A router is a vital part of your network setup. It’s the backbone that holds everything together and allows you to actually use your Internet connection. There are many routers on the market, but not all are made equal. Some offer better networking capabilities than others, which means it’s important to know what you’re looking for when choosing one, especially if you’re looking for the best router for gaming.
Gaming is huge these days; people are constantly streaming, sharing videos, and playing online games. The need for speed or better internet performance is crucial if you want to be a competitive gamer. No matter what kind of computer you have, there’s always room for improvement.
When the lag monster rears its ugly head during your gaming session, do you ever wonder if your router could be the problem? If it’s time to upgrade and you’re not sure where to start, these six routers are great picks for gamers with different budgets, wants, and needs.
- Best Overall: Asus GT-AXE11000
- Best Budget Option: D-Link DIR-867
- Best Wi-Fi 6E Router: Netgear Nighthawk Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router (RAXE500)
- Best for Easy Setup: TP-Link Archer C5400X
- Best for Diehard Gamers: Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900
- Best Mesh Router: Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852)
Best Overall Router for Gaming: Asus GT-AXE11000
- Tri-band 10 Gigabit
- 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU
- Compatible with ASUS AiMesh Wi-Fi
- 256MB flash memory and 1GB RAM
- Triple-level game acceleration facilitates game traffic
The Asus GT-AXE11000 is our best overall gaming router. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants to stream video or play online games, offering excellent wireless speeds for both. The router has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 3.1 ports, a 2.5GBase port, and an 802.11ac MU-MIMO antenna array for fast wireless connectivity with multiple devices at once.
This tri-band router provides speeds of up to 11000 Mbps on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, which is more than enough bandwidth for any modern gaming setup. Plus, this router includes ASUS’s AiProtection security package that protects against malware and other online threats, making it one of the safest routers you can buy.
The router has an easy-to-use interface that makes setting up your network fast and easy. It also has parental controls that allow you to block access to certain websites, including social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (you can also block specific apps).
This router is ideal if you need to connect multiple computers or devices at once while using the Internet regularly or if you want faster speeds than most routers provide without having to pay more.
Check out Asus GT-AXE11000 on Amazon.
Best Budget Router for Gaming: D-Link DIR-867
The D-Link DIR-867 is the best budget router for gaming. It’s affordable, easy to set up, and has a relatively fast processor that can handle multiple connections simultaneously.
The DIR-867 has a lot of features that are great for gamers. It has five gigabit Ethernet ports, so you can connect your gaming PC or console directly to it if you want, and USB ports for other devices like your modem, printer, or cable box.
It’s also compatible with WPA2 security, which means that your personal information is safe from hackers trying to steal your identity or information through malware attachments. The DIR-867 also supports MU-MIMO technology, so you can use it with multiple devices simultaneously without interference from other devices on the network.
This means that even if you have more than one device connected to the router, your connection will be as fast as possible because the router doesn’t need to send data over multiple connections simultaneously (which slows things down).
Check out D-Link DIR-867 on Amazon.
Best Wi-Fi 6E Router: Netgear Nighthawk Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router (RAXE500)
- 6GHz WiFi band dedicated to WiFi 6E devices including Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. Enjoy 4K/8K video streaming, AR/VR gaming and HD videoconferencing.Beamforming : Improve range and performance for...
- Powerful 1.8GHz quad-core processor gives you exceptional 10.8Gbps WiFi speed, 9x faster than WiFi 5. Backward compatible for all WiFi devices on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
- Coverage up to 3,500 sq. ft. and 60 devices
- Replace your existing WiFi Router (separate modem or modem router required). Compatible with any Internet Service Provider up to 2Gbps including cable, satellite, fiber, DSL and more
- Sets up in minutes with the Nighthawk app – easily manage WiFi settings at the device and network level, test internet speed and monitor data usage
The Netgear Nighthawk Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router (RAXE500) is an excellent choice for most home users. It supports all of the latest standards and features, including MU-MIMO, QoS, parental controls, and a USB 3.0 port. It also includes three external antennas that provide better reception when your network gets crowded or if you have multiple devices connected simultaneously.
This router is designed to deliver a reliable and powerful signal to your gaming console, ensuring you can play without interruptions or lag. It features a tri-band router that delivers speeds of up to 10.8 Gbps, which is more than enough for streaming multiple HD channels at once in high definition.
For gamers with large budgets that want high speed and want to future-proof their network with Wi-Fi 6E technology, the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is a smart choice. The RAXE500 has a quad-core CPU built to handle high network loads.
It’s also geared for 8K video streaming and offers quick file transfer performance. It is also simple to control using a web portal or mobile app, while network security software is an additional cost.
Check out Netgear Nighthawk Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router (RAXE500) on Amazon.
Best for Easy Setup: TP-Link Archer C5400X
The TP-Link Archer C5400X is the best router for gaming because it’s easy to set up and can handle high-powered gaming connections. It comes with all the features you’d expect from a modern gaming router, like custom-tuned performance and advanced security options.
It’s compatible with most operating systems and can be used with multiple devices simultaneously, including an Xbox One console, a PS4 console, or even an Xbox 360. The router also has built-in parental control features, so you can set up schedules for your kids’ use of their devices.
The gaming router also uses MU-MIMO and Airtime Fairness to maximize throughput and reaction times by identifying your Wi-Fi demands and serving every connection quickly and precisely. In addition, it has eight Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 GB RAM, and a 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core processor + 3 co-processors.
There are also two USB 3.0 ports that let you play media files from your computer on another device connected through the router’s Ethernet ports (or by streaming them from any other device that supports DLNA).
Check out TP-Link Archer C5400X on Amazon.
Best for Diehard Gamers: Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900
- Dual-band router
- Asus AiMesh compatible
- Supports port-forwarding
- Triple-level game acceleration
- AURA RGB lighting
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 has an amazing wireless speed of up to 750Mbps on a 2.4GHz network and 2,167Mbps for its 5Ghz network, which is a lot for most current-generation client devices. This means you can download movies and play online games faster than ever.
With this router, you’ll also enjoy better overall performance because it has 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology that allows you to connect devices wirelessly at higher speeds than ever. This router is backed by a lifetime free AiProtection Pro security suite, with Trend Micro as the provider.
It’s one of the only routers on the market designed specifically for gaming and boasts an incredible feature set. AiMesh-compatible routers create a powerful, flexible whole-home Wi-Fi system.
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 works with other AiMesh routers to create a seamless, robust connection that can cover a large area and remain fast and reliable. It also features a robust security suite to keep your network protected against internet threats.
Check out Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 on Amazon.
Best Mesh Router: Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852)
- Coverage up to 5,000 sq. ft. and for up to 100 devices. Extend coverage up to 2,500 sq. ft. with each additional satellite (sold separately)
- Ultrafast AX6000 gigabit speed with WiFi 6 technology for uninterrupted streaming, HD video gaming, and web conferencing
- Compatible with any internet service provider up to 2.5Gbps including cable, satellite, fiber and DSL
- Connects to your existing cable modem, and replaces your WiFi router
- Easily set up and manage your WiFi with the Orbi app
Mesh networks are designed to create a network that covers your whole house, and they’re super easy to set up. They work by sharing the same radio frequencies as your main Wi-Fi router. That way, they can transmit signals even if they’re not in the same room. The result is that you don’t need to run cables from one corner of your house to another.
The Orbi is a tri-band router with a built-in 5Ghz access point and one satellite unit that works together to create a powerful mesh network. The system allows users to connect multiple devices to their network at once and have more than one access point in different locations throughout their house or apartment.
The Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) offers category-leading performance and 5,000 square feet of tri-band coverage with just a two-pack consisting of a base unit and satellite extension. Its powerful signal easily penetrates walls, ceilings, and floors.
It has a slew of features that make it ideal for gaming, including support for up to 883.6Mbps speeds and MU-MIMO technology. The router also features Beamforming+, which allows it to focus its signal on the device you’re trying to connect and create a more stable connection.
The Orbi integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for seamless voice control throughout the house, as well as greatly enhanced speeds and management of many devices. The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 (RBK852) is the best mesh Wi-Fi 6 device available. It’s also preloaded with the latest firmware version on all units, so there’s no need for additional downloads or steps when setting up your new router.
Check out Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Routers for Gaming: Step by Step
Routers, like any other computer peripheral, can affect the quality of your gaming experience. Here’s what to consider when picking the best one for your needs:
- Connections and Standards,
Let’s look at each one in more detail.
Speed determines how fast your games will load and how quickly you can respond to a change in gameplay. When it comes to gaming, you want a router that is fast and stable.
This means that you will have an uninterrupted connection while playing games online. You don’t want your Internet connection to lag or drop at any time during gameplay, so make sure you pick a router that can handle high speeds without causing any issues.
Speed is measured in megabytes per second (Mbps); the higher it is, the more responsive your game will be. Most routers have an advertised speed of 300mbps or less, but some can go as high as 1,000mbps, which you should consider if you’re looking for good ping time.
The range isn’t just about how far away from your router you can stay and still get Internet. It’s also about reaching every room in your house with Wi-Fi coverage without experiencing any lag while playing online multiplayer games, for example.
Or having someone else watch Netflix on another device simultaneously without interference. So make sure the router has enough antennas, amps, and MIMO streams for the number of devices in your household, and keep in mind that you may need additional hardware like powerlines or extenders.
Some routers offer advanced features like parental controls and firewall protection. These features can help keep your family safe online and allow them to enjoy an uninterrupted experience on their favorite games or apps without interruption or lag.
You also might be able to find routers that have built-in Wi-Fi extenders. Thanks to them, multiple devices can connect to your router at once without any interference from other devices in your home or office space.
The price of your new router will determine its value in terms of performance and features, especially when compared to other models on the market today. You should look at several brands before deciding which one is right for you and your needs.
If you have a limited budget and don’t want to spend much, you’ll need to look for cheaper options. But if you’re willing to spend a little more and want better performance, it’s worth investing in something with the latest technology.
Connections and Standards
The number of ports available on the router is important because you want to ensure that your router has enough Ethernet ports to support all devices in your home. You also need to consider what standard your router will use, which is the 802.11 protocol.
There are different types of 802.11 protocols, and if you have a device that supports one and not another, it will not work on that network and vice versa. When deciding between two routers with the same standards, ensure that they both offer sufficient bandwidth speeds.
The security of your network is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a router. Routers are often the gateway to your home network and must have a secure configuration. If you are serious about gaming online, invest in a router with security features such as WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) encryption.
Next, you’ll want to ensure that your router has a guest network feature so visitors can connect without compromising your privacy. Guest networks are also helpful if someone in your household doesn’t have a wireless device. That way, they won’t be able to snoop on your connection or slow it down with their online activities.
What To Know Before Buying a Gaming Router
Gaming routers are designed to give you the most performance and flexibility in your gaming network. However, they come with a wide range of features and capabilities, so it’s important to know what you need before buying your gaming router.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a router is the frequency or band on which it operates. The band refers to the speed at which data can be transmitted, and newer 802.11ac routers can transmit data faster than older 802.11n routers.
The other main factors to consider when choosing a router are its range and stability. A high-quality router can cover a large area with wireless Internet, making it perfect for large homes and office spaces. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that your router has adequate stability, so your connection doesn’t cut out during long gaming sessions.
Using a Gaming Router: What It’s Like
A gaming router is very different from a regular one. For starters, they’re usually more expensive, but they’re also capable of giving you the best possible online gaming experience. A good gaming router will have multiple antennas and let you set up Quality of Service so that your game data gets priority over other traffic on your network.
Some routers also have cool features like parental controls or an easy-to-use setup wizard. So when it comes to picking out a router, make sure you get one that’s designed specifically with gamers in mind.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©GamePH/Shutterstock.com.