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What Does DNS Do For Gaming?

The Domain Name System (popularly called DNS) is the internet’s phonebook. It functions as a callback and cataloging system for the IP addresses of devices and resources on networks like the internet.

The DNS holds data necessary for the internet to work like it does today — as a resource linking domain names with various types of information on the network.

This article will answer a few essential questions about DNS and gaming. In particular, it’ll address DNS’ effect on gaming and download speeds, which DNS works best for gaming, and other things you need to know about DNS and gaming. 

What Does DNS Do For Gaming?

DNS improves the gaming experience for users via its speed and high-security nature. It improves latency and reduces ping, allowing gamers to enjoy their activities and minimize lag issues. DNS also reduces packet loss, enables wider customizability with websites, and eliminates jitter.

The DNS might seem complicated, but it works in pretty much the same way as phonebooks do. Internet-enabled devices and resources on a network need to communicate with each other for information to move across the entire network. Therefore, they use unique identifiers — known as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses — to recognize one another.

However, IP addresses can be long and challenging for humans to remember, which is where domain names come in. By themselves, domain names offer little information for networks and digital devices. It’s the DNS that translates the domain name to its corresponding IP address within the digital network.

Although the DNS’s job is straightforward, its quality can affect how quickly these translations occur, impacting your overall internet experience. Basically, your internet connection and gaming experience are only as good as the quality of your DNS. 

DNS Explained

Which DNS Is Best For Gaming?

The best DNS for gaming is Google Public DNS, the largest and most popular DNS server on the internet. It is a non-authoritative server that provides all the benefits a gamer may require from a DNS. Google Public DNS cuts lag, supports IPv6, and improves internet security.

Technically, there are two types of DNS services: Authoritative DNS and Recursive DNS. Authoritative DNS servers hold resource records, control the entire translation process, and fulfill queries all by themselves. On the other hand, Recursive DNS resolvers fulfill queries by making concurrent requests across the network until it locates a suitable server (typically an authoritative DNS) with the required resource record.

Google public DNS was released in 2009 and is a free and reliable service for internet activities such as gaming. It improves users’ internet experience by enhancing security and providing low-ping and smooth gaming experiences.

You can use Google Public DNS today by taking the steps below:

  1. Set your preferred DNS server to 8.8.8.8
  2. Set your alternate DNS server to 8.8.4.4

Does DNS Affect Ping In Games?

DNS can slightly reduce ping and improve latency in games. However, the DNS must be a high-quality, high-speed server to have the desired effect. You may also need to modify in-game settings to get the result you want.

A DNS normally offers a plethora of servers for you to choose from. Therefore, you can use it to get “closer” to the server by choosing a server that’s as close to your location as possible.

However, since the DNS cannot alter the fundamentals of your internet connection, changing servers may not make much of a difference. It may also not work for all games as some titles don’t let you choose servers.

Although your internet quality is one of the most vital factors that affect online gaming, the distance between users and the gaming server also plays an important role. Usually, the closer you are to the server, the lower the ping.

Is It Worth It To Switch DNS On Console?

It’s not worth it to switch DNS on a console. DNS may offer certain benefits, but they are not so different from what your regular IP address will give you. However, you can switch it on console if you notice a significant improvement in your gameplay when it is active.

It’s no surprise that online games have become all the rage in the last decade, considering how much games have improved. Many of these games allow you to select servers and even alter your DNS settings significantly. Changing your DNS doesn’t mean you change ISPs, but it does mean you alter where your device’s information originates.

I’d recommend you test DNS on your console before making a permanent switch. Although most gamers argue that DNS is just hype, it may improve your gaming experience.

Does DNS Affect Download Speed?

DNS does not affect download speed, but it does affect the downloading process. A slow DNS can cause pages to load slowly since it takes more time to resolve queries. Therefore, it can add more time to the entire download process.

However, the effects of a slow DNS usually fade away when the requested web page has loaded, and a connection has been established with the required server. Nevertheless, I’d recommend you tweak your computer’s DNS to ensure quicker query resolution and boost overall system performance.

Final Thoughts

How DNS affects your gaming experience depends on the speed of your server and the quality of your hardware. You can choose to switch your DNS, but the impact on your gaming may be negligible if the above factors aren’t present. 

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👋 Hey There, I'm Eric!

Since 2018, I've been making streams come true.

I like gaming, streaming and watching other people stream. I created this website to help streamers and viewers of streams answer some of the questions they may have regarding live streaming. I am a Twitch affiliate and currently stream on Twitch 3 days a week. I hope you find my content helpful. Feel free to stop by one of my streams to say hi.