Slow performance and lag or latency are a common problem for PS4 gamers. This guide will help you address common gameplay issues including:
- PS4 lagging when using WiFi
- Gameplay interrupted by lag spikes
- Slow download or upload speed on PS4
- Remote play lag on PS4
- Switch to a wired connection instead of using WiFi
- Don’t overload your PS4 with multiple downloads
- Change your DNS
- Update your firmware
- Upgrade your equipment
- Upgrade to a QoS Gaming Router
- Make sure your router has a 5GHz band
- Get a router that can handle your download speeds
- Opt for a faster internet plan
- Step-by-Step Recap
Gamers have all experienced the dreaded lag in the middle of a game. You’re right about to get a kill shot, but suddenly, your character is dead on the ground. You didn’t get a chance to react or defend yourself because the connection was lagging. If your PS4 is running slow, there are several things you can do to improve your internet speeds and prevent any lagging or freezing in the middle of the game.
If your PS4 WiFi connection is slow, you should consider switching to a wired connection. When your PS4 is connected to the internet with WiFi, you might experience slower speeds because of the distance or any objects between your console and the modem that could weaken the connection. With a wired connection, your PS4 is directly connected to your internet modem using an ethernet cord. This means that the connection will be faster and more reliable. To establish a wired connection:
- Plug an ethernet cable into one of your modem’s LAN ports.
- Plug the other end of the ethernet cable into your PS4’s LAN port, which is located on the back of the console.
- Go to the “Main Menu” on the PlayStation 4 and select “Settings”
4. Select “Network.”
5. Select “Set Up Internet Connection.”
6. Select “Use a LAN Cable.”
7. Select “Easy.”
Once you’ve completed these steps, your PS4 will do the rest of the work for you. It will detect the ethernet cord and connect your console to the internet. This should improve your PS4 internet connection.
If you aren’t able to get a wired connection, you can try moving your PS4 closer to the router (or vice versa) to strengthen the signal.
If you’re trying to download multiple games on your PlayStation 4 at the same time, your connection will be slower than normal. You’re basically creating a traffic jam with all those downloads that are trying to get to the same place at the same time. It’s best to download one game at a time if you’re experiencing slow PS4 download speeds. Your internet speed will also slow down if you’re trying to play a game while downloading another game at the same time.
An easy way to alleviate the frustration of constant PS4 lag and buffering is to download games while you’re not playing. If you know you’re going to want to play a new game when you get home from work, start downloading it in the morning before you leave. You can also find out if your console is trying to download multiple games at once and decide which ones you want to download first by following these steps:
- Click your controller’s “Home Button.”
- Go to the “Notifications” icon on the main menu.
3. Games that are downloading will appear at the top of the list of notifications. Select the content you want to pause by hovering over it and pressing the “X” on your PS4 controller.
4. A menu will appear. Select “pause” from this menu.
You can pause as many titles as you’d like so that the games you’d like to play next will download faster. After the content you wanted to download first is finished, you can resume the other downloads by following the same steps you used to pause them.
Putting your PlayStation 4 in rest mode while downloading content increases speed. If you’d like to try this follow these steps:
- Go to the main menu and select “Settings.”
- Select “Power Save Settings.”
3. Select “Set Features Available in Rest Mode.”
4. Select “Stay Connected to the Internet.”
5. Go back to the home screen and select “Notifications” to see if your content is downloading. If it is, it will show up at the top of the list with a downloading bar.
6. Hold down the “Home Button” on your PS4 controller.
7. Select “Rest Mode.”
After this, you’ll be able to leave your PlayStation alone to do the downloading. You won’t have to worry about the download pausing.
Domain Name System (DNS) is basically like the contact list in your phone, but for the entire internet. It stores a list of websites and their corresponding IP (internet protocol) addresses. When you go to call someone in your phone’s contact list, instead of typing in the phone number (which you probably don’t even have memorized), you click on the person’s name. DNS acts like your address book by keeping track of all the IP address numbers so you don’t have to. When you type “www.amazon.com” into the search bar, DNS communicates between you and the network’s back end to pull up the website using its IP address, aka a long string of numbers and periods. That way you don’t have to memorize the IP address for every single website you want to visit.
The default DNS server assigned to your home network is typically provided by your internet service provider. This server usually isn’t optimized to load things as quickly as other ones like Google Public DNS. You have the option to change your default DNS server to another one to make things load faster. Switching over to Google DNS may help improve your PS4 WiFi. Here’s how to change your DNS server:
- Go to the main menu and select “Settings.”
- Select “Network.”
- Select “Set Up Internet Connection.”
- Select the connection you’re currently using: “Use Wi-Fi” or “Use a LAN Cable,” then select “custom”.
- Select the network name your currently using.
- Select “manual”. The following screen will appear:
7. Change the settings to these inputs:
IP Address Settings
DHCP Host Name
Do Not Specify
Do Not Use
Once you’ve changed these settings, just turn your PlayStation off and on again. After it’s on just restart your downloads. This should speed up PS4 downloads.
If none of the methods above shows a noticeable improvement, your PlayStation 4 might be running slow because it doesn’t have the most up-to-date firmware installed. Firmware is a piece of software that helps your hardware function properly. Updating your firmware to the latest version will ensure your download speeds are fast and everything on your PS4 is running smoothly overall. To update your firmware:
- Go to the home menu on your PS4 and select “Settings.”
- Select “System Software Update.”
- If there is an update available it will show up here. The update will then start automatically.
All internet routers are not created equal. Old router models can actually impact the quality of your gaming experience, even when using ethernet. There are routers specifically designed to improve gaming that includes Quality of Service (QoS) features. Routers with QoS features are often referred to as gaming routers. With a gaming router, you’re able to set up your preferences so that your gaming console takes precedence over the other devices in your house that are connected to the internet. This means that if you’re trying to play a game while your roommate is streaming Netflix, your PS4 will take priority so that you won’t experience lag.
Routers come with either a 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band. If you’re using your PS4 on Wi-Fi rather than wiring in with ethernet, we’d recommend choosing a router that has a 5GHz band. The 5GHz band allows you to have faster Wi-Fi speeds and more reliability than a router with only the 2.4 GHz band. Upgrading to 5 GHz should help speed up PS4 downloads. The only thing to keep in mind is that 5GHz routers work best over shorter distances, so you’ll want to make sure that your PS4 isn’t too far from the router. This is best practice with any router, but it is even more important with a 5 GHz band.
If you’ve had your router for years, your router might actually be the bottleneck, as opposed to your Wi-Fi range or the internet connection itself. Routers are only able to handle a certain amount of speed. If you have an internet plan that offers download speeds up to 300 Mbps, but your router only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps, you’ll never experience speeds faster than 100 Mbps. That means you’d be missing out on 200 Mbps of download speed, which is really just a waste of your money and could be the reason for your PS4 lag. You can confirm the maximum speed supported by your router by googling the router make and model, which is generally printed on the back of the device.
If you’ve followed all of our tips and tricks and your PS4 download speeds are still slow, the problem might have to do with your internet plan. Below is a list of common internet speeds and what activities you’re able to do with them. Consider all of the different things you and your household use the internet for to decide which speeds will be best for you:
What you can do with this speed
Connect 1-2 devices
Light gaming (except satellite)
Stream videos in 1080p HD quality
Connect 2-3 devices
Download files in minutes
Online multiplayer gaming (except satellite)
Stream videos in UHD 4K quality
Average gaming (less likely to lag)
Connect 4-5 devices
Download 10 songs in 30 seconds
Download 20 photos in 1 minute
Download 10 TV episodes in 3 minutes
Daily gaming that may or may not slow down other devices on the network
Connect 8-15 devices
Small smart home system with cameras
Seamless online gaming (except satellite)
Live stream video
Large file sharing
1 Gig/1 Gbps/1,000 Mbps
Connect 40+ devices
Download 10 songs in 3 seconds
Download 20 photos in 5 seconds
Download 10 TV episodes in 30 seconds
Professional online gaming (except satellite)
If there are a lot of people in your house gaming, streaming, or downloading content at the same time, your connection might not be strong enough. You can check how much speed your PS4 is getting by going to Setting>Network> then Test Network Connection. Certain internet connection types are better for gaming because they have better upload speeds, for example, fiber is better than cable for gaming. If you upgrade to a faster plan or one with a better connection type, you’ll be able to download content faster and avoid lag and buffering. Use our search by zip code tool to see if your internet provider offers faster speeds, or if another provider in your area does.
Step one: Connect your PS4 to the internet with an ethernet cord.
Step two: Give your PS4 a break. Don’t download too many things at once. Prioritize your downloads and pause the ones that you don’t want right now. You can pause those other downloads in the notifications menu.
You can also put your PS4 in rest mode to help speed up downloads. Make sure you have your PS4 set to stay connected to the internet when in rest mode.
Step three: Change your PS4 DNS settings. The extra baggage from your current DNS settings can slow down your speed.
Step four: Make sure your PS4 firmware is updated.
Step five: Optimize your router to get a better connection. Switch to the 5GHz band for a more reliable connection. You will need to make sure your PS4 is within a short distance of your router, or vice versa, since 5GHz works best at shorter distances. If switching bands isn’t an option or doesn’t work, try upgrading your router to a gaming router that can prioritize your PS4 over other devices on your network.
Step six: If all else fails, you may need a new internet plan. A good internet connection type, one ideal for gaming, combined with the right internet speed can relieve your PS4 connection issues.
Note: If you decide to upgrade, check out our article on how to improve PS5 download speeds next!