Best routers for gaming — 2019

David Anders
David Anders
Mar 12, 2019

A wired connection is truly the best way to game online, but that’s not always practical or even possible. To bridge the gap, you’ll need a suitable Wi-Fi router, one that supports fast speeds and low ping across multiple devices at once.

Purchasing your own router is a great way to ensure you’re getting the performance you need for gaming online. Plus, while purchasing a high-performance router can be costly upfront, it may save you on monthly internet costs if your provider charges a fee for their equipment.

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Top 5 routers for gaming

Take a look at our top picks for the best routers for gaming in 2019. We chose these routers based on speeds, number of antennas and ports, Wi-Fi capabilities and price.

1. Nighthawk® Pro Gaming XR700

SpeedEthernet portsAntennasWi-Fi bandPrice range
7.2 Gbps6460GHz 802.11ad$$$$

With a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700 Wi-Fi router promises the “power to win.” The device hardware is more than capable of keeping ping and lag low, and the customizable geofilter keeps you connected to the best servers available. And for when you need the extra bandwidth, the network monitoring feature lets you see where your bandwidth is going and prioritize your computer or console over other devices.

Best for: serious gamers who want customizable router settings, parties with multiple connected gamers

2.ASUS AC5300 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Gaming Router

SpeedEthernet portsAntennasWi-Fi bandPrice range
5.3 Gbps48Dual 5 and single 2.4 GHz 802.11ac$$$

The ASUS AC5300 Tri-Band Wi-Fi router is made to handle it all, from watching cat videos on social media to playing League of Legends® for hours on end. Featuring a single 2.4 GHz and dual 5 GHz bands, this router lets you dedicate high-bandwidth beams to gaming while reserving less bandwidth for other devices that don’t need it. As a long-range router with up to 5,000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage, the ASUS AC5300 can deliver a strong, reliable connection to numerous devices throughout your home.

Best for: multiple users, multiple online activities including streaming and web browsing

3. Nighthawk® X6 AC3200 Tri-band Wi-Fi Router

SpeedEthernet portsAntennasWi-Fi bandPrice range
3.2 Gbps46Dual 5 and single 2.4 GHz 802.11ac$$

While not as powerful as the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700, the X6 AC3200 still gives you plenty of speed, bandwidth and reliability for a streamlined gaming experience. The X6 AC3200’s six antennas make it ideal for large spaces while the Smart Connect feature ensures each connected device gets the appropriate amount of bandwidth.

Best for: gamers who want a high-performance router without needing or wanting to customize the settings

4. Linksys WRT AC3200 Dual-Band Open Source Router

SpeedEthernet portsAntennasWi-Fi bandPrice range
2.6 Gbps445 and 2.4 GHz 802.11ac$$$

Linksys claims to offer the “fastest 5GHz band of any router” with their WRT AC3200 device. The Tri-Stream 160 technology doubles the bandwidth of the single 5 GHz band, rendering it capable of delivering a fast, reliable connection to multiple demanding devices at once. This means you can game in one room while someone streams 4K video in another without having to worry about lag or buffering.

Best for: multiple users, multiple online activities including streaming and web browsing

5. Tenda AC1200 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router

SpeedEthernet portsAntennasWi-Fi bandPrice range
1.2 Gbps445 and 2.4 GHz 802.11ac$

Save your money for games and downloadable content with this budget-friendly but highly-capable wireless router. The Tenda AC1200 is perfect for the casual to semi-serious gamer who just wants to play online with less lag. Will it support a gaming party with multiple users? Probably not. Will it give you a solid connection with little or no lag? Definitely.

Best for: casual gaming a single PC or gaming console

How to choose the best Wi-Fi router for gaming

We’ve recommended 5 high-performance routers for you, but there are dozens to choose from. So how do you choose the right router for your needs and your budget? There are a few things to consider when choosing the best Wi-Fi router for gaming.

Router speed capability – If you want to connect multiple devices and not have to worry about them having an impact on your game, throughput speeds 1 Gbps or higher are best. Note that these are not your download speeds from your internet provider, but rather the total internet speed the router can deliver across all devices.

Bands – A single 5 GHz band can handle gaming and most other online activities, but if your household router needs to support gaming and other broadband-demanding tasks such as streaming, a dual or tri-band router is best.

Antennas/range – For larger households, you’ll want a router with at least 2 antennas to project the signal in different directions and help ensure a reliable connection throughout the home.

Notice we didn’t mention price? That’s because going with the lesser-priced routers may not deliver the gaming experience or Wi-Fi connectivity you need. Anyone who has experienced excessive game lag or frequent disconnections will tell you that spending a little extra for the right router is definitely worth it.

Are your internet speeds fast enough for gaming?

The FCC recommends speeds no less than 4 Mbps for gaming, but that’s if you only have one device connected and are consistently getting max speeds over a wired connection. So speeds of 10 Mbps connected to multiple devices over Wi-Fi will probably not cut it for gamers.

Download speeds of 50 Mbps or higher will comfortably support gaming and other activities over a Wi-Fi signal — if you have the right router, of course. If you need a speed upgrade for gaming, streaming or anything else, shop plans in your area with our experts.