The best gaming routers are necessary if you’re anything more than a casual gamer. Unfortunately, if online games or co-op games have taught us anything, it’s that you won’t get the full gaming experience with a regular router. Unless you like having your connection interrupted at the worst possible moment in your game or experiencing lags, that is.
There is no bigger disadvantage in gaming than lag, so getting a router and modem specifically for gaming is essential. Please don’t leave it up to your internet service provider to give you a generic router and modem that might not be capable of providing you with the connection you need. Instead, grab one of these best gaming routers and watch your gaming experience level up.
Not only do the best gaming routers provide an uninterrupted connection, but they do several things that gamers will appreciate, such as prioritizing network bandwidth and minimizing intermittent network issues and lags. In addition, they often come with helpful features such as Quality of Service (or QoS) and MU-MIMO technology that might give you that extra boost when battling friends from around the world.
If you play online multiplayer games, you need one of the best gaming routers as part of your setup. Having one will be a significant upgrade to your network over traditional routers. So, look at our top picks, where you’ll find everything from ones packed with gamer-centric features to ones with cutting-edge tech like Wi-Fi 6.
1. TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
If you’re looking for the best router for gaming, look no further than the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2. An update to an already powerful wireless router, this device from TP-Link is capable of ridiculous top speeds of more than 2 Gbps. On top of that blazing fast speed, its tri-band connection allows you to do multiple high data activities at once. For example, play your game without lag and watch a 4K video simultaneously without interruption.
A 1.4GHz dual-core CPU and three co-processors help manage and prioritize traffic, so you’ll never experience hang-ups even when multiple people are connected to the internet simultaneously. If you’re worried about security, this router allows you to set up your VPN to stay safe and connected. With a two-year warranty, you’ll get constant support for any problem that you may encounter.
- Blazing fast speeds
- Tri-band connection
- Traffic prioritization
- Supports multiple connections
- No Wi-Fi 6 support
2. TP-Link Archer GX90
There may be a few things you might not like about the TP-Link Archer GX90. It’s big, bulky, and expensive. However, those are easy to forgive when you realize that you’re getting a big bang for your buck. This high-speed, reliable Wi-Fi 6 router boasts a handful of features for hardcore gamers. That includes a dedicated 5GHz’ gaming band’ that lets you hog most of your household bandwidth when you need it.
Have younger gamers at home? It also provides good parental controls like content filters to block unsuitable material, with pre-set profiles for children of different ages.
- Wi-Fi 6 running at 6.6Gbps
- Dedicated 4.8Gbps gaming band
- Slightly fiddly setup
Also read: The Best Travel Routers For Internet In 2021
3. Asus RT-AX86U
If you’re after a fast connection but don’t want to break the bank to get it, the Asus RT-AX86U is the device for you. This gaming router provides top speeds of up to 2700 Mbps. On top of that, it also supports the latest connection standard, Wi-Fi 6. This will help the router handle multiple connections at once, meaning that having other people in your home who are connected to the internet won’t slow you down.
While some gamers prefer their game systems to be hardwired for a more consistent connection, this router provides about as steady a connection as you could ask for out of a wireless network. In addition, with Asus AiMesh support, you can create flexible and seamless connectivity across your house by adding other AiMesh compatible routers.
- Gigabit speeds
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Mesh network
- Could use improved network prioritization tools
4. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
If you’re a hardcore gamer, it can be maddening when your roommates watch Netflix and download their games simultaneously. So you should take a look at something like the Netgear Nighthawk XR500.
This router delivers a breakneck 2.2Gbps speed and supports MU-MIMO – not to mention unique gaming features like location-based connection filtering and QoS. So you can do some gaming all night without hitting a paralyzing lag spike. Just be ready for the high sticker price and make sure you’re ok with such a gamer aesthetic.
- High performance
- Amazing software
- No broadband modem
5. Motorola MB8600
Gamers know that a steady connection is an absolute must for online gaming, so, many choose to stay hardwired instead of wireless. If you decide to go that route, you’ll have difficulty finding a better modem for gaming than the Motorola MB8600. There are not a lot of flashes to be found here, just a steady connection with fast speeds that few can match.
This modem has built-in compatibility for DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.0, which works with any internet provider. You’ll also get breakneck top speeds with multi-gigabit support. You can connect multiple devices via Ethernet and still get top speeds without any slowdown. If you decide to go wireless, this modem supports most protocols, but you’ll be hard-pressed to beat its wired connection.
- Breakneck speeds
- Support for multiple gigabit connections
- DOCSIS 3.1 and 3.0 compatible
- No 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port
6. Asus RT-AC5300
The Asus RT-AC5300 is an excellent high-end gaming router that is filled with a bunch of striking features. This includes a straightforward yet powerful interface on top of comprehensive QoS settings. The spider-like design isn’t for everyone, but the eight antennae are there for a reason, to help direct your Wi-Fi signal reach throughout your home, giving this router excellent range.
- Great Wi-Fi coverage
- Powerful gaming features
- Single USB 3.0 port
Getting a modem and router good for gaming will provide you with a more optimized internet connection capable of reaching top speeds and prioritizing your gaming experience so you don’t get bogged down with lag or latency.
Owning your equipment provides you with more flexibility and better overall devices than you would get renting from your internet service provider. However, remember that your router and modem will only be as good as your internet connection, so make sure you get the plan that you need to get top speeds.