The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Gaming Router

Do you love online gaming, but hate lag? Does your home Wi-Fi slow to a crawl when you fire up a game stream while your kids watch Netflix? Is cluttered cabling from ethernet cables snaking across rooms driving you crazy?

You need an upgrade to the right gaming router.

While standard internet routers may be just fine for basic web surfing and streaming on one device, they often can‘t keep up with the demands of high-traffic online gaming across multiple devices. Dropped connections, unplayable lag and painfully slow downloads ruin the experience.

Gaming routers provide extra speed, prioritization software, stronger signals and wired expansion to handle everything from intense Fortnite sessions to 8K game streams without overload or instability.

In this guide, we‘ll compare the top gaming routers to fit different spaces, gamers and budgets. You‘ll learn exactly what to evaluate when shopping to match the best router to your needs. Let‘s level up!

What Actually Makes a Great Gaming Router?

Gaming routers differ from standard internet routers in a few key ways:

  • Faster maximum wireless speeds – Where basic routers may offer 300-500Mbps combined throughput, gaming models reach 1Gbps, 6Gbps or even 10+ Gbps across bands. This massively reduces congestion when many devices connect simultaneously.

  • Prioritization software – Special Quality of Service (QoS) programming identifies gaming system traffic as high-priority. Your games receive bandwidth and low latency before other devices, preventing lag spikes.

  • Processor and memory – The best gaming routers pack stronger CPUs, extra RAM and expanded flash storage compared to regular models. This allows handling many connected devices concurrently without bogging down.

  • Mesh and signal expanding features – High-gain antennas, long-range amplifiers and mesh network support provide robust Wi-Fi across very large spaces for lag-free gaming anywhere at home.

While basic routers may be sufficient for light gaming needs, upgrading to a capable gaming router keeps connectivity optimized even under heavy loads from streaming, downloads and smart homes.

How to Pick the Perfect Gaming Router

With the right gaming router matched to your space, usage and budget, online play reaches the next level. When shopping, keep these factors in mind:

Wi-Fi Speeds

Faster maximum wireless throughput keeps everything flowing smoothly despite dozens of connected devices across bands trying to phone home simultaneously.

Today‘s best gaming routers exceed 1Gbps speeds per band and 6Gbps combined thanks to Wi-Fi 6. High-end models even break the 10Gbps barrier!

Why this matters: More bandwidth headroom prevents congestion bottlenecks when you‘ve got a 4K game stream broadcasting, massive game download and Netflix binge occurring concurrently.

Signal Range

While speed gets the headlines, range matters just as much! Your router’s Wi-Fi needs to provide a strong, reliable signal across every room (including basement/attic gaming dens).

Robust routers transmit reliably up to 5,000 sq ft or more thanks to high-gain antennas and amplifiers. Support for mesh networks through satellites prevents dead zones in tricky areas.

Why it‘s important: Weak signal and drop-offs spell lag and disconnects during intense online gaming and streams. Expanding your gaming Wi-Fi footprint keeps play consistent room-to-room.

Gaming-Specific Features

General connectivity won‘t cut it for ideal gaming. Prioritization programming like Quality of Service (QoS) and band steering identify gaming system traffic and route it accordingly so competitive play won‘t get choked. Real-time network monitoring provides insight on ping, latency and drops. For streamers, some routers even allow direct camera wiring connections.

How you benefit: When other household members chew through bandwidth streaming video or downloading files, QoS ensures gaming connectivity won’t take a hit. Your network works for YOUR needs.

Gaming router vs. regular router comparison

Comparison of hardware differences in gaming router vs. regular router

Price Considerations

Inexpensive routers below $100 simply lack the memory, broadcasting power and software capabilities a dedicated gaming router provides. Expect to spend $200+ for robust future-proofed models, while premium routers with bleeding-edge features push past $500.

Consider your budget, but don’t shortchange connectivity if competitive gaming is a priority.

Wired Expansion

While Wi-Fi handles most connectivity, gamers need ethernet ports for hardware like desktop rigs, consoles and NAS drives when peak throughput matters most.

Look for routers with at least four Gigabit LAN ports. High-end models feature ultra-fast multi-Gig 2.5/5/10Gbps WAN/LAN ports future-proofed for next-gen gear.


Don‘t neglect security! Gaming routers safeguard your network and devices with WPA3 encryption, firewalls, VPN access and threat monitoring via firmware designed for low-latency. Some routers include full security suite subscriptions.

Now let’s reveal router recommendations for every type of gamer…

The 6 Best Gaming Routers

1. Best Overall: Asus ROG GT-AXE11000

The feature-packed Asus ROG GT-AXE11000 sits upon the gaming router throne. It’s an ideal fit for media-heavy households thanks to Wi-Fi 6 tri-band speeds exceeding 10Gbps and a powerful 1.8Ghz quad-core processor to handle immense demands.

Eight Gigabit LAN ports allow wiring multiple PCs, consoles, NAS boxes and more. Two USB 3.0 ports link storage pools and printers. Professional-level security software keeps threats at bay.

Asus flexes their technical muscles further with gamer-centric traffic shaping, an extra 2.5G WAN and mesh expandability. If you want the ultimate future-proofed gaming router no matter the cost, this tour de force can’t be beaten.

2. Best Budget: D-Link DIR-867

Costing a fraction of premium models, the wise D-Link DIR-867 still packs helpful gaming enhancements. Combined wireless throughput up to 1750Mbps won‘t break records but keeps online play smooth and fast while 4 external antennas maintain signals across medium spaces.

The MediaBridge app diagnoses connection issues quickly when you need immediate help. Smart beamforming detects gaming devices and focuses bandwidth their way. Integrated MU-MIMO allows simultaneous streaming across bands minus disruption. This value-packed D-Link has you covered without emptying your wallet.

3. Best WiFi 6E Router: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

On the cutting edge side, Netgear‘s RAXE500 brings the brand new 6GHz band through WiFi 6E support for congestion-free 10.8Gbps speeds. It’s built for next-gen devices. The quad-core processor chews through 8K video streaming, VR gaming and smart home demands. Five Gigabit LAN ports allow expansion.

Nighthawk routers pack amplifiers and antennas to cover larger homes. Netgear‘s mesh systems can further expand that blanket with satellites. Custom gaming dashboard monitors network metrics like ping and jitter rates.

While pricey, it brings elite future-proofed power perfect for early tech adopters.

4. Best Plug & Play: TP-Link Archer GX90

Gamers just want to play – not tweak settings for hours. TP-Link‘s Archer GX90 makes getting up and running simple for gaming newbies while still offering customization tools for network geeks. The Tether app provides guided installation plus remote access for monitoring quality metrics down the road.

Eight LAN ports allow wiring peripherals while link aggregation combines two ports for up to 2Gbps throughput to beefy gaming desktops. Triple-band Wi-Fi 6 reaches speeds up to 1.8Gbps across bands ensuring lag-free connectivity for dozens of devices. Still, it‘s the friendly setup and control helping this router stand out.

5. Best for Esports: Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900

Serious competitors demand every gaming advantage. Asus built the Rapture GT-AC2900 expressly for esports domination. It pushes Wi-Fi 6 to the limits with quad-stream 1.8Gbps speeds and dedicated gaming traffic management skipping standard router queues. RangeBoost expands signals across larger spaces.

The Gaming Dashboard serves real-time metrics on critical factors like ping times to help optimize connectivity. Two USB 3.0 ports allow direct peripheral links. Striking design including Aura RGB lighting makes this router stand out from the crowd almost as much as the elite performance.

6. Best Mesh Extension: Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 Mesh

Mesh routers amplify Wi-Fi across giant households by providing multiple access points that relay signals flawlessly room-to-room with dedicated wireless backhaul. No more dead zones!

Netgear‘s Orbi packs tri-band Wi-Fi 6 for up to 6Gbps speeds and 5,000 sq ft of coverage out of the box. Expand range further by adding satellite packs. Easy setup via smartphone app helps non-techie users get gaming quicker.

Support for over 100 devices means no fights over bandwidth between consoles, PCs, tablets and smart gear. When rivals can appear on any screen, blanket your castle with strong mesh Wi-Fi.

Real-World Router Performance

"After years struggling with a cheap, overburdened router constantly dropping my game streams, I took the plunge and bought the Asus ROG GT-AX6000 gaming router. Install took under 10 minutes with the intuitive app wizard. Immediately after setup I noticed snappier webpage loading and buffer-free Netflix streaming.

But the biggest improvement showed itself during a 25-player Destiny 2 co-op session I streamed to Twitch at 1080p60. Gameplay showed zero lag or artifacting on my end while chat reported perfect stream quality with no buffering on their side.

Plus I was downloading a 100GB game update concurrently without any hit to performance at all! My network is now ready for next-gen gaming and streaming demands thanks to my excellent gaming router."

– Jay M., gamer

Why a Gaming Router Matters

While it is possible to get by with a standard wireless router for gaming, there are compelling benefits to buying a router explicitly designed for gaming purposes:

  • Added Wi-Fi speed headroom reduces latency and prevents congestion which leads to lag or disconnects during crucial game moments. Every millisecond counts!

  • QoS and software prioritization ensures gaming connectivity remains consistent by not allowing your network to get choked by bandwidth-hogging services when it matters most.

  • Features purpose-built for gaming like port forwarding, device monitoring and direct hardware links provide advantages for competitive online play, streaming and reducing peripheral latency.

  • Better security including firewalls and threat blocking give peace of mind against getting booted by DDoS attacks or having your network performance impacted.

Take your gaming connectivity and experience to unmatched heights with a capable, feature-packed gaming router. It‘s a worthy investment!

FAQs about Gaming Routers

Do I really need a gaming router?

For light casual gaming needs, a standard router may suffice. However, bandwidth-hungrysesssions across many devices will benefit greatly from a gaming router‘s extra speeds, prioritization tech and signal strength. Reduced latency and lag-free gaming makes them absolutely worth the money!

What is the best gaming router?

The feature-loaded Asus ROG GT-AXE11000 stands at the top as best overall. Tri-band 11000Mbps Wi-Fi 6 speeds, eight ethernet ports, boosted processors and purpose-built gaming software check every box. Netgear, Linksys and TP-Link also offer excellent models catering to different budgets.

Is a mesh router suitable for gaming?

While not on par with dedicated gaming routers, mesh systems like the Netgear Orbi RBK852 provide excellent coverage across giant spaces in homes plagued by dead zones. Casual gaming holds up well, but hardcore esports fans still want solitary tri-band routers prioritizing their game traffic over mesh nodes for lowest possible latency.

Ready to step up your gaming network? Now that you know what to look for when shopping, pick the router that best fits your space, usage and budget limitations. With the right gear, lag and congestion become things of the past. Game on!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled