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Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

How to Fix Overwatch Lag Spikes & Packet Loss | 2024 Update

Kristina Perunicic Managing Editor

What's the biggest danger in Overwatch? Hint: it's not the other players.

Overwatch is a massive game. The players, fast-paced action and complex maps take up a huge amount of bandwidth. With the quick pace of fights and sudden escalations of action, your internet connection will struggle to keep up.

The biggest dangers in Overwatch are frequent lag spikes and packet losses. Every Overwatch player knows what this means. The game slows down unexpectedly or your commands aren’t picked up quickly enough. And then you get wiped out.

Lag spikes and packet loss will ruin Overwatch. To avoid them, install a powerful VPN on your gaming device. Not only will this make your internet connection more stable, it will actually speed it up.

Quick Guide - How to Fix Overwatch Lag

  1. Choose a VPN - We recommend ExpressVPN for gaming.
  2. Install the VPN and connect to a server near you.
  3. That’s it! Your connection should be better.

Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

How a VPN Can Help You Fix Overwatch’s Lag & Packet Loss

There are many benefits to using a VPN. In this post, we’re going to focus on how a VPN will speed up and stabilize your internet connection while playing Overwatch. 

Massive Multiplayer Online Games (also known as MMOs) like Overwatch are, well, massive. Aside from the graphics and expansive maps, Overwatch has over 40 million players online. This all requires a huge amount of data being shared back-and-forth between you, the other players, and the game itself.

This data travels across limited internet networks, usually in players’ homes, shared with family members. These networks aren’t built for the size of data traffic required for a game like Overwatch. The result is frequent slowdowns in your connection, as the information is processed. 

You experience this as lag and latency in gameplay: you fire shoot on your controller but nothing happens until an excruciating amount of time has passed. And you’ve been killed.

Aside from the limitations of shared home networks, there is a much bigger issue. Internet service providers (ISPs) hate MMOs. 

Overwatch and ISP throttling

An ISP has a fixed total bandwidth and data processing power that it spreads amongst all its customers. Imagine millions of players logging on to Overwatch every day, sucking up all that data and bandwidth. This slows down other customers’ connections and increases costs for the ISP.

In response, ISPs throttle the bandwidth available to MMO players, deliberately slowing down your internet connection before you even start playing.

With a VPN, you can avoid all of this.

A VPN bypasses your ISP and hides your online activity. You can connect to speed-optimized servers close to your home network, but separate from other internet users. No longer competing for bandwidth, your internet connection will be more stable and much faster.

Secondly, by hiding your online activity, your ISP won’t know you’re playing Overwatch. As a result, you bypass ISP throttling and never have to worry about slow connection speeds ruining your game.

VPNs provide many, many benefits to gamers. Not just in connection speeds, but also keeping you safe while you play. However, not all VPNs are strong enough to accommodate an MMO like Overwatch.

You require a robust VPN that offers a selection of thousands of high-speed servers.

The Best VPN for Fixing Lag & Packet Loss

Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.
  • 3,000 speed-optimized servers across the globe
  • Advanced security features protect you from DDoS attacks
  • Stable connections mean your internet speed never takes a hit
  • Simple, easy-to-use apps
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs in the world and is very popular with our readers. It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re playing Overwatch, ExpressVPN’s enormous library of servers guarantees lightning fast, stable connections.

It bypasses all the limitations of your personal network by using military-grade encryption to hide your data in a protective tunnel. No longer competing with your family or neighbors for bandwidth, lag and latency issues will be a thing of the past.

At the same time, ExpressVPN’s industry-leading suite of privacy and security tools will keep you safe online. Along with the added encryption, it offers DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and strict no-logs policy. You can rest assured you’re safe from DDoS attacks or online fraud.

You can try ExpressVPN risk-free with its money-back guarantee, so you can play Overwatch with it running in the background and if you’re not impressed, claim a full refund within 30 days.

ExpressVPN can unblock:
  • Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes, on all servers.

ExpressVPN works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers.
ExpressVPN Offer June 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

Other Ways to Fix Lag & Packet Loss

ExpressVPN is the simplest, quickest, and most effective way to reduce Overwatch lag spikes. However, there may be other issues slowing your internet connection down. To ensure your VPN is effective, use the following list to optimize your Overwatch set up and check for problems.

  • Use an ethernet cable: A wired internet connection is faster and more stable than wi-fi. Connect your gaming device directly to your router to reduce lag and other issues.
  • Disconnect other devices: While playing, it is advisable to verify which other devices, such as your phone or tablet, are connected to your network and disconnect any unnecessary ones.
  • Change your network password: There might be other people using your network without your knowledge or consent. Changing the network password is a good way to remove them and free up your bandwidth.
  • Check your hardware: Old or damaged equipment like overheating routers and network cables will slow down your connections. Repair or upgrade them where necessary. Try rebooting your modem and router by unplugging them for 30 minutes.
  • Close background processes: This is especially important on Mac and Windows computers.  Web browsers, torrenting, file downloads, and system updates are a few examples of computer processes that slow your connection. Unless essential, close them any time you're playing Overwatch.
  • Adjust Overwatch in-game settings: Overwatch uses a number of features to create the stunning visual we all love. However, they all take up bandwidth and some aren't necessary for an amazing experience. Try turning off Triple Bufffering, Anti-Aliasing, and Vsync in your game settings. You can also reduce the FPS (frames-per-second) to 30.
  • Upgrade your network: It might just be a case that your internet plan isn't providing enough bandwidth. Check with your internet service provider to see what options are available for a faster connection. A 5mbps connection is the minimum to enjoy Overwatch with seamless speeds.

Summary

Experiencing a stalled connection and getting wiped out by an inexperienced player during an intense Overwatch match can be incredibly frustrating, embarrassing, and entirely preventable.

Follow the steps we've outlined here, install ExpressVPN on your gaming devices, and lag spikes will be a thing of the past. 

All you have to worry about is picking the best hero to dominate the other teams.

Further Reading

Every online game is faster and safer when you use a VPN. To help you choose, we've tested and selected the best VPNs for gaming.

Speed is crucial when choosing a VPN for gaming. Make sure you only use one of the 5 fastest VPNs.

Still not sure? Check out these amazing VPN coupon codes and deals for incredible discounts.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Kristina Perunicic is a former editor for vpnMentor. She’s a cybersecurity expert with an interest in VPNs and their importance in the digital privacy landscape.

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