming issue is to upgrade to a faster, more stable connection. However, there are other things you can try out to avoid or reduce packet loss as well.

Restart your router

Restarting your network equipment such as your router or even your PC can help freshen things up a bit, resolving this problem in the process.

Stop using a VPN

The further away you are from a server, the higher your chances of experiencing packet loss and high latency. When you’re using a VPN, you’re already loading your connection with extra weight and on top of that, you’re connected to a server which is likely isn’t the best option for your geographical region.

Use Ethernet

If you’re playing on WiFi and have a lot of devices on your network or are sitting away from the router, you have a good chance of facing packet drops and lag.

As good as WiFi has become, a wired connection from your router to your PC will always be the best way to ensure that you make the most out of your connection.

Also read: How to check, show and increase FPS in CSGO?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: