WoW lag can be the hardest monster to defeat in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. This creature can be taken down, but it is important to know where it comes from. It is caused from inadequate hardware or an ineffective Internet connection. Its true name is latency, which is not the same thing as bandwidth.

Bandwidth is the speed with which data is transferred to a computer or network. The speed is determined by the technology used by the sender and the receiver of the information. Latency can essentially be anything that limits the data flow to the computer or network. Bottlenecked data, or latency, can be caused from hardware, excessive multiuser usage of the network or even solar flares. If the data is transmitted via satellite or through a wireless router, then clouds and distance can also cause latency issues.


Battling WoW Lag, World of Warcraft’s website, considers latency over 300 ms to be high, but many players that are raiders and PvPers would argue that anything over 30 ms is poor. It really only matters if it is affecting the game play. Players running solo to enjoy questing content won’t really be affected by a 300 ms latency. When checking latency (make sure you perform an internet speed test first), remember that there is a home latency and a world latency. If the world latency is high then there is nothing that can be done.

Here are a few quick tips to help find where latency is coming from. World of Warcraft players can find more detailed information at the link noted above.

  • Custom UI conflicts – Players have the option of adjusting their video controls for a better playing experience. Some of the options can weigh heavy on the computer system and cause internal latency issues.
  • Connection type – Wireless always adds latency to bandwidth because other signals can be picked up and they have to be ciphered properly. Test different types of connections to see how your bandwidth performs.
  • Configure router and firewall – Both of these create an added layer for the system to process. The more hardware and software used to require the data to pass, the more latency is added to the throughput.
  • Third party apps – These can cause two separate issues: if the app is graphic-intensive, it will be utilizing memory from the video card; if the app accesses the Internet, it can be “stealing” bandwidth from World of Warcraft.
  • Hardware – The network and video cards are going to be the main culprits here. Make sure all recent drivers are installed and there are no conflicts.

WoW lag cannot be defeated, but following a few of the steps above can help to knock it down to a respectable size.