What Port Forwarding Does For Gaming? Here’s Why You Need It
Port forwarding is a way for gamers to enjoy smoother gameplay. It reduces the time between command and response and generally makes for a much better overall experience. Port forwarding can also be used to optimize multiplayer games.
The basics of port forwarding
Port forwarding basically tells your router which ports to use for which specific task. For example, you might use one set of ports for playing one specific game and another set of ports for playing another game.
By telling your router what you want it to do, you eliminate the need for it to figure things out by itself. That means that your router spends less of its time thinking and more of its time doing. That means you get better performance. In particular, you’re much less likely to experience common irritations like lag and jitter.
How to set up port forwarding for gaming
The exact steps for setting up port forwarding for gaming will depend on the router and the game. This guide should, however, get you through most setups.
Find your router’s IP address
- Press Windows+R
- Type cmd
- Either click OK or press Ctrl+Shift+Enter
- This will open a regular or admin command prompt
- Type ipconfig
- Look for Default Gateway”. The IP address next to it is for your router
Find your device’s IP address
For a Windows 10 PC, go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet. Highlight the relevant connection and scroll down to see the IP address.
For the Playstation 4 and the Playstation 5, go to Settings. Scroll to Network and choose View Connection Status.
For the Xbox one press the Home button and choose Settings. Then go to Network>Network settings>Advanced settings>IP Settings.
If you have another gaming console, check the instruction manual, or look on the internet. You’ll almost certainly find the instructions.
Check the ports that need to be forwarded
These will depend on the game you are playing. The good news is that it’s really easy to check them on the internet. All the main games publish information on port forwarding and/or have user communities who provide this information on forums.
Add the details to your router
- You can usually log into your router from any web browser. Just type in the IP address and then enter the password when requested.
- Find the Port Forwarding section and enter all the details into the relevant boxes.
- Reboot your router
Port forwarding via VPN
If all this sounds too complicated then your easier option may just be to enable port forwarding via a VPN.