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#3826 - 03/05/21 12:20 PM Bad online game experience even with good measurement data
Pyrosk Offline


Registered: 03/05/21
Posts: 2
Hello.

I have a rather strange (probably) connection related issue while playing online games that Iíd like to get help with. Iím basically experiencing a very noticeable (by the feel of it up to several hundreds of ms) lag while playing time-sensitive games - latest iterations of Call of Duty and Battlefield for example. The games have an unresponsive and off feel to them, enemy players see me way earlier on their screens than I see them and shots have a hard time registering Ė it is like playing half a second behind the server constantly. The feel of the game is rather similar to having major latency, packet loss and even framerate issues.

Now the real problem is, that none of this is clearly indicated by the game or any monitoring software Iíve tried so far. 99% of the time the games show a stable 40-50 ms ping and 0% packet loss with a rather high FPS value, regardless of whether I play in the middle of the night or at peak hours. Iíve been using PingPlotter for the past few days to try and identify any patterns that would explain what I experience ingame.
I used Call of Duty as the testgame, I played it in the morning and in the evening (at peak hours) for two consecutive days, constantly pinging all European CoD servers with UDP packets in the meantime. Despite having dedicated servers, many matches in CoD are still peer-to-peer, but I figured that pinging the servers would still give a general idea of whatís going on. I used Dumaosí Ping Heatmap to gather server IPs. Matches were played on a high-end gaming PC maxed out for the lowest possible input lag with a fresh Windows 10 install.

I used two different ISP and router combinations on the two days with the test PC being the only device connected to them (via ethernet cable):
Day1: Gbit fiber with the ISP router in bridge + my own Netduma R2 router (port-forwarded)
Day2: Gbit cable with the ISPís own router (on stock settings)

Iíll include the PingPlotter results (hope itís not too much):

Server IP: 172.241.68.172
Day1 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/4gsFQf9MWuR
Day1 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/Udst5JVA6Kj
Day2 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/EqTeM3fn3S1
Day2 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/2xHooVXQxey

Server IP: 95.141.36.181
Day1 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/9sBzoh8gngW
Day1 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/HaDPU95wxxY
Day2 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/iFzUzHkuPH2
Day2 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/TVpZYcdxusq

Server IP: 185.136.157.109
Day1 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/FvL8xYA8rJY
Day1 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/8tXWXMrjHqH
Day2 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/bDePwv89tXR
Day2 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/CEpdjbj4f9S

Server IP: 173.199.113.12
Day1 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/JSGfwDHu2A
Day1 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/TyKsTgWEasq
Day2 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/PHvDsGEaPya
Day2 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/U5KsZJRL2w6

Server IP: 88.150.137.7
Day1 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/cABoJLdGQcN
Day1 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/aZve6cYu1p9
Day2 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/DwsPSxXBtjo
Day2 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/BPo3gtVS1Bu

Server IP: 24.105.53.188
Day1 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/ivvzyjfV4Hx
Day1 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/CxHnS6ir86L
Day2 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/b8LpkFWGtkt
Day2 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/TnHRYNeKbPa

Server IP: 24.105.54.20
Day1 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/g3HUYxKYs2b
Day1 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/CHVg8SF3tsd
Day2 morning https://share.pingplotter.com/LHgfF4VBGw7
Day2 evening https://share.pingplotter.com/RHChTAGK1qi

While the data may show some differences depending on how and when it was captured, the feel of the game was EXACTLY the same in all scenarios, meaning it alternated between a bad experience and near unplayable among individual matches (even when PingPlotter showed the best results). I may not be an expert in evaluating PingPlotter data (hence the post), but I donít think that even the worst measurements match up with my experience ingame.
Iíve probably had this issue for several years now, but I hadnít been aware of (or irritated by) it until a few months ago when I started focusing again on fast-paced online games.

My primary questions are:

Does my data indicate some big problems Iím unaware of? Or should I make additonal tests with a different experimental design?
Also, is it possible to have connection issues without any monitoring software detecting anything?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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#3827 - 03/05/21 07:03 PM Re: Bad online game experience even with good measurement data [Re: Pyrosk]
TJM Offline



Registered: 04/20/20
Posts: 31
Hy Pyrosk,

Thanks for reaching out!

This sounds like quite the issue! I personally play a lot of League of Legends and Valorant so I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to constantly experience connection issues when trying to game online.

I looked over the PingPlotter data that you shared with us (You were quite thorough with your testing, good job!)and I think it is safe to say that this issue is not rooted within your home network (PC, router, etc). With that said it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where this may be originating, especially since you mention that you experience lag even when PingPlotter and your game are showing good results.

A few things that I did notice as potential issues in your trace data included, packet loss at the ISP, packet loss at the destination (final hop), and some weird routing that seemed a bit long.

I think a good place to start would be reaching out to your ISP about this issue. We have an article dedicated to building a compelling case to bring to your ISP which I would highly recommend checking out prior to contacting your ISP.

Building A Case

Before reaching out to your ISP it is also important to note that while you collected a lot of data that could be helpful including all of this could be overwhelming to someone who hasn't looked at PingPlotter results before. I suggest combing back through your results and grabbing screenshots to share with them to lessen any distractions from resolving your issue.

I have attached an example of a screenshot from your data that may be helpful to your ISP (Packet loss on the last 4 hops of your trace)

If you have any questions about this let me know!

Best of luck,
-TJ


Attachments
Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 4.51.58 PM.png (12 downloads)


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#3828 - 03/06/21 12:16 PM Re: Bad online game experience even with good measurement data [Re: TJM]
Pyrosk Offline


Registered: 03/05/21
Posts: 2
Hi TJ,

thanks for the reply.

One of the two ISPs (the Day2 one) I already contacted with my issue, in fact I harassed them for almost two months nearly every day. Itís Telekom, and itís extremely hard to make them do anything. They kept closing my case saying that they see no problems on the line, and it took them over a month to allow me to send them some data indicating that there may be an issue. Looking at the PingPlotter data I sent them they admitted the error on their side and a few days later they notified me they had averted it. Unfortunately there was no sign of any improvement in the PingPlotter measurements and more importantly, in the game. That was the time I started to look for a solution elsewhere.

Now as for the fiber ISP (Day1), I havenít contected them, yet. Thatís the one with the worse results (I think) and the weirder routing, that seemed to change with almost every single packet I sent (both the number of hops and IP addresses). So contacting them is definitely an option still, Iíll try to do it according to your guide.

One more question if you donít mind: even though you said the problem doesnít seem to originate from my network, could trying out a different router and/or firmware be of any use in a situation like this? If I remember back a few years ago when I still had a near flawless online experience with all games, I already had Telekom as my ISP (in fact I had them my whole life) but they gave a different router at that time. Now they have Sagemcom and Kaon routers in my region, and as far as I know both of those have a terrible reputation, especially among gamers.

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#3831 - 03/11/21 06:30 PM Re: Bad online game experience even with good measurement data [Re: Pyrosk]
TJM Offline



Registered: 04/20/20
Posts: 31
Hey Pyrosk,

Hope you're doing well!

In regards to your question I think it would be a good idea to try out another router to truly rule that out as a factor in this issue. If possible, it may be worth looking for a router aimed more at gaming.

I would also suggest checking the return policy for wherever you purchase a router from in the case it does not improve your connection.

I've personally used the Netgear Nighthawk series routers for gaming with good results. It would be wise for you to do some research on router options before purchasing one to make sure it will work with your network/use case.

Best of luck!
-TJ

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