If you’ve ever played an online multiplayer game, you’ve probably suffered from some sort of lag. When Ronaldo is kicking the referee in Fifa 18 (instead of the ball) or your character in Counter-Strike starts teleporting around into different walls, its the nasty result of high latency, the slow connection speed from the games servers to your gaming system. And this isnt a trivial problem. Newsweek wrote about Fortnite’s game-breaking update that introduced lag effects while building and graphic rednering issues that made the game “almost unplayable”. There are 1000’s of videos on YouTube that show hilarious (and soul-crushing) moments of defeat, as gamers lose control over their characters and die mysteriously in the heat of an intense skirmish.
Jitter, lag, and slow ping are all results of slow and unreliable internet connections. A ping of over 80ms will result in a laggy experience in almost any modern game, while packet loss is what causes the effect known as “rubber-banding”, where a character looks like a bad teleporter malfunction and headshots magically never happened. In games where subsecond reaction times and laser sharp aim are the paths to victory, lag ensures that you will never reach the highest levels of competitive play. Its become such a standard phenomenon in gaming, that players will regularly blame lag for inferior gameplay results.