How to Get a Lower Ping on PS4

Posted on May 6, 2024 by Ezequiel Bruni

So you’ve dusted off the old PS4, or maybe you never put it away. It’s still a perfectly viable console with plenty of great multiplayer titles, so you’re ready to get gaming! Only there’s a weird little problem: all these other players just absolutely ruin your day, and you’re absolutely sure you saw them first and started firing first.

Or maybe they saw you first, but your finely-honed instincts sent you ducking, dodging, and diving around a corner to avoid fire… but the bullets seem to have followed you around the corner. What gives? What in the heck is this lag?

You’ve tried all the usual tricks to fix your lag, but it’s still just too much. Well, don’t put your PS4 away just yet. Give PIA VPN a shot, it may just lower your ping on the PS4. Yes, I’ll tell you how. Here goes.

Quick Guide

  1. Sign up for PIA VPN
  2. Set up the VPN connection in your router
  3. Play your games with less lag


How to Lower Your Ping with a VPN

Alright, now here’s the long version. For the absolute beginners: ping is the amount of time it takes for a signal to go from one computer to another, and back. This is usually measured in milliseconds. The faster the connection, the lower the ping will be.

Normally, any ping should be the fastest ping you can get, as signals should take the quickest available route to their destination. That just isn’t always the case. Bad configurations on the part of your ISP, overloaded networks and servers, and all kinds of other random issues can get in your way. And this is where a VPN comes in.

VPNs work by routing your traffic through a VPN server, and then on to its destination. The better VPNs will automatically search for the fastest route between your home network and the VPN server.

So, if you connect to a server that’s near your intended game server, it can simply bypass a load of issues that you would otherwise run into. Playing on a data center in New York? Connect to a VPN server in New York to enjoy a smoother connection, and more satisfying gameplay.

Now the one small caveat is that the PS4 – same as most major consoles – does not support native VPN apps. You’ll need to use a trick or two to route your PS4’s internet traffic through a VPN network. Here’s how to do that:

How to Set Up a VPN on Your Router

This is the recommended option. For this, you need a router that supports VPN connections, and not all of them do. PIA has some VPN router recommendations, so be sure to check those out. 

Once you have your router sorted, here’s the basic process:

  1. Sign up for PIA VPN.
  2. Log into your router’s settings page.
    1. This is usually accessed through the browser, at an IP address like 192.0.0.1. Consult your router’s manual, or your ISP, for further details, as well as your username and password.
  3. Configure your router to connect to the VPN server location of your choice.
    1. Some routers will allow you to do this easily, supporting most major VPN services by default. Others will require you to configure things more manually. Consult PIA’s customer support team for help if you need it.
    2. Optionally, some routers will allow you to decide which devices will connect through the VPN, and which won’t. You can set it up so only your console uses the VPN.
  4. Power up your PS4, and enjoy your online games.

How to Share Your VPN Connection from Your Computer

This method is a little more complicated in some ways, and simpler in others. You need an extra PC, and that PC needs either a Wi-Fi card or adapter, or two ethernet cable ports (which would be ideal for speed). Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for PIA VPN.
  2. Get an app called Connectify Hotspot on Windows.
    1. The functionality provided in this app is available by default on Macs, so you won’t need it… but it’s a little more finicky.
  3. Use Connectify Hotspot to either:
    1. Use your second ethernet cable port to share your internet connection with other devices. (Requires the paid version of the app.)
    2. Create a Wi-Fi hotspot. (Slightly slower, but easier, and available with the free version of the app.)
    3. On Macs, you can’t share your Wi-Fi as a hotspot, AND use the same Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. You need two network adapters, essentially: one for the internet, and one for the hotspot. These can be Wi-Fi or ethernet, your choice.
  4. Download the PIA VPN app on your PC or Mac, and install it.
  5. Select and connect to the VPN server location of your choice.
  6. Connect your console to the internet via your computer, and enjoy your games!

How to Share Your VPN Connection from Your Phone

Because Wi-Fi connections are less reliable than wired connections for gaming, this method is less preferable than the others. Still, it’ll work in a pinch. All you need is a smartphone, either Android or iPhone will do.

  1. Sign up for PIA VPN.
  2. Create a Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone.
    1. This functionality comes built-in to pretty much all phones.
  3. Install the PIA app from your app store.
  4. Connect to the VPN server of your choice.
  5. Connect your PS4 to your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot, and start playing!

Why Is My Ping so High on PS4?

There are so many different factors, including several that you really can’t do anything about. There’s plain old physical distance between your console and the game server, a bad connection to your router, an outdated router, bad ISP routing, congested networks along the way, and sometimes bad game netcode.

No, seriously. The way the games themselves are set up can make a huge difference. New World and Halo: Infinite in particular launched in particularly bad states, and using a VPN made a huge difference in ping for those games.

And sometimes you just have a bad ISP and need to look for other options. In some rare cases, upgrading your internet plan might be able to help with ping (especially if you upgrade from copper DSL to fiber optic internet), but the overall bandwidth you have available to you doesn’t usually affect ping.

But mostly, it really is down to physics.

Other Ways to Lower Your Ping on PS4

We’ve examined how a VPN can help you deal with external factors in the ping equation, but don’t forget all the other things you can do:

  • Use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi.
    • Wi-Fi is notoriously bad for gaming, especially fast-paced games. Cables are better.
  • Choose another game server.
    • Make sure you’re playing on the game server that is physically closest to your location.
  • Keep your console software updated.
    • Yes, software bugs can affect your ping.
  • Make sure your router’s firmware is up-to-date. Upgrade your router if necessary/possible.
    • This may not be possible, depending on your ISP.
  • Turn your PS4 off and turn it on again.
    • I’m not joking. That will fix your issues more often than you’d like. Don’t just restart it, either. Power off, then power on.
    • Disconnecting the power cord for 30 seconds will make sure that the app cache gets cleared, though you can also do this from the settings menu. 
  • Turn your router off and on again.
    • Same problems, same principle.
  • Consult your ISP.
    • No, really, give them a call. The problem might be an isolated bug in their system, rather than a design flaw in the infrastructure. See if they can help.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to fixing lag, but performing the actions above will at least help. If none of that helps, then you have bigger problems and should call in a specialist.

Why PIA Is the Best VPN for Gaming

PIA makes a fantastic PS4 VPN because, first and foremost, it actually supports the PS4 and other consoles. Plenty of VPNs don’t, but PIA does, and its 24/7 customer service team is versed in helping people get set up. They’re also available via live chat, which helps.

On the performance side, PIA has a global network of 10Gbps NextGen servers, so you’ll always be able to find a fast VPN server that’s close to the game server you want to play on. And yes, that’s the sort of connection you want to set up for the best results.

Other fantastic features include: a DNS-based ad blocker, a proven no-logs policy, strong encryption, split tunneling, no data caps, and so much more. Best of all, you can try it all out, risk-free, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

FAQ

How do I measure my ping?

There are a couple of ways. Many games will have an option to display your ping as you play, which makes it easy. Failing that, hop on to a computer, and open up a terminal or CMD prompt. In that window, type: ping [IP address]. Of course, replace [IP address] with the actual IP of the game server you intend to play on. You might need to look it up.

How do I get a 0 ping?

This is pretty much impossible. Even if you run the game server in your own home, or on the same computer as your game, you have to account for processing time and the laws of physics. The best you can hope for is an imperceptible ping time, and not “no ping at all.” If real quantum computing takes off, maybe we can revisit the topic, but even then…

How do I make my PS4 less laggy?

There are several ways. First, try to make sure that your console is up to date, and connected to the internet with a wired connection. Cables are nearly always more reliable than Wi-Fi. If the usual tricks don’t work, use a VPN to route your traffic through a VPN server that’s close to the game server. It can bypass a lot of issues.

Is 10ms ping good?

10ms ping is very good. At that point, you really shouldn’t notice any sort of latency unless you have the reaction times of an esports player in their prime. 10ms is the dream, and normally not attainable outside of LAN environments. Unless you literally moved to be closer to the game servers, count yourself lucky to see ping this low.

Why is my ping so high but my internet is good?

The quality of your internet connection can affect your ping, but it’s not always the main factor. The main factor is distance, as even signals that travel at the speed of light takes time to reach their destination and return. Along the way, they might be misrouted, or run into congested networks, and other issues along those lines.

What is a good ping for gaming?

Opinions vary, but here’s mine: for online games, 30ms is practically the holy grail. 40ms to 60ms is pretty good, and 70ms to 80ms can be acceptable for games that don’t require fast reflexes. Anything over 100ms will be highly noticeable, and a disadvantage, unless you’re playing a turn-based game. The closer the game server is to you, the better.

Can I use a VPN to lower my ping?

Yes, often. It depends a bit on the circumstances, but a VPN can lower your ping, or at least stabilize your connection, by bypassing various network issues. A good gaming VPN will look for the fastest connection to your chosen location, which can fix issues with ISP signal routing, skip past congested networks, and generally just smooth things out.

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