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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 League of Legends Lag Spikes & Ping Issues (2024)

Georgii Chanturidze Published on 11th June 2024 Fact-checked by Ryan Jones Senior Writer

League of Legends can lag even on high-end PCs with solid internet. LoL is known to cause lag spikes, FPS drops, and input problems for no reason. It can be really frustrating when the game lags out, just as you’ve perfectly timed your last hit on a minion.

My guide covers how to fix all kinds of LoL lag and performance issues. I’ll go over network troubleshooting, driver updates, and how to optimize settings both for the game and your device. I’ll also teach you some advanced and obscure fixes you won’t find on Reddit. Let’s get started.

Short on Time? Here Are the Easiest Ways to Fix LoL Lags, FPS Drops & Input Issues in 2024

  1. Hextech Repair — Use the official Hextech Repair Tool to automatically fix common issues and repair game files.
  2. Try different LoL servers — Check the status of gaming servers and use a VPN to change your LoL server if necessary.
  3. Tweak graphics settings — Adjust in-game graphics settings, update drivers, and enable the proper GPU.
  4. Close redundant apps — Close third-party VoIP apps, gaming software, and firewalls.
  5. Clean up files — Allocate 16GB of free hard drive space by deleting unnecessary files.

Pro Tip: Use a VPN to Fix League of Legends Lag

A VPN can reduce LoL lag by encrypting your data, helping you avoid speed throttling. Some ISPs can deliberately reduce your speeds if they detect high-bandwidth activity like gaming. When you use a VPN, your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online, reducing the chance of LoL lag or connection issues caused by throttling.

VPNs also disguise your IP address, allowing you to switch to another game server. Say your usual European server is experiencing issues, so you’d like to play on NA in the meantime. A VPN will allow you to appear as if you’re browsing from the States, allowing you to sign up for and play NA League of Legends. In addition, as VPNs hide your real IP address, DDoS’ers will struggle to find and target your home network.

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

How to Fix League of Legends Lag (Lag Spikes and Low Ping) — 5 Best Ways

League of Legends can lag for all sorts of reasons. Here are fixes for some of the most common causes:

1. Check Server Status and Test Ping

LoL’s game servers can experience several problems. The farther you are from your chosen servers, the higher the chance of experiencing latency issues (the delay in the time that data takes to transfer from your computer to Riot game servers and back).

You might also experience packet loss due to server overloads or maintenance. Packet loss happens when data packets fail to reach either a user's computer or Riot's game servers. Ideally, packet loss should be minimized to near 0% for optimal performance.

Here’s how you can check the game server status:

  • Visit the server status page to ensure the issue isn't affecting everyone.
  • Test the ping in a custom game (so you don’t get punished by the LeaverBuster system for leaving a public match).
  • Use the Lag Report tool to measure the quality of your ISP's connection to the game server.
  • Test your connection on another game server using a VPN.

2. Turn Off Interfering Apps, Processes, or Antivirus Software

Lag in LoL often happens due to other apps and background system processes. Running anything unnecessary at the same time as gaming can use up vital device resources. To make sure nothing’s interfering with the game, try the following:

  • Stop background processes. Close non-essential tasks with the Task Manager. To open it, press Ctrl + Alt + Del twice on Windows or Cmd + Alt + Esc on Mac, and select the End Task option. It’s also a good idea to assign the game as a high-priority task, which should help increase its performance.
  • Close VoIP apps. Apps like Discord and Skype can slow down your game due to bandwidth consumption and in-game overlays.
  • Turn off your antivirus. Either disable your antivirus temporarily (to see if it’s causing the issue) or make sure League of Legends is on its exception list.
  • Deactivate the Windows Firewall. Navigate to System and Security, select Windows Firewall, and turn it off temporarily.
  • Temporarily turn off the Xbox app. If installed on your computer, it’s recommended to deactivate it. Numerous players have reported that the app frequently consumes bandwidth, leading to ping spikes in League of Legends.

3. Set Up a Public DNS Server

ISP routing issues can affect your connection stability and speed. ISPs use their own private DNS servers, but you can switch to Google Public DNS — a free network of servers — to improve your gaming experience.

  • Open network settings.
    • On Windows: Click the Start menu and type “Network Connections”. Right-click on your connection and select Properties.
    • On Mac: Go to System Preferences, select Network, pick your connection, and hit Advanced.
  • Navigate to the DNS tab. If you’re on Windows, right-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select Properties.
  • Change the DNS. Use the addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.
Screenshot of DNS settings to fix LoL lagThis should switch you to Google's public DNS servers, potentially reducing LoL stuttering

4. Fix WiFi Connection Issues

WiFi problems and signal obstructions can disrupt your connection quality. Your device’s system settings can also cause problems with your WiFi connection. Here are a few ways to solve these issues:

  • Enhance your signal strength with a WiFi repeater that amplifies coverage.
  • Move items like cordless phones and microwaves away from your router to reduce interference.
  • Switch to a wired Ethernet connection for more stable internet speeds. If using Ethernet isn't feasible, a powerline Ethernet adapter can help extend your network to areas with poor Wi-Fi coverage.
  • If switching to a wired Ethernet connection doesn't resolve lag issues, the next steps could involve upgrading your internet package for higher bandwidth and speed or trying network optimization techniques like opening ports and using port-forwarding.
  • Combine a home network with public WiFi or a 4G/LTE dongle if you play LoL on a computer. This setup can improve connection stability and reduce lag, leveraging the strengths of multiple internet sources.
  • Consider disconnecting mobile devices from the WiFi to reduce bandwidth strain.
  • Turn on Quality of Service (QoS) if available in your router’s settings to prioritize gaming data packets.

5. Use a VPN to Prevent Speed Throttling

ISPs or specific WiFi networks can intentionally slow down your speed if they detect that you’re using a lot of bandwidth (like while playing LoL). By connecting to a VPN server, you can encrypt your traffic to prevent ISPs and networks from detecting what you do online. Since they can’t tell you’re gaming, they can’t throttle your speeds. This helps you play LoL without lags on public WiFi, including restrictive hotspots in offices and schools.

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Best Ways to Fix FPS Drops and Performance Issues

In-game and system settings can also cause various performance problems. Players often confuse lagging with low FPS, which are distinct issues. Lag is a network problem causing delays, while low FPS is due to your computer's processing limitations, affecting game smoothness. Try these solutions on your device to solve LoL lag spikes and disconnects.

1. Verify the File Integrity

The Hextech Repair Tool can automatically solve technical problems in LoL. This free software verifies your game files are intact and can fix many issues, including FPS drops. It can also optimize your firewall settings and collect logs that Riot Games can use to troubleshoot any complications.

  1. Install the software. Download the Hextech Repair Tool from Riot Games' official website.
  2. Run the tool as administrator. Select the region where you play LoL.
  3. Select the solution. You can verify installation, repatch, or modify firewall settings.
Image of HexTech tool to fix LoL lags & FPS issuesYou can also change your firewall and DNS settings with this tool to fix connection lags in LoL

2. Modify Your Game Settings

Changing your graphics and resolution settings can fix LoL performance issues. It helps the game use less of your computer's power, making it run smoother.

  • Disable Full Screen Optimization. On Windows, right-click the League of Legends.exe file. Select Properties, go to Compatibility, and check Disable Full Screen Optimization.
  • Use Low Spec Mode. Click the gear icon in the LoL client, go to the General tab, and enable Low Spec Mode. This disables some of the larger visual effects and animations that can take up a lot of resources.
  • Close client during game. When enabled, this setting shuts down the League of Legends client while you are in a game, freeing up system resources like RAM and CPU power that the client would otherwise be using.
  • Modify in-game video settings. In the game, head to Video settings and decrease texture and shadow quality, effects, and other graphics options.
  • Change screen settings. Also, under Video settings, set the resolution and FPS to match your monitor's capabilities.
  • Turn off Anti-Aliasing and Wait for Vertical Sync (V-Sync). Deactivating Anti-Aliasing reduces the graphical load, which can increase your FPS, especially on less powerful hardware. Turning off V-Sync can reduce input lag and potentially increase FPS, but it might lead to screen tearing if your FPS goes higher than your monitor's refresh rate.
  • Use Legacy Mode. You can also enable DX9 Legacy Mode under the Game settings. This uses an older version of gaming software that works better with older devices (LoL currently supports DirectX 9, 10, and 11, but some graphics cards don’t work with newer DX versions).
Screenshot of enabling Prefer DX9 Legacy Mode in LoLAlternatively, you can change the graphics quality level to low or very low

3. Clean Your Hard Drive and Delete Files

LoL requires at least 16GB of disk space to run smoothly and apply patches. Having a full hard drive can lead to FPS drops, stuttering, and crashes.

  • Uninstall unneeded software. Press the Windows key and navigate to Add or Remove Programs. For Mac, you can review programs under Finder > Applications.
  • Delete temporary and junk files. To find junk files on Windows, press the Windows key + R and type in %temp%, Temp, and prefetch. On Mac, you can find temporary files in ~/Library/Caches/folder. Don’t forget to empty your Recycle bin.

4. Enable the Dedicated Graphics Card (GPU)

Some computers have both integrated and dedicated graphics cards. You can greatly improve performance in LoL by enabling a dedicated card.

  • Nvidia GeForce. Right-click on your desktop and select the Nvidia Control Panel. Go to Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings > League of Legends and select High-performance NVIDIA processor.
  • AMD Radeon GPU. Right-click on your desktop and choose AMD Radeon Settings. Go to System > Switchable Graphics > League of Legends > Options and select High Performance.
  • Intel. Right-click on your desktop and choose Graphics Properties (or Intel Graphics Settings). Navigate to Advanced Mode > 3D and set the 3D Preference to Performance (this enables a dedicated card for all apps).
Screenshot of enabling dedicated GPU to fix LoL lagsJust note that your laptop will lose power faster if you enable your dedicated graphics card

5. Update GPU and Operating System Drivers

Outdated drivers for GPU and operating systems (CPU) can bottleneck LoL performance. You can manually or automatically update your drivers to fix FPS issues and crashes. Download the latest updates manually from the official websites of your GPU and CPU manufacturer or go to:

  • Windows Update tab. Press the Windows key and type “Check for Updates” to scan for available drivers.
  • Mac Software Update. Click on the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, and select Software Update to scan for updates.
  • GPU drivers on Windows. You can easily update your GPU driver by installing the official Nvidia GeForce Experience or AMD Radeon Software tools.

6. Optimize Energy-Saving Preferences

Changing your computer's power settings can improve how well LoL runs, at the cost of increased power usage.

  • Adjust for best performance:
    • On Windows: Press the Windows key + R, type “View Advanced system settings,” go to Performance settings, and select Adjust for best performance.
    • On Mac: Open System Preferences, click on Battery (or Energy Saver), and choose Best Performance from the Power Mode.
  • Disable Battery Saver mode on your laptop. Find this option in the Energy Recommendations settings in Windows or the Energy Saver (Battery) settings on Mac.
  • Turn off GPU Switching on Mac. To prevent the system from automatically switching GPUs, navigate to System Preferences > Battery (or Energy Saver in older OSs) and disable Automatic Graphic Switching.
  • Charge your laptop while you play. Some laptops may automatically throttle performance or internet speeds when playing LoL on battery.
  • Monitor device temperature. Keep an eye on your system's heat levels and use programs that moderate system heat to avoid LoL lags.

7. Optimize Your Windows Settings

Changing specific settings on your Windows laptop or PC can be effective in fixing FPS drops and performance issues:

  • Windows Game Mode. This mode is designed to optimize your computer's performance for gaming. When activated, it prioritizes gaming applications, which can help improve FPS and reduce latency. It does this by managing system resources more effectively and minimizing background activities that could impact gaming performance.
  • Configuring Performance Options on Windows. This setting fine-tunes how your system allocates resources to the game, enhancing its performance. Go to the System and Security settings. Click System and Advanced system settings. On the Advanced tab, click Settings… in the Performance section. On the Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance and click OK.

Best Ways to Fix LoL Input Lag (Keyboard and Mouse Delays)

Sometimes, hardware is the issue. If your problem is that button inputs aren’t being picked up by the game in a reasonable time (if at all), you’re likely experiencing input delay. Here are some fixes:

1. Reset Bound Keys

Corrupted input files may be why keystrokes are not detected in League of Legends. Here's a quick way to reset the file:

  1. Locate the Config folder. Once in-game, hit alt + tab and navigate to C:\Riot Games\League of Legends\Config (if installed in the default location).
  2. Delete input.ini file. If this file exists in the folder, delete it.
  3. Edit persistedSettings.json file. Open this file, press Ctrl + F, and search for input.ini. Delete the text between the 2 braces — { and }
  4. Restart the game. Relaunch League of Legends to save your settings.

2. Uninstall Third-Party Gaming Software

Third-party gaming software for controllers or peripherals can cause in-game lag in LoL. You can delete it completely by doing the following:

  • Uninstall keyboard and mouse software. This includes popular apps for Razer, Logitech, and Windows controllers.
  • Clean registry files. Use cleaning tools like CCleaner or Registry Editor (press the Windows key and type Registry Editor).

3. Disable Software Mouse Mode (Mac)

You can experience mouse lag on Mac due to Software Mouse mode. To turn this option on and off in-game:

  • Go to the Options menu, click on the Game tab, and uncheck Use Software Mouse (this may drop your framerate on low-end devices).

How to Create a Support Ticket for Riot Games

If all else fails, the Riot Games support team can handle different types of League of Legends issues. So, if you can’t solve your problems, try contacting them directly:

  1. Visit the support site. On the Riot Games support page, choose League of Legends.
  2. Choose the request type. Pick Tech Issues: Install, Patch, Lag or Crashes.
  3. Submit a ticket. Describe your problem as specifically as possible. Include any relevant screenshots to help the support team better understand what’s going on.
  4. Wait for the response. You can check your ticket status and talk with the support team via your My Request page.

How to Stay Safe While Playing LoL

DDoS attacks can wreak havoc on your connection, preventing you from playing League of Legends entirely. As well as preventing ISP throttling and letting you switch game servers, a VPN can also keep you safe from DDoSing.

When you connect to a VPN, it reroutes your connection through a private server. This masks your IP address with one from the VPN server instead. That means VPNs hide your real IP address, so it can’t be targeted. VPNs also encrypt your traffic, keeping it safe if you game on public WiFi networks (which are often unsecured and vulnerable to hackers).

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Best VPNs for Fixing League of Legends Lag in 2024

  1. ExpressVPN — The fastest VPN for gaming I’ve tested that allows you to easily bypass ISP throttling and enjoy low-latency League of Legends matches.
  2. CyberGhost — Gaming-optimized servers designed for low-ping gameplay along with beginner-friendly apps — so you can get straight to playing League.
  3. Private Internet Access — Unlimited simultaneous connections, so you and your friends can safely play LoL on all of your devices.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

FAQs on Fixing LoL Lags

What causes League of Legends lagging?

LoL usually lags due to network or performance issues. These problems often intertwine, meaning you may need to resolve multiple common problems to make LoL more reliable. Lag in League of Legends manifests in various ways. Network connection issues affect how fast your commands communicate with the game server. Performance issues affect how smoothly your game performs and how many frames per second (FPS) you see on screen.

So lag can present as FPS drops, rubber banding, stuttering within the game, delays, or problems associated with high ping. Here are some common causes of lag issues:

  • Unreliable network connection: An unstable or slow internet connection can cause frequent disruptions in gameplay.
  • LoL server lags: Riot’s game servers sometimes experience issues that slow the game for every player on the server.
  • Conflicting programs/processes: Some background programs can use up your internet or hard drive resources, affecting LoL performance.
  • Outdated drivers: Graphics card and CPU drivers should be updated regularly to avoid them affecting the game.
  • In-game settings: Running LoL on very high settings can strain PCs not equipped for it.
  • Hard drive clutter: A cluttered or nearly full hard drive can cause your device to struggle to run League of Legends.
  • WiFi interference: Weak routers, signal interference, or too many active devices will interrupt your connection to LoL servers or take up vital bandwidth needed for online gaming.
  • Poor heat management: Your PC or laptop can overheat if it is not well-ventilated or cooled, degrading the game’s performance.

What are the recommended specs for lag-free LoL gaming?

Riot Games advises using Windows 11 or MacOS 11 for optimal performance. To mitigate lag, adjusting in-game settings can enhance performance. For smoother gameplay, here are the recommended requirements for both Windows and Mac:

Windows:

  • Graphics: NVidia: GeForce 560, AMD: Radeon HD 6950, Intel UHD 630 Integrated Graphics
  • Processor: Intel: Core i5-3300, AMD: Ryzen 3 1200
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9C or better
  • Storage: 16GB of available space (SSD is preferable)

Mac:

  • Graphics: AMD: Radeon HD 6950, Intel UHD 630 Integrated Graphics
  • Processor: Intel: Core i5-3300
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9C or better
  • Storage: 16GB of available space (SSD is preferable)

Can I play LoL on my smartphone or tablet?

You can use screen mirroring tools to play LoL on your mobile device via your PC or Mac. However, you can’t install the game directly on your mobile device, and you need a stable connection to play LoL lag-free. Alternatively, you can play the mobile-friendly League of Legends: Wild Rift on your Android or iOS devices.

How do I fix sound issues in LoL?

It depends on your issue. Usually, you can solve sound issues by checking in-game settings. Ensure the sound is not muted, and the volume sliders are appropriately adjusted. Here are other solutions that may help:

  • Ensure that you’ve selected the proper audio device. On Windows, right-click the Speaker icon, go to Playback devices, and enable the right device. On Mac, go to System Preferences > Sound > Output.
  • Check the volume mixer. Make sure the LoL app isn’t muted in the Volume mixer (in the Sound section of the System settings on Windows).
  • Update your sound drivers. From the Windows Start menu, select Device Manager, right-click on your audio device, and press Update driver. On Mac, simply check for any new software updates available under About This Mac.
  • Disable third-party audio software. Tools like Nvidia or Logitech might disrupt sound in LoL.
  • Disable surround sound. If you’re not using surround sound speakers or a headset, disable this mode in Windows to prevent the loss of certain sounds.

Conclusion

Different problems can affect your in-game ping, framerate, and mouse input — all leading to annoying League of Legends lags. Even subtle issues like full-screen optimizations and mouse settings can cause the game to lag out at critical moments. Thankfully, each problem has a solution. So just follow the steps outlined above, and you should be enjoying lag-free, uninterrupted matches in no time.

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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

Georgii Chanturidze is a Senior Writer at vpnMentor with a knack for VPNs, cloud services, and anti-malware tools. He meticulously researches and tests services for vpnMentor’s readers, providing valuable, accurate information.

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