What is “ping” and how does it affect my game?

In multiplayer online video games, ping refers to the network latency between a player’s computer (client), and the game server. [Wikipedia]

Playing on-line is a non-stop dialogue between your PC and the server: the server sends to your PC the position of every player in a particular moment and your PC sends back to the server your position.
As an example, suppose that Biondo is falling down the top of the church in No-name City:
Biondo’s PC informs BallerBude server that he has left the roof and is floating in the air
BallerBude informs other players’ PCs that Biondo is not on the roof any more, he is floating in the air.
These informations need time to travel through the Net. If you have a slow Internet connection — because your network is busy downloading something, or because you are playing in a server far away from your location — you don’t get the updated information in time and mistakenly see Biondo still on the roof. You shoot him with your 2 Colts but you don’t kill him because he isn’t there any more.

Bad Internet connection = bad (high) ping. Generally a ping higher than 100 is considered a bad ping.

The effects of a bad ping look worst when you use precise weapons, while with high spread weapons (like dynamite or Sawed-Off shotguns) they are apparently less penalizing.

Some factors that might affect ping include: Internet connection speed, the quality of a user’s Internet service provider and the configuration of firewalls. Ping is also affected by geographical location.

If you want a better ping play in servers close to your location, change type of Internet connection or choose a better provider.

Some player change the values of cl_maxpackets, cl_timenudge, rate and snaps in q3config.cfg file to lower their ping (search SG Forum for this).

Posted in: Smokin' Guns — Advanced

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