It is a long way before you go finding the best wireless router for gaming to buy. The first thing is to have a good cable or fiber internet connection allowing larger data transfers. Moving on, if you are sure you don’t want the better connectivity of an Ethernet, then stick to one of the following. The Netgear router we tested, as well as the ASUS router, were both top quality.
Having the best gaming router also means you get the best of Netflix, Twitch and more. Since these beasts have the power of turning your home into a go-to gaming party spot, you are bound to pay more than your ordinary internet routers.
Testing to Find the Best Wireless Router for Gaming
We have had the pleasure of testing a number of affordable models like the Linksys router down below as well as some really high end (and expensive) models like the ASUS router right next to it. Through and through, it is a matter of what will fulfill your requirements because the options are literally endless. And, as the choices keep increasing, so does the budget.
Therefore, it is good to decide beforehand what feature set you are looking for. For instance, whether you want a Dual Band router or a Tri Band router, depending on the number of devices. Possibly a frequency that is closer to 5GHz and the latest 802.11 ac for those lucrative gigabits. And even before all these, you’ll decide the bandwidth you want as well as the data rate that would suit you.
Check out our top picks first before we head on to the more detailed roundups on our top picks.
ASUS Router ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
Connectivity, Speed and Security
We would have loved to pick the TP-Link router in the list below, but to be honest there are areas it got beaten through and through by the router at hand. This ASUS router can produce lightning fast throughput especially at 5GHz, and offer great durability to keep those high speeds.
Linksys Router WRT AC3200
Quality Performance, Maximum Reliability
We could have picked the infamous Netgear router, Nighthawk AC1900 for the best budget router pick, but that wouldn’t be fair to the Linksys model. It is certainly not the budget pick of our lot, but it is the PC router that offers the greatest value.
TPlink was possibly the first name I got acquainted with among gaming routers. They have a long history of providing not just affordable and basic routers but also some of the best wireless router models out there. And, the TP-Link Archer C5400X stands true to the latter. While it is one of the most high-end models in terms of range and power, the Tri Band router is certainly not cheap.
If you have been tracking recent TP-Link router models, you will know how the C5400X is the succeeding version of C5400. The newer model is optimized for gaming needs. The premium treatment that TPlink offers here is thanks in part to the AC5400, MU-MIMO channels as well as the presence of a 1.8GHz quad-core processor.
While we have picked up an AC5300 ASUS router for the top slot here, there is no doubt that it was a close contender. One of the main reasons why the aforementioned ASUS Rapture model takes the lead is that the C5400X doesn’t come with speed enhancement technologies. Something that high-end models tend to offer as an in-built feature.
Nonetheless, the wireless router when running at 5GHz has impeccable speeds (344Mbps give or take a few), though it might be a question of device choices if you want the best out the of 2.4GHz (117Mbps) band as well. While that is a missed area, most of our gamer friends out there would be okay with just the 5GHz band alone.
Another area where the TP-Link router does well is ease of use. You get an easily maneuverable menu that streamlines all your control choices. Ranging from QoS it offers all connection tailoring choices you expect. We really wanted to include the infamous and affordable TP-Link Archer C7, but let’s just mention it here as a budget pick if you want nothing but a TP-Link router.
- Great 5GHz speeds
- Ease of use
- IFTTT and Alexa support
- Still an expensive model
- Not the best 2.4GHz speeds
Netgear routers have been all over the market in the recent past. Whether you were looking for an entry-level gaming router or the best wireless router there is, Netgear has got you covered. The model we have shortlisted for this roundup is the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500, a beast that even looks the part.
When you are looking for a gaming router, considerations like multiple device connectivity quality and range of coverage are secondary. Your rig is stationary, so if you have placed the router close enough you should be able to enjoy a good gameplay. A PC router that is meant for gaming needs to have the fastest of speeds as well as at least dual channels for division between non-gaming and gaming needs.
The Netgear router is dual channel and offers some of the most powerful signals that are able to overcome the physical hurdles almost all the time. As a result, you will find little or no latency in signals. The Nighthawk XR500 has got one up against the TP-Link router above because it also packs a speed enhancement software. You can use it to prioritize gaming over everything else and get help from geo-filtering against the lag too.
There is a large number of areas where XR500 matches the TPlink router above. For instance, there’s WU-MIMO, Geo-Filtering, QoS and a good UI thanks to the DumaOS. But it has a 1.7GHz router which is dual core and a RAM that is 512 MB – half of what the Archer C5400X boasts. And, if you are comparing it with the ASUS Rapture, it is also smaller in size.
- Solid performance in close range
- DumaOS is optimized for gaming
- High speeds
- 5GHz is under performing
- Four LAN ports only
Another high AC rated model, but this one is not just another one! Matching the TP-Link router above, the ASUS router comes with a 64-bit quad core 1.8GHz processor, 1 GB RAM as well as 4×4 MU-MIMO technology that allows for greater bandwidth. To improve things a bit over the Nighthawk router, it comes donning eight Ethernet ports. There also are two USB 3.0 ports.
The company claims a 5334 Mbps speed which is fairly impressive. But since that is just a theoretical figure, the actual performance of the WiFi router can only be checked in tests. Rest assured though, despite falling below like every other model out there, the ASUS Rapture still maintains lightning fast speeds. To be specific, you can expect 1,000Mbps on 2.4GHz and 2,167Mbps on 5GHz.
It is a tri-band router which means you also get better connectivity across a large number of devices. With the greater number of bands as well as the high AC rating, performance doesn’t fall materially.
More hardcore gamers that play FPS games are highly interested in maintaining a low ping. And it gets much better if you have a UI that lets you track the ping as well as ping deviation over time. Unlike the TP Link router above, ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 also lets you optimize speeds for gaming thanks to the WTFast integration.
Our bottom line is, the ASUS ROG Rapture is one of the most well rounded products allowing some of the best gaming-focused features. Like improving your gaming experience by making use of the Alexa voice command support, or the great choice of I/O ports. For its industry leading security protocols, IPv6 compatibility, state of the art connectivity solutions and solid performance, the ASUS router deserves the extra price you will have to pay for it.
- Great connectivity solutions
- Super fast speeds
- Great lag optimization
- Alexa and IFTTT support
- Bulky in size
- Costly wireless router
Matching top speeds that our top ASUS router claims, the D-Link model manages to pull a major chunk of the stated 5332 Mbps throughput. The best router for gaming doesn’t really need such a high bandwidth. But if apart from your gaming PC there are other devices with internet connection then this becomes all the more relevant.
Almost everything in this model either matches our premium picks or comes pretty close. You have got the same tri-bands, MU-MIMO technology, and 802.11ac technology alongside all previous versions. It also has a dedicated smartphone app that will help in the router set up and initial settings. The processor does get out-shined by quad-core 1.8 GHz versions of other products here. But the D-Link does pack a reliable 1.4GHz dual-core processor.
The area it came out unbeaten from was the RAM. While all the other models on our list have a maximum of 1 GB RAM, the D-Link router has a gigantic 4 GB! But it depends on your load whether you need it or not. For instance, the Linksys router below has 512 MB alone and for people who don’t require more, this is the best wireless router for gaming!
Additionally, it isn’t as expensive as some other premium models here. At $300 it is still not cheap. And you will easily find high-end models that offer similar features as the D-Link router here. But that they would cost more. Nonetheless, you can always opt for the somewhat cheaper Linksys router below if you want to save a little more.
- Great 4GM RAM
- Good connectivity options
- Maintains high throughput at multiple distances
- Pricier than many
- Bulky in size
There hasn’t been a time in the rest past when a Linksys router wasn’t the talk of the day between computer enthusiasts. The company makes many high-end products which is why even their cheaper models are a force to reckon with. The router we have at hand is the Linksys WRT AC3200 Open Source Dual-Band Gigabit Smart Wireless Router. Which costs quite less than our top pick, but offers great competitiveness.
You have got most of the high end freedom like the newer 802.11ac technology as well as IPv6 compatibility. Although it isn’t as fortified as the ASUS router above, there are WPA and WPA2 based security protocols too. The RAM isn’t as good either, but 512 MB isn’t too less unless your transfer needs are too demanding.
We experienced considerable improvement in terms of lag reduction thanks to the MU-MIMO capabilities as well as customization of settings that the open source Linksys router offers. Running at 5GHz band you will find exceptional speeds on near as well as far locations. But the 2.4GHz speeds aren’t as great as that.
In order to further improve the power, the internet router has tri-streaming technology. This allows you to double up on the bandwidth in cases where more juice speed and transfer is required. However, the best part is that the router is very easy to set up. It comes with a dedicated app that takes most of the burden away from you. And once you are done with the setup, the same app can be used to manage settings like parental locks as well as priority settings.
It might not be a true budget pick. But given that it is offering competitive performance to the ASUS and TP Link routers above, Linksys WRT AC3200 is still one of the best wireless router models in terms of value for money.
- Great value for money
- Tri-streaming tech
- Easy setup
- Feature set isn’t the most high end
Let’s get at it one by one, the “AC” part denotes that your router is using the 802.11ac standard WiFi. This is what most of the good routers are using these days instead of 802.11n.
Moving on, the AC in the name of a router is always coupled with a number e.g. AC1200, AC3200 and so on. This number is the calculation of the maximum router bandwidth. But those calculations are for the ideal conditions with the ideal components and so on. Thus although AC1200 should mean a 1.2 gigabits per second, the actual speed provided will be much less.
You should be treating it as a theoretical number alone. Understand that it is only a sum of all the bandwidth possible on all the bands available. You could still get the best router for gaming among lower rating models. So in other words, a higher number would mean better multiple device connectivity more than it would mean greater speeds.