Let's say that I have a game server located in my country which is hosted by my ISP. For example, I pinged their game server and I got 10 ms ping, and let's say the game features the ability to host the game by your machine (listen server) instead.

So let's say that my friend is going to be hosting that game and I'm going to join him and rely on his connection to me, and suppose he lives just next to my home and we have the same ISP. Is it possible that I'm going to get ping times of around 10 ms just like dedicated server or will be higher? If yes, is it because the limitations of the machine itself, or what could be the cause?

  • A "ping" is actually a measure of latency between two points. What the ping application reports is round trip time in milliseconds using a protocol called ICMP (or sometimes UDP). If your friend hosts, then the round trip time, or "ping", to his machine will be however long it takes a packet to leave your machine, route to his machine and then for a reply packet to return back to your machine. Note that this value will be unique to your connection - anyone else will have their own unique route to his server and the corresponding round trip time. – MaQleod Jul 1 '15 at 0:47
  • Adding to what @MaQleod said; once you get into the region of 10ms latency, improving on that will give very diminishing returns for 95% of games (though some will improve). If your friend is just next door, sling an ethernet cable his way~ ;) – bertieb Jul 1 '15 at 0:53

The ping will most likely be about 10-30 ms.

If you are wondering what the bottleneck is, try a traceroute to your friend's server (on Windows, this is tracert). It will usually tell you the ping of each point on the connection's path. Usually if everything is configured correctly by your ISP, your connection won't even leave your neighborhood's local loop.

However, this is ping, not latency. Listen servers tend to lag easily because the server is doing both rendering and serving, usually both on the same thread, increasing the demand for system resources.

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