How to fix lag spikes in Overwatch

Lag spikes in Overwatch can make the difference between winning and losing. Don’t let lag ruin that critical shot. This post is about nailing down and fixing those pesky lag spikes on Overwatch, including information on what might be causing them in the first place.

Lag spikes, packet loss, and high ping in Overwatch can disrupt gameplay, affect your performance, and, frankly, ruin the fun. Understanding what causes these issues is key to fixing them. We’ll explore the common culprits and offer solutions to keep your gameplay smooth.

Causes for lag spikes in Overwatch

Here are some of the most common culprits for lag spikes in Overwatch:

  • Not enough bandwidth. Put simply, your internet is too slow. This might be caused by other programs and devices hogging all the bandwidth. You need at least a 3 Mbps connection to play Overwatch.
  • The game server is too far. If you’re in the US and playing on servers in the UK, for example, then you will notice a higher ping and more lag spikes than when you play on North American servers.
  • Your graphics are set too high. If your is struggling to render the graphics, it can cause dropped frames and lag.
  • Your internet service provider is throttling connections to Overwatch servers.

How to fix lag spikes in Overwatch

Let’s break down the solutions. Whether on a high-spec gaming PC or a console, these tips are your arsenal against lag:

Network optimization

  • Use a wired Ethernet connection. Ethernet offers a more reliable connection than wi-fi. 
  • Choose a game server closer to your location in the game settings. A closer server usually means a lower ping.

System tweaks

  • Update your graphics drivers. This helps maintain a high framerate.
  • Adjust Overwatch’s graphics settings for better performance. Likewise, this improves framerate.

Reduce local network strain

  • Limit bandwidth usage on other devices in your household during gaming sessions. Make sure you aren’t torrenting or downloading updates for other games.

Use a VPN:

  • NordVPN can help if your ISP specifically throttles Overwatch traffic. A VPN can reroute your connection to reduce ping times and stabilize your connection. NordVPN’s fast servers and gaming-optimized features make it our top pick.


NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for Overwatch with no restrictions for a month.

There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

How to use a VPN with Overwatch

If you’ve never used a VPN, it’s not as scary as it might sound. Getting started is pretty straightforward.

Here’s how to use a VPN with Overwatch:

  1. Grab an exclusive discount on our top-picked VPN, NordVPN. Alternatively, Surfshark and ExpressVPN are great for reducing Overwatch lag spikes.
  2. Download the VPN app for your device. Most providers have apps for Windows and macOS, with some offering console support.
  3. Connect to a server close to the Overwatch servers.
  4. Launch Overwatch and enjoy smoother gameplay.

Still experiencing issues? NordVPN and most other providers have a support team available 24/7 and may be able to assist.


Will a VPN speed up my internet connection?

While we only recommend the fastest VPNs, a VPN is only as fast as the speeds transferred via broadband. While a VPN can prevent ISP throttling to speed high bandwidth activities, it cannot boost your speeds above what you have available. Under most circumstances, a VPN increases lag and ping time in games, but it can help if your ISP or local admin is throttling your connection to game servers.

Can I use a VPN with other games to fix lag spikes?

You can use a VPN with many online games to improve lag spikes, including Fortnite, CoD MW2, and PUBG. So that you know, a VPN will only help if your ISP or network admin is throttling speeds for those games. Under most circumstances, a VPN increases lag and ping time.