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Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Frequent Visitor

Frequent packet loss issues in online games

I'm experiencing a lot of issues with what I assume is packet loss when playing Apex Legends on PC. Most of the time my network connection seems fine (though there's no ping indicator so I don't know what my ping normally is), but every 3-5 minutes I'll get a brief "lag spike" for 2-3 seconds. During this time, other characters stop moving and no action I take has any effect. Once the spike ends, I'll be "rubber-banded" to the spot I was 2-3 seconds ago. This is annoying any time it happens, but when it happens in combat it's basically a death sentence. I don't think it's specific to the game as I had the same issue with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

 

The game servers appear to run on Amazon EC2 instances and don't respond to ICMP ping, so I'm not sure how to accurately test for packet loss.  I can see via tracert or PingPlotter that all the hops prior to the EC2 instance seem to work fine - I left PingPlotter running overnight for 10 hours and experienced no packet loss to any of them. There is a fairly large variation in latency in some of the hops though (between 11ms and 40ms if I'm reading the graph correctly).  I also ran some speed tests using the speedtest.net Windows 10 app, and most of them show 0% packet loss, but one test did show 1%.

 

Whatever the cause, this is extremely frustrating as it ruins the game experience. Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas how I can troubleshoot the issue?

Expert

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Start with the modem's signal stats.  Try getting them here http://192.168.100.1 or here http://10.0.0.1

Please post the *Downstream Power Level*, the *Upstream Power Level*, and the *SNR* (Signal to Noise Ratio) numbers.

What is the exact make and model number of the modem ?

Is this with a WiFi connection ? If so, for a test, does a computer hardwired directly to the router / gateway device with an ethernet cable have the same problem ?



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Frequent Visitor

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Edit: after a bunch more testing, I think the issue was with my router's adaptive QOS. Turning that off seems to have fixed the problem.

Edit 2: never mind, see below. 

 

Thanks EG. The modem is an ARRIS TG1682G. The PC connection is hardwired through a D-Link 1gbps switch, to an ASUS RT-AC66U router, and then to the modem. I don't believe the switch or router are the problem because none of my tests have shown any packet loss or latency issues between the PC and the router, but when I get a chance I will connect the PC directly to the modem to see if that helps.

 

The downstream and upstream signal values are as follows:

 

 

Downstream
Channel Bonding Value
Index
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Lock Status
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Frequency
513.00 MHz
483.00 MHz
489.00 MHz
495.00 MHz
507.00 MHz
519.00 MHz
525.00 MHz
531.00 MHz
543.00 MHz
549.00 MHz
555.00 MHz
561.00 MHz
567.00 MHz
573.00 MHz
579.00 MHz
585.00 MHz
591.00 MHz
597.00 MHz
603.00 MHz
609.00 MHz
615.00 MHz
621.00 MHz
627.00 MHz
633.00 MHz
               
SNR
38.61 dB
38.61 dB
38.98 dB
38.61 dB
38.61 dB
38.61 dB
38.61 dB
38.61 dB
37.64 dB
37.64 dB
38.61 dB
37.64 dB
38.61 dB
37.64 dB
37.64 dB
37.36 dB
37.36 dB
37.64 dB
37.64 dB
37.36 dB
37.64 dB
37.36 dB
37.64 dB
37.36 dB
               
Power Level
0.90 dBmV
1.70 dBmV
1.60 dBmV
1.40 dBmV
1.20 dBmV
0.70 dBmV
0.60 dBmV
0.40 dBmV
-0.10 dBmV
-0.50 dBmV
-0.60 dBmV
-0.90 dBmV
-1.10 dBmV
-1.00 dBmV
-1.50 dBmV
-1.60 dBmV
-1.50 dBmV
-1.70 dBmV
-1.40 dBmV
-1.80 dBmV
-1.90 dBmV
-2.00 dBmV
-2.20 dBmV
-2.40 dBmV
               
Modulation
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
               

 

Upstream
Channel Bonding Value
Index
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Lock Status
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Not Locked
Frequency
17.30 MHz
23.70 MHz
36.50 MHz
30.10 MHz
       
Symbol Rate
5120 KSym/s
5120 KSym/s
5120 KSym/s
5120 KSym/s
       
Power Level
45.50 dBmV
45.50 dBmV
45.50 dBmV
45.50 dBmV
       
Modulation
64 QAM
64 QAM
64 QAM
64 QAM
       
Channel Type
DOCSIS2.0 (ATDMA)
DOCSIS2.0 (ATDMA)
DOCSIS2.0 (ATDMA)
DOCSIS2.0 (ATDMA)
       
Expert

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

The signal stats are fine. Glad you figured it out ! BTW, do you have the 1682 gateway device in bridge mode ? If not, it should be !



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Contributor

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Nope this is your modem that is the issue. It uses the Puma 6 Intel chipset and causes these lags which you are pronably only now noticing. They have beensued like crazy for it too! They have tried to fix it but it's hardware related and they can't. You get a new modem and it wil fix your lag.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=arris+tg1682g+puma+6+lawsuit&oq=arris+tg1682g+puma+6+lawsuit&aqs=chr...

Expert

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Yes, agreed. That is a Puma 6 chipset device so that is possibly their issue.

 

But they stated this;

 

"Edit: after a bunch more testing, I think the issue was with my router's adaptive QOS. Turning that off seems to have fixed the problem."



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Frequent Visitor

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Thanks guys. I thought I had solved it, but the issue started recurring again tonight. Perahaps it just stopped by coincidence after I rebooted my modem. Since I was wrong about it being a router issue, I think @FifthE1ement is probably right that it's the modem. I'll replace it with a different model and see if that helps. Is there one you guys would recommend that does not have this issue?

 

@EG the modem is in bridge mode.

Contributor

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

I have the Arris SB8200 which is a 32x8 (2x2 ofdm) Docsis 3.1, I got it for $168 (I had a $20 off coupon and then they added tax) on Amazon with one day shipping. It has 3GB of RAM which is like 6 times the amount of the Netgear and Motorola Docsis 3.1 models and it has two Ethernet ports for a possible 2GB speed and perhaps if you wanted to have a direct line to the modem and then use the other to go to your router. Your other choice is any Docsis 3.0 router that isn't a Puma 6 and beware there are a lot.

The Arris 6183 is a Docsis 3.0 16x4 modem which can be had for really cheap (refurbished for $40, I bought one and it worked great a while back). It's only 16x4 but it might hold you over until the Docsis 3.1 get cheaper. Or if you want to future proof yourself now and have a little more money to spend get the Arris SB8200 and paired with your Asus AC66U will work great.

Just found the refurbished SB8200 for $130 which is an amazing deal! I would get this ASAP as they didn't have this deal yesterday and this is like $60 off the normal price. The refurbished modems come from Arris in a special box and have everything near brand new, I couldn't tell the difference as mine even had the plastic to pull off the front and sides.

<A href="https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Surfboard-Docsis-Cable-Modem/dp/B07M8BNVSD/ref=mp_s_a_1_9?ie=UTF8&amp;q..." target="_blank">https://www.amazon.com/ARRIS-Surfboard-Docsis-Cable-Modem/dp/B07M8BNVSD/ref=mp_s_a_1_9?ie=UTF8&amp;q... /><BR />

Mine is paired with the Asus AC1900P (just a faster and better AC68U) and I have a T-Mobile converted TM1900 converted to a AC68U for a mesh network using Asus Mesh wifi system (aiMesh). If you have a big home you can get a cheap AC68U or TM1900 and expand your WiFi throughout your house, and it works great! Make sure you have the B1 hardware model Ac66U if you want to use the mesh feature. Let me know if you have any questions? And thanks for the kids and like BTW! Smiley Wink
Expert

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games


@FifthE1ement wrote:
and it has two Ethernet ports for a possible 2GB speed and perhaps if you wanted to have a direct line to the modem and then use the other to go to your router.

FWIW, and an FYI for all readers. A second public / WAN IP address assigned from Comcast would be needed for that function. Additional public IP addresses are not availalable in all market areas. And if they are, there is an additional charge .

 



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Frequent Visitor

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Thanks again. I went to the Comcast store today and asked them to replace my modem with a different model. They were happy to oblige, but the modem they gave me only had Xfinity branding so I couldn't tell what the actual hardware was, and the guy at the store didn't seem to be aware of this Intel Puma chipset issue. I got home and plugged it in and was disappointed to find that it's an Arris TG3482G which apparently also uses the Intel Puma chipset and has the same issue. 

 

I went ahead and ordered the model you recommended from Amazon, @FifthE1ement. Unfortunately due to inclement weather in my area, it won't arrive until Thursday, so I'm stuck with the TG3482G until then. But at least a solution is in sight Smiley Happy

Contributor

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

No problem, plus you will save yourself from Xfinitys price gouging $13.00 a month fee! Within a year you will have paid for the modem and within the next five you will have saved yourself $780 or more because I'm sure the price of modem rental won't stay at $13, heck it was $5 a few years ago!
Official Employee

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Thanks again. I went to the Comcast store today and asked them to replace my modem with a different model. They were happy to oblige, but the modem they gave me only had Xfinity branding so I couldn't tell what the actual hardware was, and the guy at the store didn't seem to be aware of this Intel Puma chipset issue. I got home and plugged it in and was disappointed to find that it's an Arris TG3482G which apparently also uses the Intel Puma chipset and has the same issue. 

 

I went ahead and ordered the model you recommended from Amazon, @FifthE1ement. Unfortunately due to inclement weather in my area, it won't arrive until Thursday, so I'm stuck with the TG3482G until then. But at least a solution is in sight Smiley Happy

Sweet, mlindgren. Looking forward to see how the new modem works for you. 


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Official Employee

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

mlindgren, hows the new modem? 

 

KenF


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Frequent Visitor

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Thanks for following up, @ComcastKenF. Unfortunately the new modem has not fixed the problem. I played a few games this evening and I'm still experiencing major lag spikes. So now I'm back to thinking that the problem is with my router (ASUS RT-AC66U). I'm going to do some more testing with my PC connected directly to the modem to confirm that the issue doesn't occur in that case.

 

Assuming it is the router, I might try installing a custom firmware like Tomato to see if that fixes the problem. Otherwise, does anyone have a recommendation for a good router? @FifthE1ement recommended the AC1900P, but it's $140. The NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 is currently on sale for $90 on Amazon.

 

Also, I just noticed that the RT-AC66U also has AC1750 in its model number. Is this a coincidence or does it mean that the NETGEAR R6700 is based on the same chipset?

 

Edit: actually, it looks like another possibility is that there's an issue with the game servers: https://answers.ea.com/t5/Technical-Issues/Lag-spikes-every-game/td-p/7426232

Official Employee

Re: Frequent packet loss issues in online games

Hi, mlindgren. Game server issues are extremely common as well. When you're experiencing problems within the game, are you having any other internet connectivity issues outside of that? If you don't, then it's likely that it could be a game server/capacity issue. It would be a good step to hardwire directly to the modem over ethernet to see if the problems continue. There are many potential contributing factors and that would help continue to narrow them down. Let us know.


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