High ping in Team Fortress 2 is one of the most annoying things that could ever happen to you. High ping can make Team Fortress 2 and any other game utterly unplayable by decreasing your response time, making the whole game sluggish, massive delays between your input(mouse clicks, moves) and outputs(what you see on the screen), and generally feels like something is entirely wrong with the game.
Below you can find a step-by-step guide on how to fix high ping in Team Fortress 2 and make sure to configure everything correctly so it will not happen again to you in the future. I highly recommend you follow all the steps of this guide to get rid of ping instabilities once and for all.
Step 1 – Update Network Drivers
One of the main causes of high ping on Team Fortress 2 is the outdated or corrupted network drivers. Windows most of the time will have an old network driver installed on your PC, or there will be no ethernet driver at all. If you want to reduce and stabilize your ping in Team Fortress 2, then this step is a must!
Navigate to your search bar and type “Device Manager“, and click on it.
Look for Network Adapters and once you find it, click on the bottom arrow to collapse the list. Your ethernet adapter should look like the one in the photo below.
Before you download anything, you need to find your network adapter model. If it’s not available through the Device Manager in Windows, then do the following:
Navigate to the Windows search bar and type “Control Panel” Then click on -> Network and Internet, and choose -> Network and Sharing Center. You should see the option -> Change adapter settings on the left side, click on it, and now you can see all your network adapters. Under the adapter name, you can see the adapter’s model, ex—Realtek, Intel, Killer, etc.
Depending on your model, there is a different process to update your drivers. I will go through the update process of the three most used ones. ( Realtek, Intel, and Killer )
Visit the official website of your network card manufacturer, download the latest version of the driver for your specific model, and install it.
If you don’t know how to do that, follow this guide on updating network drivers.
Step 2 – Optimize Network Settings
Now that you’ve installed the latest network driver, go into Device Manager, look for your network adapter, right-click on it, and choose Properties.
If you want more advanced network optimizations, I recommend following my guide on optimizing network settings and reducing ping. But, the settings below should be enough for potentially reducing your high ping in Team Fortress 2.
Navigate to the Power Management tab and uncheck the option: “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power“.
Navigate to the Advanced tab, and disable any power-saving feature like:
- Energy-Efficient Ethernet
- Green ethernet
- Power saving mode
- Disable any other power saving feature.
Step 3 – Use Ethernet
Using an ethernet cable instead of wifi, if not all of the time, most of the time will get you a lower and more stable ping in games like Team Fortress 2. I understand that sometimes it may not be possible for you to connect via an ethernet cable. If that’s the case, then you may consider moving your computer or laptop closer to your router to have a better and more stable connection.
Step 4 – Configure the Windows Update delivery settings
Navigate to your search bar and type”Windows Update Delivery” and click on Windows Update delivery settings.
The first thing to do here is to disable the option ”Allow downloads from other PCs”, navigate down, and click on the advanced options tab.
Switch from Absolute Bandwith to Percentage of measured bandwidth, limiting both percentages bars to 5%.
Scroll down to upload settings and limit the first option to 5%.
By applying the above setting, you ensure that Windows will not use more than 5% of your total bandwidth while you are playing Team Fortress 2.
Step 5 – Flush your DNS
By clearing your DNS, you are clearing all the IP addresses of all the websites and Team Fortress 2 servers you have ever connected. To clear your DNS, type the following commands on your CMD in the same order as you see them below.
Command #1: ipconfig /flushdns
Command #2: ipconfig /registerdns
Command #3: ipconfig /release
Command #4: ipconfig /renew
Command #5: netsh Winsock reset
Step 6 – Change DNS servers
Head to Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings.
Right-click the network connection you want to change the DNS servers and select “Properties”. You should do this and the next step for each network connection separately.
Click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCIP/IPv4)”, and click “Properties”.
Mark “Use the following DNS server addresses“, enter the addresses of the new DNS servers you want to use, and click “OK”.
Best DNS Servers for Team Fortress 2
|DNS||Primary DNS Server||Secondary DNS Server|
|Google DNS Server||184.108.40.206||220.127.116.11|
Step 7 – Update BIOS
I always recommend running on the latest BIOS version since manufacturers provide frequent updates to address issues and fix stability problems or even enhance performance in some cases. So definitely one of the things we want to do here is to make sure that an outdated BIOS does not cause unstable or high ping in Team Fortress 2.
Here is a small guide on how to update your BIOS.
PLEASE DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR PC OR TAKE OUT THE POWER CABLE WHILE UPDATING YOUR BIOS.
Once the process is done, it will most likely take you back to BIOS. Now it’s time to optimize your BIOS settings.
Step 8 – Deep scan for Malware or/and Miners
One common issue I’ve encountered while I am doing my PC optimization service on other people’s computers is that they have miners and sometimes even malware running on their computer, and they haven’t even noticed. Hidden crypto miners and malware, apart from eating up your CPU and GPU resources, also create backend connections from your PC to other servers or PCs to transfer data. So if you have high ping in Team Fortress 2 and games in general, this is something that you should take a look at ASAP!
Apart from your internet connection and computer resources being used, there is also a high chance that your gaming accounts, bank accounts, cards, and any personal data you have stored on your PC will be used by someone else(and not for a good cause).
So, what I recommend doing is downloading Malwarebytes. You can get the free version or the 14day trial. After the free premium trial ends, you can still use Malwarebytes free version. Keep in mind that the free version doesn’t provide real-time protection. It’s only valid for manual scans. ( If you want to be safe on the internet and can afford it, you can get the premium version and then disable Windows defender.
Install Malwarebytes and then open it. Click on Scanner -> Advanced Scanners -> Configure scan, and select the option scan for rootkits and also, on the right side, select all your drives and click on scan. This scan may take a lot of time, but it can save you from very unwanted situations.
Once the scan is done, quarantine everything and restart your PC.
Disable automatic scans, and you should be good to go!
If you get the full version, you won’t have to worry again about viruses, malware, etc., infecting your pc. If you keep free, you’ll have to do some manual scans from time to time to make sure everything is OK.
Step 9 – Use a dedicated IP
If you have to use a VPN to play Team Fortress 2 for whatever reason, then, it’s a must to have a dedicated IP address. You can’t be gaming on the public servers of any VPN because you will be experiencing slow and unstable connections and high ping.
I recommend NordVPN because apart from you being able to access all the public IP addresses of the service, they will provide you with a dedicated IP address which you will be the only “owner”, so no one else can access it, and you can use that dedicated IP specifically for playing Team Fortress 2 and getting rid of the high ping. Not all VPN services have this feature.
You’ll be able to use it on all devices as well, so you don’t have to pay any extra subscriptions. To get the dedicated IP, make sure to enter the coupon code: norddedicatedip on the checkout.
Step 10 – Restart Modem and PC
Now that you’ve done everything needed to fix your high ping issue in Team Fortess 2, go ahead and restart your modem and your PC, and you should be good to go!
By now, your ping in Team Fortress 2 should be as low as it gets. If not, maybe it’s a good time to call your internet provider and let them know about your problem. If they tell you that they can’t do anything about it, try connecting to a dedicated IP, as explained above.