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How to Reduce Xbox Live Packet Loss

That moment when the “You have high packet loss” error message starts flashing on the screen can be one of the most frustrating experiences for Xbox users. It can create a lot of confusion and have a significant impact on your game. Dealing with this problem may require different steps such as checking your internet connection and possibly getting a router. Before we talk about how you can reduce Xbox Live packet loss, we should start with the definition of packet loss. Packet loss takes place when the data traveling across a computer network and/or the internet is unable to reach its destination.

Reducing packet loss

If it doesn’t happen too often, packet loss shouldn’t be a major issue, but if the packet loss percentage increases, it can severely affect the network’s reliability. Packet loss can eventually result on poor game performance. You may not be able to play the games that you want due to the error message letting you know about the high packet loss issue. Thankfully, there are ways to fix packet loss, but it should be noted that the method that you choose will depend on the cause behind the packet loss.

In general, packet loss is related to the reliability of your internet connection. Nowadays, many people have highly efficient internet connections that offer speed that is good enough to support gaming. There are different sources that allow you to test the speed of your connection. In order to test these solutions, the only additional equipment that you may need is an Ethernet cable, assuming that your wireless router is working well.

Power cycle (reboot) the console and/or wireless router

This is the most simple method and it is the first option that you should try. All you need to do is to power cycle (switch off and on again) your console and wireless router. This can help because in some cases, there is a simple issue or bug affecting the network and it can be fixed by resetting the network connection. It may be easier to disconnect and then reconnect the Xbox connection before starting. In order to do this, you just need to open your network settings and select “Go offline”.

In case that doesn’t work, you can reset the modem and/or router by unplugging it and leaving it off for a while. You need to do the same with your Xbox and once this is done, switch on the Xbox and check the connection.

Disconnect third-party headsets (if you use WiFi)

This is another method that you can try if resetting the connection doesn’t solve the issue. It is possible that the issue is related to interference from another device. Usually, the problem is related to third party headsets that use the same frequency as the wireless router. To check if this is the issue, you can switch off the third-party headset and check the network to find out if the problem is gone.

Check for other interference (if you use WiFi)

If you confirm that the issue is not caused by third-party headsets, it may be that the culprit is another kind of electronic device or possibly a static object. There are two main types of interference, one is active and the other is passive. Active interference is related to electronic devices like baby monitors, microwaves and other wireless network. Passive interference on the other hand, is related to walls, mirrors, closets and other objects that could disrupt the wireless signal. To find out if this is the issue, you will need to try to switch off or remove any devices or objects that may be affecting the wireless signal. Make sure that there are no objects between the Xbox and your router.

Use Cables

An alternative to get rid of the interference is to use an Ethernet cable instead of WiFi. This may not be possible in all cases, but if you can do it, it is an effective way to eliminate the risk of wireless interference. Using Ethernet cabling is the best option and it is recommended to opt for it whenever possible. WiFi is half-duplex, which means that it is not the optimal choice for online gaming. In contrast, Ethernet is a full-duplex option and it may be better to manage data sensitive traffic.

Check the distance (if you are using WiFi)

Even if you can connect to your wireless network, distance can be an issue as the signal can become weaker and worse as the distance grows. In addition, it should be noted that being too close to the router can be an issue because of the interference. Microsoft, the manufacturers of Xbox, recommend to keep the Xbox console at a distance between 1.5 and 15 meters from the router. Make sure that your Xbox is set at around this distance, if that is possible.

Check if there are Xbox Live issues

If nothing else seems to work to reduce the packet loss, it is possible that the packet loss is due to an issue with Xbox Live. In that case, all you can do is to have patience and wait until the issue is fixed by Xbox.

Advanced solution

If you tried all the above without success and also confirmed that the issue wasn’t caused by Xbox Live, there is something else that you can try. There is a possibility that your router is the cause of the packet loss and in order to find out if this is the case, you need to follow the below steps:

  1. Start by plugging the Xbox into your router using an Ethernet cable and perform a speed test.
  2. Plug the Xbox into your modem and test the speed using Speedtest.net
  3. Once you are connected directly to the modem, you will notice a slight increase in the speed compared to when you are connected to the router. If there is a significant increase in the speed between your connection to the modem and the connection to the router, it is likely that there is an issue with your router.

If you confirm that the issue is related to the router and your Internet Service Provider is not able to help you, you can reset the router to the factory default. Just keep in mind that all the configuration settings will be lost. It is important that you contact the ISP/Service provider before doing anything.