Fortnite High Ping – How to Fix

Latency is the bane of online gaming and ping spikes in Fortnite are no exception. High ping in Fortnite can be caused by a number of different factors including your internet connection, distance from the game server, and network congestion. Depending on the cause of you problem there are a number of solutions available that can help greatly. Many of these fixes apply to all platforms including PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Mobile. Others are platform specific and will not apply to all devices.

What is latency or ping

Latency also referred to as ping, is the round trip time for a packet of data to reach its destination and return. The lower the latency the more responsive your browsing experience. Ping is especially important for gaming because nobody likes to experience lag when playing online multiplayer games.

It is important to understand that ping is not the same as bandwidth. When people talk about internet speed they are generally referring to bandwidth. When someone talks about megabits per second (Mbps), they are talking about bandwidth. Latency (ping) is measured in milliseconds (ms). Bandwidth requirements for playing Fortnite are very low and will not be an issue for anyone with a broadband connection. Ping is what counts for online gaming.

How to Test Your Latency to the Fortnite Servers

The best way to test your latency to the Fortnite servers is to ping the server closest to your location using a ping utility. Most operating systems including Windows, Mac, and Linux have this functionality built into their command line tools. If you wish to test using a mobile device you can download a free ping utility from the Google Play or Apple App Stores.

In this example I will be using the ping command on Windows for this test. This is ran by opening up the Command Prompt, and typing in the word ping followed by the data center URL listed below, and then pressing enter. You will then get a series of replies back from the server with the latency listed beside it. Latency is measured in milliseconds ms, the lower the better. This will effectively tell you your latency reaching the Fortnite servers. If you get an error make sure you put a space between the word ping and the URL.

List of Fortnite Data Centers According to Epic Games

  • NA-West: qosping-aws-us-west-1.ol.epicgames.com
  • NA-East: qosping-aws-us-east-1.ol.epicgames.com
  • Europe: qosping-aws-eu-west-3.ol.epicgames.com
  • Oceania: qosping-aws-ap-southeast-2.ol.epicgames.com
  • Brazil: qosping-aws-sa-east-1.ol.epicgames.com
  • Asia: qosping-aws-ap-northeast-1.ol.epicgames.com
  • Middle East: qosping-aws-me-south-1.ol.epicgames.com
Fortnite Ping Test

After this completes make note of your ping. This is your baseline score that you will want to work to improve. If your ping is less than 50 ms you likely have no need to make any changes. If you are between 50 and 200 ms you can likely optimize your performance, and if your ping is over 200 ms you will likely have a very difficult time playing Fortnite free of lag.

Test Your Latency to 1.1.1.1

Next repeat the ping test only instead of pinging the Fortnite datacenter ping 1.1.1.1. 1.1.1.1 is the IP address of Cloudflare’s Public DNS Service. By testing your latency to 1.1.1.1 you will be able to determine of the latency is being caused by your internet connection or something on the Fortnite side of things. If your latency is similar between the two tests the issue is likely with your internet connection. If the ping to 1.1.1.1 is significantly lower than your ping to the Fortnite datacenter the issue may be on the Fortnite side of things.

How to Fix Temporary High Latency in Fortnite

If you determined that it is your internet connection that is causing your latency (ping) to be high there are a few things that you will want to try to lower your ping. If the issue just occurred and was not previously and issue, try the following steps.

  1. Restart Fortnite
  2. Restart Your Internet Modem and Router
  3. Try a Different Datacenter Location (for Example Switch From NA East to NA West)
  4. Close Other Running Programs (PC or Mac Only)
  5. Turn Off Any Active Video Streams

Restart Fortnite

This is the quickest method to try when you run into random Fortnite high ping issues. Simply exit Fortnite and relaunch your game. In some cases this is all that will be necessary to fix your lag. If your ping is still high move on to the next step.

Restart Your Internet Modem and Router

One of the most common fixes for high ping in Fortnite is to simply restart your modem and router. Here is how to do it properly. First unplug your modem and your router, from power for 30 seconds. Plug in your modem first and wait 1 minute, then plug in your wireless router.

Wait until the indicator lights on your modem and router are fully back to their normal state. This will tell you that the reboot is complete. Open Fortnite and see if this helped to reduce your latency. In many cases this will help. If you find yourself frequently needing to reboot, it may be time to think about replacing your modem and router.

Try a Different Datacenter Location (for Example From NA East to NA West)

Open your Fortnite settings by clicking on the gear icon. Navigate to matchmaking settings and try changing your region. This will connect you to a different Fortnite data center, one with potentially less latency. This is especially useful to try if you live somewhere close to halfway between two of the data centers.

Fortnite runs almost entirely on Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers. The main servers for NA East are located in northern Virginia, near the boarder of Washington DC. The main servers for NA West are located in northern California and Oregon. If you live in for example Chicago, it would make sense to try both matchmaking regions since you are kind of right between them.

Close Other Running Programs (PC or Mac Only)

If you’re running other programs such as Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, or OneDrive that require significant bandwidth to upload and download files that could be the cause of your sudden ping spikes. The easiest solution is to close the offending applications using Windows Task Manager or Mac Activity Monitor. If this fixes the problem, you may want to reconfigure these applications to only run when you are not actively using the device.

Turn Off Any Active Video Streams

If you or anyone else connected to your internet connection is streaming video such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, or YouTube that can use up all of your available download bandwidth and lead to massive ping spikes. This is especially likely if your download speeds are 20 Mbps or lower.

A 4K video stream can use up to 25 Mbps of bandwidth leaving nothing left for Fortnite. Your best options are either to game when nobody is streaming video, reduce the video resolution, or upgrade your internet connection. If you are unsure of the speed of your internet run a free internet speed test and find out.

Fortnite itself only needs about 3 Mbps for proper operation, however if you are going to connect multiple devices, have people streaming, or download files while gaming you will want a bare minimum of 100 Mbps of download speed and 10 Mbps of upload speed. If you live in a region without access to proper high speed internet and currently have a DSL based internet connection you may want to check out Starlink internet service.

Read Full Review of Starlink for Gaming Here

Starlink Gaming

How to Fix High Latency in Fortnite

If you determined that it is your internet connection that is causing your latency (ping) to be high there are a few things that you will want to try to lower your ping. If the issue has been ongoing for a while you may want to look at some of these other solutions for reducing your ping in Fortnite.

  1. Use a Wired Ethernet Connection
  2. Relocate Your Wireless Router
  3. Replace Your Router
  4. Change Your DNS Server
  5. Upgrade Your Internet Service Plan
  6. Change Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Use a Wired Ethernet Connection

A wired ethernet connection is highly recommended for lag free online gaming, It is especially important in games such as Fortnite where milliseconds really count. In some cases switching from using Wi-Fi to ethernet may triple your download speed and cut your latency in half. That said ethernet is not always convenient especially in older homes and apartments.

If you are in one of these situations check out powerline networking as it is a great option for many people who can run ethernet cables but want to improve their performance. Powerline offers near ethernet level stability that can be great in many cases for online gaming.

If you are using ethernet make sure your router has gigabit LAN ports on it. Most routers made within the last few years do, but some cheaper ones may not. When it comes to ethernet cables there is no reason to go any higher than Cat 6. You will not see any benefit going with a pricier option. Listed below are the ethernet cables I would recommend with links to Amazon.

Monoprice Flexboot Cat6 Ethernet Patch Cable

This cable is an ideal affordable choice that doesn’t compromise on performance. Top budget pick. Key features include.

  • 50Μm gold plated contacts
  • 550MHz bandwidth
  • Color matched, snagless strain relief boots

Mediabridge Cat 6 Ethernet Patch Cable

This cable is our top choice for the best ethernet cable for gaming. Key features include.

  •  Supports up to 10 Gigabits per second of bandwidth
  • 24AWG Stranded conductors
  • 550MHz bandwidth

Relocate Your Wireless Router

If your wireless router is in the corner of your home try relocating it more centrally for a better wireless signal especially if your routers current location is far from where you game. You can likely do this yourself but you can also contact your internet service provider who can like do this for you for a modest fee. If moving your router is impractical, look into powerline networking as a means of connecting your gaming device directly to your router without running any cables.

Learn more about how far a Wi-Fi signal can actually reach here.

In many cases relocating your router will make a huge difference. Test your latency near your router before moving it to ensure that this is going to make a difference in your case. Sometimes the router is just not the problem. Better to test it before taking the time to relocate things.

Replace Your Router

If you are using an older wireless router you may want to upgrade it to improve your performance. This is especially true if you are paying for a high bandwidth internet connection. If you current router doesn’t support the 5 GHz band this is especially important. The 2.4 GHz band simply has too much interference to really be suitable for online gaming.

You may also want to consider future proofing you network with a router that supports Wi-Fi 6 technology. Many laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets come with this technology and can make proper use of a router that support the Wi-Fi 6 standard. Unlike the Xbox Series X and Series S, the Sony PS5 also supports Wi-Fi 6.

Check Out My Recommended ASUS Wi-Fi 6 Router

  • The Next Gen WiFi Standard – Future proof your home network with the next-gen WiFi 6 technology, providing up to 2. 7x faster speed than the previous WiFi generation featuring OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology.
  • Ultra-Fast Wi-Fi – RT-AX3000 supports 160MHz bandwidth and 1024-QAM, boasting a total network speed of 3000 Mbps – 575Mbps on the 2. 4GHz band, and 2402GHz on the 5GHz band.

Change Your DNS Server

Using a DNS server with with less latency can help improve performance when playing online multiplayer games including Fortnite. DNS does not affect the bandwidth of your internet connection, but can definitely make a difference in latency. Remember latency is what counts most for online gaming not speed.

It is often recommended by gamers to use either 1.1.1.1 or 4.2.2.2 as your DNS server to get the lowest latency when connecting to Fortnite servers. In many cases these choices work out great and reduce latency. That said if you really want to be sure you are getting the lowest latency you will need to test it for yourself.

Learn How to Choose The Best DNS Server for Fortnite Here

Fortnite DNS

Upgrade Your Internet Service Plan

If you tested your internet speed and found that you are not getting fast enough speeds based on the number of device you are connecting you may want to upgrade your internet service. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

Many people can get away with less but if your speeds are just too low and you have verified that your internet bandwidth is the limiting factor you may want to consider an upgrade. In many cases this may be as simple as simply calling your ISP and asking for the upgrade. Often times it does not require a service tech visit.

It is also not uncommon to be able to ask about current promotions and get your speed boosted at no additional cost or even reduce what you are paying in some cases. This is especially common with companies such as Comcast (Xfinity) and Verizon, who frequently offer promotions. Make sure to inquire about upload speed as well.

Remember this will not directly reduce your ping. Ping and bandwidth are unrelated concepts. That said, if you notice the ping spikes primarily while streaming video or downloading files, a bandwidth upgrade may be especially helpful.

Fast Internet Speed Test

Change Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

If you find that your latency is high even when hardwired into your internet modem and your speed is okay, the issue may be with how your internet service provider (ISP) routes traffic over its network. If you are not under contract with your ISP an option you may want to look at is switching ISPs. This is not an option available everywhere, but many people will have the options of multiple providers.

If you are currently using DSL based internet and have the option of switching service providers to a cable or fiber based internet connection you should do it. DSL is simply not able to meet the demands of modern internet usage. If you currently have a cable or fiber based connection I would not recommend switching to DSL, even if you do not like your current service provider. DSL generally has at least twice the latency of cable or fiber based connections. Switching providers could also save you money on your internet subscription.

Cable Modem

Fix High Latency in Fortnite When Ping to Other Websites is Low

If your ping to 1.1.1.1 was low and your ping to the nearest Fortnite datacenter was high you have a couple of options. This could be a temporary issue due to congestion on the Fortnite side of things or it could be due to the routing used by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

If you only notice the issue occasionally it is likely due to something on the Fortnite side of things and you may not be able to fix this issue. Internet traffic congestion is not abnormal and can certainly affect games such as Fortnite, especially when the servers are at their busiest. This could include after a major game release, update, or simply at certain times of the day.

If you always experience high latency (ping) on Fortnite it may be due to how your Internet Service Provider (ISP) routes its traffic. Depending in the chosen path and the number of hops this can have a huge impact on your latency.

Test Your Internet Service Providers Routing

You can test this using the Traceroute function of your favorite command line tool. The Traceroute command for windows is tracert, and the Traceroute command for Mac / Linux is traceroute. This will show the hops between you and the Fortnite datacenter of your choosing.

Test using the datacenter nearest you.

  • NA-West: qosping-aws-us-west-1.ol.epicgames.com
  • NA-East: qosping-aws-us-east-1.ol.epicgames.com
  • Europe: qosping-aws-eu-west-3.ol.epicgames.com
  • Oceania: qosping-aws-ap-southeast-2.ol.epicgames.com
  • Brazil: qosping-aws-sa-east-1.ol.epicgames.com
  • Asia: qosping-aws-ap-northeast-1.ol.epicgames.com
  • Middle East: qosping-aws-me-south-1.ol.epicgames.com

You will end up with a result that looks something like this.

Traceroute Fortnite

Use a VPN Service

In some cases if the routing used by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is poor using a VPN with a server close to the Fortnite datacenter can be helpful. This will not work in all cases but in many cases this can reduce your latency significantly, especially if your ping to other websites is much lower than to Fortnite.

Using a VPN will only help if you use a quality reliable VPN service. Free VPNs will generally perform much worse than not using a VPN at all. There are a number of quality VPN service providers out there. The VPN service I use and recommend is ExpressVPN. They offer servers that are geographically close to the NA East, NA West, and European datacenter locations for optimal performance. ExpressVPN also offers a 30 risk free money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied you do not pay.

VPN for Fortnite

Change Internet Service Providers (ISPs

If using a VPN does not improve your latency your final option is to switch internet Service Providers (ISPs). While this not always an option in all locations, it can be a good solution for many people. If you are currently using DSL based internet and have the option of switching service providers to a cable or fiber based internet connection you should do it. DSL is simply not able to meet the demands of modern internet usage.

If you currently have a cable or fiber based connection I would not recommend switching to DSL, even if you do not like your current service provider. DSL generally has at least twice the latency of cable or fiber based connections. Switching providers could also save you money on your internet subscription.

If you do not have any other ISPs in your area you may want to check out Starlink Internet Service from SpaceX.

Read Full Review of Starlink for Gaming Here

Conclusion

Latency is very frustrating when playing online games and ping spikes in Fortnite are no exception. High ping in Fortnite is unfortunately all too common. Distance from the game server, network congestion, and your internet connection speed can all play a factor. In this article we looked at various options that can help to reduce latency when connecting to Fortnite datacenters.

FAQ

How to fix Fortnite connection lag

The best way to fix connecting lag in Fortnite is to reduce your latency (ping) to the Fortnite server you are connecting to. It is also helpful to switch to using a wired ethernet connection rather than Wi-Fi. In some cases getting a new router can also be helpful, especially if you get a router with good QoS functionality.

Does VPN help with Fortnite

Generally a VPN is not recommended for online gaming. A VPN will increase your latency somewhat by adding additional hops to your internet traffic. There are a few situations where you may want to use a VPN for Fortnite. These include geo-restrictions, and DDoS protection. Otherwise using a VPN for gaming is generally not recommended at all. A VPN can easily double your ping in many cases.