There are a lot of Valheim players reporting about extreme network lag when in multiplayer mode. Aside from crashing issues, lag is one of the top issues for this game at the moment.
In this article, we’ll show you the solutions that you can try if the game keeps lagging on you when playing with your friends.
What is network lag in Valheim?
Ideally, you should only be playing online games like Valheim when your network has low latency. Network latency, also commonly referred to as lag, is the perceived delay in games. In Valheim, some players are experiencing extreme lag that other players find the game totally unplayable as actions performed are shown several seconds later. For others, the game constantly freezes on them, crashing or becomes unresponsive requiring them to force close it, or to restart Steam client.
Network lag has been known to occur in multiplayer situations ever since Valheim early access version became available in Steam. For some, the cause of the problem is due to server side lag/ high latency, or overcapacity while others experience the problem when using a dedicated server. Others have also reported “rubber banding,” a term used to describe sudden or jerky in-game movement.
If you are experiencing lag in Valheim, you’ll need to know the cause of your particular problem as not all cases have the same root cause.
Causes of network lag when playing Valheim
There are many factors to consider when trying to fix network lag in games like Valheim. Below are some of the common and known reasons for network lag or latency in this particular game.
If Valheim has poor performance when playing in multiplayer mode, it’s possible that the cause of the problem may be coming from the server side of things. With hundreds of thousands of players playing at the same time since the game was officially released on February 2, 2021, it’s fast becoming one of the top games in Steam and the sudden spike in the number of players at any one time can lead to server overcapacity.
Server lag is the number one reason for most lag issues in Valheim.
If you’re using a dedicated server, it’s also possible that your server hardware may be the reason for the lag. Make sure that the internet connection in the server hardware is running normally and that the device is optimized to handle Valheim.
In order to minimize multiplayer lag in Valheim, you must aim to have low ping number. Ping, measured in milliseconds (ms), is the speed of data coming from your PC to reach the game server and back. If it takes a long time for the said data to be transmitted to the server and back to your computer, your ping number must be high.
The generally acceptable ping in most online games should not breach the 100ms mark. The lower your ping is, the better. If your network ping is higher than 100ms, Valheim can show multiplayer lag or delay. Some people may mistakenly blame server lag as the cause of their network lag issue but it’s really easy to know if the problem is on your end. To get a general idea of your network ping number, you can run a speedtest on your computer.
Slow internet connection.
Aside from high ping issue, you may also experience network lag due to slow internet connection. In my experience, having a download and upload speed that’s slower than 10Mbps is not ideal for this game so if your internet subscription is slower than that, consider upgrading.
Wifi signal interference.
If you play Valheim while on wifi, make sure that your connection does not drop intermittently, or that your wifi signal is strong. Wifi signal disruption can happen due to a long list of factors so be sure to check for them before checking for other possible causes.
If your network is constantly busy while playing Valheim, a situation that can occur if you have multiple devices connected to your network at the same time, you may have an issue with low bandwidth.
Make sure that your computer runs the latest hardware drivers especially for your graphics card and network card. If any of these hardware components are using outdated drivers, you may have a poor online experience.
How to fix Valheim network lag
There are a number of possible solutions that you can try if you are experiencing network lag in Valheim. Let’s talk about each of them below.
Fix #1: Keep everything updated.
Making sure that the game, system software, and drivers are up-to-date is the simplest way to keep bugs away.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that you check if the game files are updated.
Fix #2: Check for server issues.
Game servers may sometimes go down. In fact, issues with this game’s servers is the major reason why many early adopters of Valheim have encountered lag or high ping in the past.
To check for any on-going server issues with Valheim, we suggest that you follow the official Twitter page of Valheim.
Sometimes, the issue may be coming from dedicated servers as well. Make sure that you update the game files of your dedicated servers and check if the problem returns.
Fix #3: Check for high ping.
If the game is lagging due to high ping, you should be able to know that in real time by either running a speed test on your computer, or using the in-game tool.
If you don’t know how to check the ping via the Valheim client, simply open the console command box by pressing the F5 key. Once the console command box is up, simply type in “ping” (without the quotes) and press enter. This will then show the real-time ping at the top of the screen.
Ideally, you should have less than 100ms (lower figure is much better) to have a tolerable experience in multiplayer. If your ping is anything higher than 100ms, then this may be the reason for the network lag.
High ping in Valheim can be caused by three major things:
- Your subscribed internet connection speed
- Server problem
- Low bandwidth
If you think that you have high ping issue due to any of these things, we suggest that you talk to your Internet Service Provider.
Fix #4: Power cycle the router.
The condition of your router may also affect the performance of Valheim multiplayer mode. Make sure that you power cycle the router by unplugging it from the power source for 30 seconds. After that, check for the problem again to see if it’s fixed.
Fix #5: Close other applications.
The other thing that you should look into is the possibility that other applications may be the culprit. Certain applications may be hogging the bandwidth while you’re playing. For example, if you have torrent application running and downloading huge files, or when a video streaming application like Netflix is running in the background, your computer’s bandwidth may be impacted.
Try to close any application that runs together with Steam and see if that will fix your problem.
Fix #6: Use a different DNS.
Some Valheim players have reported to us that changing their ISP-provided DNS settings fix network lag on their system. If you haven’t tried this yet, be sure to do it at this time.
Fix #7: Disable network optimization.
Some computers may come with a special software that may limit the network speed (both download and upload) to avoid incurring high data consumption. For example, Lenovo laptops has a feature called Network Boost that put a certain threshold in how much your laptop uses the internet. If you have this, try turning off this feature and see if that will fix the problem.
Fix #8: Use wired connection.
Gaming laptops is a thing nowadays so if you’re using one, make sure that the wifi network you’re connected to is stable. If you suspect that there might be a wifi signal interference going on, or if your wifi network appears unreliable, try to use a wired connection instead.
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