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Slaying the Lagmonster Part I
Network Lag: When your Ping Plotzes.

By now, many of you have experienced the wonderful world of Internet Latency at some point. While teleporting randomly around the map is almost as frustrating as trying to SHOOT someone who's randomly teleporting around the map, immediately screaming to the server admins that "your server sucks" probably isn't going to help you much, especially if this is the third or fourth server you've been on.

First off, make sure your client rate is actually set to what your connection can handle. Don't think selecting DSL when you have an AOL dialup is going to help you get away with anything... the presets actually set something called "rate" in your config.cfg, which you can also specify in the console.

It's important not to exceed the range specified by the server, too. If the server is set to sv_maxrate 8000 and sv_minrate 4000, lower or higher than this will cause problems. Ask around the game to find the settings if they haven't put it in the MOTD. MartNet's servers default to a maxrate of 8000, so if you have a high-speed connection, set your rate to same. Some minrates are 2500 or even 2000, to be forgiving to dial-up users, while some may be 4000 or more, depending on who tends to play there. Select the connection type in the menu as you would normally, then go to the console and type "rate." That gives you the actual number value.

NOTE:If you ARE running the server, realize that a wide range will give you just that. 2000 - 8000 means that 11 cable and DSL users plus 1 modem user connecting at the minrate, and barely at that, will lag you all to some degree or, at least, give you one annoying teleporting player while most everyone else is fine. It's a tradeoff: be a bunch of LPBs, or let more people in.

If it's outside the server range, adjust it! If you select 56k modem from the dropdown list within HL-engine games, yor rate will be 3500. If you're on a 4000 minrate server, you might get away with setting it to 4000. Syncing with the server cannot be underemphasized!

If, on the other hand, you don't have your own private T1, then the next highest setting - "DSL > 256k" - defaults to 7500. If you have a rockin' DSL connection or cable, set this to whatever the server maxrate is - 8000, 10000, even lower it to 7000 if that's what the maxrate is. No point in sending more info than the server will accept, right?

Traceroute Is Your Friend

Now we've done the basic stuff. If you don't see any kind of improvement, use some sorta traceroute utility to the server you're playing on. Also, find random outside sites to trace from not-your-machine to the server you're playing on, as well as TO YOUR BOX! In windows, go to start -> run and enter "winipcfg."

Now that you know who you are, traceroute to your computer from various sites. The best way to do this is to go to our very own Network Operations Center and select the link after "Network seem slow?" section. Remember that this tests FROM our network, so you need to enter, as the destination, YOUR IP. If you don't believe our results, you can always go to TraceRoute.org and click on your location, and try some random tests from LOTS of different places... if you wish to forward any info to us about a perceived network problem, send us the results too!

Of course, if it's anything to do with us, we'll get right on it. But Router X in East Nowhere that happens to be between us and you, and causing nasty latency in your game, is competely Outside Our Control. Unfortunately. Feel free to bug whoever's responsible for it and send them traceroute info too, so they fix it and stop screwing up the backbone.

If you have any further questions, more shall be forthcoming on this site. Feel free to also browse our support site for general MartNet, Internet, Linux and other info.

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