Playing the best PC games online means that you’ve likely run into a ton of lag at some point, but what if we told you that the best gaming routers could make sure your online gaming is never interrupted?
It’s true – the best routers for gaming will prioritize gaming network traffic, thanks to a handy little trick called Quality of Service (or QoS), so your gaming won’t be interrupted by someone on an hours-long Netflix binge. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for MU-MIMO Multiple user, Multi Input, Multi Output), so that everyone on your network can get their game on without having to get in each other's way.
When you’re playing games online, a wired connection is typically considered the best way to go about it, and we’d have to concur. So, the best gaming routers will have a ton of Ethernet ports.
But, no matter how ideal it would be to have every device hardwired, it’s just not feasible without making everyone trip over cords constantly. So, the best gaming routers will feature the latest and greatest Wifi standards – currently Wi-Fi 5. Having external antennae which can be moved to direct the Wi-Fi signal to certain areas of your home can’t hurt, either.
So, taking into consideration the needs of gamers, we’ve gathered up all the best gaming routers 2018 has to offer.
If you want all the latest tech, but you’re still a fan of that old-school aesthetic, the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 is right up your alley. This is a gaming router that blends enthusiast-grade features and accessible setup into a package that’s appealing to pretty much everyone. And, when you add in the Alexa support, you have a router that can adapt to any situation, whether you’re focusing hard on winning your latest match in Fortnite, or you have guests all connecting to your network.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400 V2
The Asus RT-AC5300 is one of the best gaming routers – it comes with a variety of advanced features, making online and network gaming as lag and frustration free as possible. This includes an easy-to-use yet powerful interface, as well as comprehensive QoS settings. The spider-like design won’t be to everyone’s taste, but the eight antennae serve a purpose, as they can be used to direct your Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, giving this router an excellent range.
Read the full review: Asus RT-AC86U
We already covered the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 earlier, but the manufacturer slapped an ‘X’ at the end of this one, to signify the extreme boost in performance. It’s significantly more expensive, but this may be one of the highest-end gaming routers out there. With eight ethernet ports around the back, it’s perfect for hardwiring a wealth of gaming equipment. And, the MU-MIMO and Tri-band support mean that wireless connections are also top-notch. You’ll be able to top the leaderboards wherever you are in the house.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400X
For PC gamers that are always fighting for bandwidth with roommates, a beefy gaming router like the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 is going to be a godsend. Not only will this gaming router provide an insane 2.6Gbps of speed, but with MU-MIMO support and unique gaming-focused features like location-based connection filters and QoS, you’ll be able to get your game on lag-free. Just prepare for the high price, and maybe wait for a sale to pick it up.
Read the full review: Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
The Asus RT-AC5300 is an excellent high-end gaming router that comes with a number of advanced features for making online and network gaming as lag and frustration free as possible.
This includes an easy-to-use yet powerful interface, as well as comprehensive QoS settings. The spider-like design won't be to everyone's tastes, but the eight antennae serve a purpose, as they can be used to direct your Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, giving this router an excellent range.
Read the full review:
It might look like it’s getting ready to abduct a close friend or family member, but we promise the Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600 isn’t as alien in function as in appearance. Rocking the latest MU-MIMO support, which improves speed when multiple devices are connected to the same network, this gaming router prides itself on its performance capabilities. Because it can handle a ton of devices, while prioritizing bandwidth depending on the needs of each device, it’s one of the best gaming routers you can buy today.
Read the full review: Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
The Asus RT-AC88U is an expensive gaming router, but it justifies the price with insane 802.11 wireless performance. Rocking four antennas and NitroQAM tech, which pushes speeds even further, this gaming router enables wireless performance that can break the 1GB/sec limit. But, there’s a catch – you’ll need to pick up a NitroQAM wireless adapter, like the Asus PCE AC88, to see these fast speeds. But, with speeds like this, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best gaming routers out there.
It might look like something from Battlestar Galactica – the old Battlestar Galactica – but, the D-Link DIR 885L/R is a dependable mid-range gaming router with great range and speed. If you’re looking for the best gaming router, you may want to give this one a chance – it has a good variety of port, and a nicely designed UI. It also features DD-WRT open-source firmware, which makes this router as flexible as it is powerful.
- Bill Thomas has also contributed to this article