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PaVG #17: Ping


OcktoByte

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Most anyone who plays online games can tell you that ping, also known as latency, is one of the main factors to a smooth gameplay experience. Ping is the amount of time it takes for the input from your keyboard, mouse, or controller to reach the server running the game. This is usually measured in milliseconds, and the lower your ping is, the better. Good ping relies on a good connection to the server. This is dependant mainly on your internet connection and distance from the server. You'd get better ping connecting to a server close to you rather than one on the other side of the globe. Due to the limitations of physics, the speed of light in a vaccuum is 3x10^8 meters per second. This means that no matter what, ping will always be limited by distance. Even with the best fiber optic internet connection, you'd still see characters jittering around the screen if you connect across the globe.

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Except, if it were connected by cable, it would only take about a tenth of a second for the light to travel to the other side of the globe. I do understand that that's a lot of time when talking about video games, but I still don't think that's a major factor in the whole jitteriness issue.

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