Internet Disconnects When Playing Games: 13 Ways To Fix It

Online video games are more popular than ever; however, does your internet disconnect when playing games? This might be a clear sign of a malware infection on your PC, or it can be something much simpler, such as an outdated router.

If your internet drops when playing games, or if your computer disconnects from the internet when playing games, it’s time to take action and solve the issue.

These problems are nothing to be concerned about in most cases. However, we have prepared a list of the most common reasons why your internet disconnects when playing games and how you can fix it.

Why does the internet keep disconnecting when playing games?

Playing online video games puts a bit of a strain on your internet speed. You have nothing to be scared of if you have a good PC, a great deal with your local internet provider, and a relatively good modem/router.

However, even with all the requirements above, certain settings can make your computer disconnect from the internet. Here are some of the most likely reasons your internet disconnects when playing games.

1. Outdated Router

Online games keep disconnecting from your computer/laptop since you may use an outdated router. If your internet cuts out when playing games, it’s because the router can’t transmit internet signals optimally.

Routers over five years old tend to have these disconnecting internet issues when users play video games. This is because of outdated firmware, which is no longer compatible with current internet standards.

2. Weak wireless signal

If your internet cuts out when playing games, it might be due to a weak WiFi signal. Your router might be too weak to send the wireless signals to where you are located. At the same time, if it is powerful enough, certain items can block the signal out, and it won’t reach your PC.

Check out this article if your WiFi is slow on a device but fast on others.

internet disconnects when playing games

3. Multiple connected devices

Your computer disconnects from the internet when playing games if the internet speed is too low. This might happen when multiple devices connect to the same network, causing lag.

Your internet provider should be able to tell you if you need an internet plan upgrade for your household.

4. Modem connection issues

Your modem might not connect to the internet as it should, which can cause the internet to drop when playing games. The modem’s role is to optimize your internet connection and convert data into signals for the other devices and routers.

Most gaming internet speeds are in the gigabit spectrum, which means that your modem should comply with DOCSIS 3.1. standards to achieve this internet speed.

5. Something is wrong with the cables

If your internet disconnects when playing games, and if you are using ethernet, it is most likely related to used up cables, too worn out to do their thing anymore. A good idea is to look for potential damages and rule this out.

A multimeter can be used to check the continuity, and if continuity issues are present, you are most likely dealing with internal damage that hinders your internet connection.

6. Network problems

Your internet dropping while playing games is possibly due to network congestion. This can also happen if too many devices are connected to the same network, increasing bandwidth consumption.

Your internet service provider might cause this problem. Your internet server might have some bugs, and a new one with zero congestion must be put in its place. The lights on your router might be a great indicator of the problems that you face; here is what they mean.

7. QoS settings

The QoS settings might make online games keep disconnecting. If your gaming priority isn’t high on the Quality of Service settings, it might result in disconnections, as it will prioritize other apps.

8. Malware infection

If your internet cuts out when playing games, it might be because of malware or virus. Did you pirate the game? In that case, your antivirus might prevent the game from accessing the internet and stop it from spreading even more viruses.

computer disconnects from internet when playing games

9. Antivirus or firewall interference

Similar to the malware infection issue, your antivirus or firewall might block your game from accessing the internet since it considers it a threat. Some online games aren’t safe, and even when you download them, the infection might begin later.

There are plenty of hackers or scam games out there that want to steal either your online stuff or personal information, and these apps are here to keep you safe.

10. The game server has issues

Sometimes, you might think that your internet disconnects while playing games. However, it might be a different issue.

The game server simply stops working, as it has its own problems, and thus forces all of its players out.

11. VPN service

If you use a VPN service while playing online, it might result in slow internet speeds.

Because of this, your internet disconnects when playing games. If you use an antivirus, it might have its VPN service turned on, which you probably didn’t notice.

How to prevent your internet from disconnecting when playing games

Your game disconnects from your internet while playing either due to faulty configurations, apps, viruses, or other network issues. In most cases, it’s pretty easy to fix this and enjoy your game while playing online.

Here is what you can do to fix the most common reasons that make your internet drop when playing online video games.

1. Replace or update router if possible

When playing online, not many of us consider the router out of all the things to be the reason for our issues. An outdated router that doesn’t comply with the WiFi-5 protocol may no longer be strong enough to support your internet services requiring greater speed, such as games.

You should change your router once every five years to stay on top of the online world. To find out if your router has outdated firmware and if it is compatible with at least the WiFi-5 protocol, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X > Network Connection > click Properties under your connection > Locate the IPv4 DNS Server in Properties section, and memorize the IP address.
  2. Connect your router to the ethernet cable.
  3. Open any browser and enter the IP address. You will need to insert a username and password, both of which are found on your router or in its manual.
  4. When you log in, search for Firmware or Router Upgrade. It may reside in Administration, Maintenance, or the Utilities section. Here you will see how old your firmware is and its release date.
  5. Go to Support, and check your router model for updates.
  6. Download the updates and install them.

If you know your router is too old, simply replace it. After five years of usage, these devices might become buggy, and most won’t even be compatible with new internet standards.

2. Reboot or restart the router

If your internet disconnects when playing games, one easy fix is to either reboot or restart your router. You can use the Restore button on your router or simply unplug it for 10 seconds and plug it back in.

If your WiFi is stuck on identifying, read how to fix it here.

internet disconnects when playing steam games

3. Move closer to router

A weak wireless signal can easily make your internet drop out while playing games. To solve this issue, simply move closer to your router, or move it closer to you. If that doesn’t solve the issue, analyze your surroundings.

Certain materials can block out wireless signals, such as metal. If nothing is blocking your signal, then it’s possible that your router is simply too weak to send the signals far enough to your location.

You need to either reposition yourself or the router in this case, or you might have to buy a new one entirely.

4. Opt for a faster internet service

A slow internet speed will most likely cause disconnecting issues when playing online video games. If this is the case, the simplest way to solve it is to choose a faster internet service from your local provider.

In other instances, too many devices might be connected to your home network, which can cause it to slow down. Try to remove some devices if you suspect this is the issue, and see if the problem persists. 

5. Have your modem checked

The modem is responsible for converting data and sending signals to your devices and router. Call your internet service provider and check if your modem is working correctly.

Every modem should comply with DOCSIS 3.1 standards for fast enough internet speeds to play online video games.

6. Replace ethernet cable

Your ethernet cable might be faulty or worn out. Similarly, the ethernet socket might have some damage, preventing you from enjoying its full capacity while playing online games. Check the socket for any signs of damage and your cables.

If your cables are damaged, get new ones from either your internet provider or by online shops or physical stores. If the ethernet socket is damaged, you might need to take your router to service or your PC/laptop.

7. Change internet server

Network congestion might make your internet drop while playing online games. To test this, press the Windows Key, and type CMD. Click the Command Prop app and RUN as administrator.

In the CMD window, type tracert google.com, and notice the number of hops. Inspect the ping of the final hop. If the final server is too far off and you suspect the problem is not on your side, you should simply wait for the issue to solve.

If the problem is on your end, the best thing to do is to contact your internet service provider and ask them to change your internet server to one with no congestion issues.

8. Update QoS settings

To stop your game from disconnecting from the internet, you need to set your game to a higher priority. This can be done with the QoS settings (quality of service settings). To do this, you need to log into your router account.

Type in any browser your IP address, and log in with your credentials. Once you log in, search for the Wireless tab, and find the QoS settings. Click on Set up QoS rule, and then click on Add Priority Rule.

Search for your game in the list here, and then click on edit. Assign the highest priority to it and click Apply. Reboot your router and enjoy your game!

9. Do a virus checkup

Some viruses or malware might interfere with your gaming experience and make your internet drop out while playing games. They might do this to prioritize their own thing, infect your PC even further, or spread it to others.

At the same time, these viruses might take a toll on your internet speed, and when you play a game, you also put a toll on it, which might result in disconnecting issues. To solve this, you need to perform an antivirus checkup.

Perform a complete scan of your computer and get rid of any malicious files and folders. Reboot your PC/laptop and see if the problem persists.

10. Update your VPN settings

Certain VPN services are excellent due to their geo-location services. However, they might be too slow, resulting in your internet disconnecting while playing games. VPNs might also interfere with our connection while playing games, even if they are fast.

In this case, all you have to do is switch off your VPN while playing games online and see if the internet connection issue still persists.

11. Choose another game server

Sometimes, it’s not your router; it is the game server. Game servers often deal with DDO attacks or other issues. The game will disconnect you from its servers to enter maintenance when this happens.

If this is the case, choose a different game server if possible. Also, make sure that your game is up-to-date with its latest features.

12. Configure virus and firewall settings

Your antivirus or firewall might interfere with your game and disconnect you from the internet. To change this, enter your antivirus settings and add your game as an exception on the threat list. 

When it comes to the firewall, go to Control Panel, select Windows Defender Firewall, click Allow an app through Windows Firewall. Click Allow on the game you wish to include, and save your changes.

13. Update network drivers

Sometimes, you simply need to update your network drivers to enjoy online video games without interruption. Press the Windows Key and type Device Manager. Click on Device Manager and search for your network drivers.

Right-click on them and select update. You should also check all available updates on your OS. If the problem still persists, and your internet still disconnects while playing games, press the Windows key and type Network.

Click on Network status and then click on Network troubleshooter. The troubleshooter might be able to identify and solve all the issues. However, if the problem persists, the last thing to do is call your internet provider and ask for instructions.

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