Guide to Lag
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This guide outlines the different types of "Lag" that you may get in SS13, and how to deal with each one.
1) Local Computer Issues
- How to identify it:
- Using a different computer, even on the same connection, works fine.
- It works fine most of the time, but lags when you run certain other programs at the same time as byond.
- You have the exact same problem with other SS13 servers you connect to.
- What causes it: something else on your computer is CPU-intensive (like another game) or network-intensive (like downloads, or windows update)
- How to fix it:
- Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and look for any programs which are using a high percentage of your CPU, memory, or network. If you find them, and they're things you can quit, quit them and see if that makes a difference.
- Close unnecessary browser tabs. Especially ones that are looking at video, or pages with heavy scripting (like Google's apps)
- If all else fails, try restarting your computer.
2) High Ping Lag
- How to identify it: Your ping shows in the top right of the chat window, like this: "51ms". The closer you are to New York, USA, the lower it should be. Typical pings are 0-100ms for Americans, 100-200ms for Europeans, 200-300ms for people in Asia/Oceania/Australia. The higher your ping is, the more likely you are to notice "lag" in the game. If your ping is abnormally high for your location, or it ever goes above 300ms, that suggests there is a problem with your connection to the server.
- What causes it: Ping is just a measurement of how long it takes you to send information to the server, and get an answer back. The further away you are from the server, the higher this will be. High ping typically means either you're physically far away from the server, your internet connection is bad, or there is a network problem between you and the server.
- How to fix it:
- Try to make sure that you have the best internet connection available in your area. Poor-quality connections, like dialup, are notorious for having horrible ping. You really need a broadband connection in order to do online gaming without issues.
- Use a hardwired connection in your house, NOT wifi. Wifi is prone to suffering interference from things as mundane from microwaves and other electronics in the same building. If you absolutely cannot possibly avoid using wifi (hint: you almost certainly can, and should) then as a last resort you can switch your wifi channel to a less populated one to try to avoid congestion on the standard wifi channels.
- Pause/stop any downloads you are running in the background.
- Double-check your firewall isn't interfering with your connection.
- Disconnect from any VPN or proxy service you may be using. Some of them increase your ping a lot.
- Use a tool like Ping Test to measure your ping. Don't just measure it once - measure it to the closest location to you, then measure it again to the closest location to the server (New York). If your ping is okay when measured to somewhere close to you, but becomes bad when measured to somewhere close to where our server is in New York, then that means the problem is between you and New York. It could be distance, or it could be congestion on the internet. While it is in theory possible for you to track down exactly where the bottleneck is, and try to go around it, in practice this can be complicated and is usually not worth it for temporary issues.
3) Packet Loss Lag
- How to identify it: In Windows, in the search bar, enter 'cmd.exe' and run it. You'll get a black-and-white terminal window. Enter: "ping -n 100 byond.paradisestation.org" and press return. Your screen will start filling up with text. It will take a couple of minutes to run the test. At the end, you should get a line line this: "Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% Loss)". The "Loss" percentage should really be 0%. If it is up to 2%, that's not good, but not the end of the world. If it is above 2%, then that means there's a network problem. You can try repeating this test (packet loss test) to various other locations both in your country and around the world, to try to figure out exactly where the packet loss is happening. If you get high packet loss everywhere, the problem is probably your computer / your internet connection / your area. If you only get high packet loss to the USA, then the problem is probably network equipment managing your country's connection to the USA (not much you can do about this).
- What causes it: one of the routers or other network devices between you and our server is unable to cope with the volume of data being sent through it, and is discarding part of the information you send in order to try to keep up with the rest of it.
- How to fix it:
- Make sure you have broadband, if at all possible.
- As with a high ping, it is recommended stop any downloads/uploads and that you use a wired connection instead of WiFi. If you have to use WiFi, you can help avoid congestion by changing your WiFi channel to a less populated one in your router settings.
- Check the time of day. Are you playing SS13 just after work/school gets out in your area? Your local ISP may have its internet over-congested.
- Check your packet loss on PacketLossTest.com. Make sure to test against both USA and Australia. Do you get high (>2%) packet loss to both of them? The problem is your ISP / connection to your ISP.
- If all else fails, consider a VPN. VPNs route your connection through their network, instead of the normal network, which can, in SOME cases, help address packet loss issues. No guarantee, though. You may also need permission from the admins to use one on Paradise.
4) Server Routing Issues
- How to identify it: Typically, a huge chunk of the crew will disconnect / go SSD at once.
- What causes it: a network outage somewhere on the internet, between you and the server. The greater the proportion of the playerbase that disconnects at once, the closer the outage is to our server (and the less likely you can do anything about it).
- How to fix it: You can't. It typically resolves itself in 1–9 minutes, though. If it doesn't, poke our server host in Discord.
5) Real Server Lag
- How to identify it: Everything is slow. Not just you, but everyone and everything, and it all seems to be slowed down the same amount.
- What causes it: our actual server running slowly.
- How to fix it: Ahelp it. Admins are probably already investigating the cause.
Host Troubleshooting Questions
- If you ask our host for help diagnosing/fixing your lag issue, expect to be asked these questions:
- Have you noticed anyone else on the server experience the same issue, or complain about "lag", in the last 15 minutes? (this is asked first in case it tips us off to a server-side issue)
- Have you quit any other heavy CPU/network programs that you are running? Any downloads, any other games?
- Where in the world are you located? (country)
- What is your ping to the server? (it should show up at the top right of chat)
- What is your ping to somewhere else near the server? (e.g: any online ping test tool that uses a server on the US eastern seaboard, ideally New York itself. Pinging
220.127.116.11is a good bet. Its a server inside the same building as ours.)
- What is your packet loss to the server? (find this out using the instructions above, it will take a few minutes to calculate)
- What is your packet loss to some other server on the US eastern seaboard? (this question is going to be asked if you're connecting from outside the USA)