Best Wi-Fi Routers for Online Gaming

  • Best overall
    ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
    ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
    • Wi-Fi speed: AX11000
    • Ports: 4 Gigabit LAN, 1 2.5 Gbps LAN
    • $449.99
  • Best for gaming on a budget
    TP-Link Archer A9
    TP-Link Archer A9
    • Wi-Fi speed: AC1900
    • Ports: 4 Gigabit LAN
    • $69.99
  • Best midrange gaming router
    NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
    NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
    • Wi-Fi speed: AC2600
    • Ports: 4 Gigabit LAN
    • $169.99

Best gaming router: our top pick

If you’re a serious gamer looking for the best equipment to get an edge, we recommend the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. This Wi-Fi 6 machine uses powerful hardware and quality of service (QoS) software features to prioritize gaming traffic and minimize lag.

Can your internet keep up with you and your fireteam? Compare every internet provider in your area to find the best speeds.

5 Best Wi-Fi routers for gaming

Best routers for gaming

Best forModelImageWi-Fi standardPriceGet it
Best overallASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000AX11000$449.99View on Amazon

Best for gaming on a budget
TP-Link Archer A9AC1900$69.99View on Amazon

Best mid-range gaming router
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500AC2600$169.99View on Amazon

Best for mobile gaming
ASUS RT-AX86UAX5700$249.99View on Amazon
Best all-purpose routerTP-Link AX6000AX6000$269.99View on Amazon

What should you look for in a gaming router?

Gaming routers are just regular routers with a ton of fancy features, QoS, and gaming-specific connections. And all those extras require processing power. If you’re a dedicated gamer, we recommend finding a router with a multicore processor and at least 128 MB of RAM.

That info can be difficult to find in some router specs. But we’ve vetted all our recommendations to make sure they’re up to snuff. For more info about what you need in a gaming router, check out the specs and features section below.

Best overall: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Best overall

Price: $449.99

  • AX11000 Wi-Fi
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi
  • 5 G gaming port
  • 4 gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • AiMesh compatibility
  • Alexa compatibility
  • ASUS AiProtection
  • 8 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • ASUS Router app

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a router that exists solely for gamers. Of course, it’ll work for your other internet connections as well, but all of its specs and features are oriented toward online gaming and making sure you have the single fastest, lag-less connection you can get.

The main features that help speed up your gaming connection are its dedicated gaming connections and its triple-level game data acceleration. That first feature consists of one Wi-Fi band and one multigigabit LAN port that are dedicated to gaming data. This helps lower congestion with both wired and wireless gaming connections.

The triple-layer game data acceleration consists of two layers of prioritization for gaming data traffic plus built-in support for Gamers Private Network, which optimizes connections to game servers to minimize lag.

All that said, this is the best gaming router to get if you’re a serious gamer and need the best equipment possible. But it’s a bit overkill for casual gamers or anyone who doesn’t want to get down and dirty with their router’s settings.

Pros

  • Built specifically for gaming
  • Supports multigigabit internet

Cons

  • High cost
  • Potentially complex setup

Best for gaming on a budget: TP-Link Archer A9

Best for budget gaming

Price: $69.99

  • AC1900 Wi-Fi
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • 4 gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 1 USB port
  • Alexa compatibility
  • WPA3 security
  • Qualcomm quad-core CPU
  • 128 MB RAM
  • TP-Link Tether App

If you’re a more casual gamer or aren’t the type to spend hundreds of dollars on gaming-specific hardware, we hear you. Fact is, you can play online games with most routers, including budget-friendly ones like the TP-Link Archer A9.

This is a good budget router for homes with moderate internet use. (I use this one with two people in the household who are constantly online.) It’s a breeze to set up and use thanks to the TP-Link tether app, and it offers basic QoS features and parental controls.

The downside? The Archer A9 doesn’t have quite as much processing power as other routers featured on this list. It has enough to handle a few simultaneous connections, but you may see more buffering or network stuttering if you have more than three high-bandwidth connections at a time.

But if you’re a no-fuss gamer or don’t usually have a busy network, this is a good buy.

Pros

  • Budget price
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Not as powerful as others

Best midrange gaming router: NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500

Best midrange gaming router

Price: $299.99

  • AC2600 Wi-Fi
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • 4 gigabit LAN ports
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • Alexa compatibility
  • 7 GHz dual-core CPU
  • Nighthawk app

The Nighthawk Pro Gaming router is a Wi-Fi 5 device that has a lot of the same gameplay-enhancing features as other gaming routers, but it’s less expensive than the current top-of-the-line routers because of its slightly older (but far from obsolete) tech.

While Wi-Fi 6 routers are the newest and shiniest products on the market, they’re also the most expensive. For gaming that requires network prioritization features but not necessarily gigabit speed, we recommend the NETGEAR Pro Gaming router.

The Nighthawk Pro Gaming router is a good choice if you need a consistent gaming connection but don’t have multigigabit internet (and won’t in the near future). It has multiple features to minimize your gaming lag:

  • QoS to prioritize gaming data
  • Geo filter to make sure you’re connected to a nearby server
  • Monitoring software to make sure none of your other devices are causing lag
  • Support for a gaming VPN

Pros

  • Midrange price
  • Gaming QoS
  • VPN support

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi 6

Best for mobile gaming: ASUS RT-AX86U

Best for mobile gaming

Price: $249.00

  • AX5700 Wi-Fi
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • 5 Gbps Ethernet port
  • 4 gigabit LAN ports
  • 2 USB 3.2 ports
  • Alexa compatibility
  • AiMesh support
  • AiProtection Pro
  • WPA3 security
  • ASUS Router app
  • 8 GHz quad-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM

The ASUS-AX86U is a great all-around router, but it’s built for gaming. It has multiple levels of QoS features to prioritize gaming traffic and connections. These include a dedicated gaming port for wired connections that get first dibs at available bandwidth and adaptive QoS that allows you to arrange what kind of traffic you want to prioritize.

Most gaming routers put a heavy focus on PC and console gaming, but the ASUS-AX86U also takes serious mobile gaming into consideration. You can minimize latency and lag for mobile gaming sessions from the ASUS Router app with Game Boost.

This is actually also one of our favorite Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market—so it’s not just for gaming. It’s overall a good pick for a highly flexible router with some great gaming perks.

Pros

  • Multigigabit port and port aggregation
  • Dedicated gaming port

Cons

  • Requires updates from ASUS to enable QoS

Best all-purpose router: TP-Link AX6000

Best non-gaming router for gaming

Price: $269.99

  • AX6000 Wi-Fi
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Alexa compatibility
  • 8 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 1 2.5 Gbps WAN port
  • 8 gigabit LAN ports
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • TP-Link HomeCare
  • 1 GB RAM
  • TP-Link Tether app

If you’re looking for all the speed of a gaming router but don’t want to mess with all the gaming-specific settings, this TP-Link router is a good choice. You can pretty much set it up, leave it alone, and expect your network to perform well with any type of connection. This makes it a good pick for more hands-off networks with a mix of gaming and other connections.

The AX6000 also has great range thanks to its eight external antennas. And its eight gigabit Ethernet ports give you plenty of room for wired connections as well. All in all, this router is built to support a ton of connected devices.

A lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare is also included. This extra security enables QoS, parental controls, and antivirus protection. It would be better if these features were just built in to the router itself, but at least they’re present with the subscription.

Pros

  • Good Wi-Fi range
  • Included antivirus

Cons

  • Not a gaming-specific router

Gaming Wi-Fi router specs and features

There are a few basic things to look out for in any router—Wi-Fi standard, speed, hardware, etc.—but for gaming, you want QoS features that minimize latency and prioritize your gaming connection. Let’s dive deeper into the specs and features you should keep an eye out for.

Wireless speed and standard

When looking for a gaming router, you need consider only two Wi-Fi standards:

  • Wi-Fi 5 (sometimes called wireless ac)
  • Wi-Fi 6 (sometimes called wireless ax)

Both are fast enough for gaming connections, but Wi-Fi 6 is newer and more efficient (and yes, a little faster). Most Wi-Fi 5 and 6 routers should be fine for online gaming, but within these standards are a wide range of potential speeds. Wi-Fi 5 top speeds range from 1,200 Mbps to faster than 5,000 Mbps. And Wi-Fi 6 top speeds can reach more than double that.

Gaming routers tend to advertise faster speeds than non-gaming routers, and they tend to be top-of-the-line in other areas as well. With all that said, if you’re gaming over Wi-Fi, it’s probably worth the extra cash to get the best Wi-Fi connection possible, since Wi-Fi can be less reliable than wired connections.

Gaming-specific features

Gaming routers tend to have a lot more hands-on software features than other types of routers. Most of these features aim to minimize latency, which causes lag, which often causes in-game death (or at least a lot of inconvenient skipping around).

Some routers address latency with streamlined gaming connections—like the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000’s dedicated gaming port and Wi-Fi band. Other gaming routers use QoS features to prioritize gaming data to get your latency down as low as possible—like the NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming router.

Ports

Wired internet connections are more stable and reliable than Wi-Fi connections. So for the best gaming experience, you probably want to plug in your console or PC.

Now, you don’t really need to pay attention to the type of Ethernet ports on your router unless you have multigigabit internet. Gigabit Ethernet ports are the standard, which means each port can handle a maximum of 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) of data, which is way more than you probably need per connection.

If you have multigigabit internet, make sure to get a router that has a multigigabit port or one that supports WAN port aggregation. Otherwise your router will bottleneck your bandwidth.

Mobile app and user interface

We strongly believe that a router’s features and settings should be easy to use, otherwise what’s the point of having them? A mobile app that lets you manage your home network is the perfect solution.

Most router apps help streamline the setup process and afterwards let you monitor your network. Some apps have more robust features that allow you to fiddle with your router’s settings, but others are more limited. Even with simple network monitoring, though, an app makes it easy to see when there are problems with your home network and troubleshoot a solution.

Security

As with any router, you should check out the security specs. Here’s a list of our general router security recommendations:

  • WPA2 or WPA3 security (WPA3 is preferable)
  • Parental controls
  • Guest network
  • VPN compatibility

Our verdict

We recommend the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 to any hardcore gamers looking to upgrade. It’s a seriously fast router that is decked out in features to keep performance high and latency low.

Other recommended gaming routers

Gaming router FAQ

What is the best router for online gaming?

We recommend the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 as the best router for online gaming.

What’s a good internet speed for online gaming?

The absolute minimum internet speed you can use for online gaming is 3 Mbps of download speed and 2 Mbps of upload speed—but we recommend way more than that for anyone who plays online games regularly.

25 Mbps or more of download speed per gamer will serve you much better if you can get it.

What does a gaming router do?

A gaming router does the same thing any other internet router does—it manages your home network. What sets gaming routers apart from regular routers are their gaming-focused features that aim to prioritize and streamline specific connections to reduce latency and lag.

Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. HighSpeedInternet.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

Author -

Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.

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