The best Gaming Routers in 2023
The best gaming routers are an essential part of your setup, especially if you’re someone who spends many hours streaming and multiplayer titles, where low latency is everything. Let’s face it, lag is incredibly disruptive when trying to do just about anything online. You shouldn’t have to contend with stuttering payback and struggling performance.
That’s what’s so important about having one of the best routers for gaming. Fortunately, arming your gaming PC setup with a capable Wi-Fi 6E or leading LAN model doesn’t have to break the bank. Our goal with this roundup is to bring you both affordable and higher-end options to suit all budgets and preferences.
Products at a Glance
What to consider with the best gaming routers
We’ve made our choices down below based on the value for money offered and the feature sets that each router brings to the table. After all, if they don’t stand out from your average everyday model then there’s little value in upgrading. That’s why we’re highlighting the technical advantages as well as what’s new and exciting for both wireless and LAN, too.
The best Gaming Routers in 2023
- Affordably priced
- Excellent performance for gaming
- Wi-Fi is great
- Wired connectivity is basic
- Antenna could be fiddly to setup
The Asus AX5400 takes the top spot as our definitive pick for the best gaming router in 2022. It’s been out on the market for a little while now, however, its reputation proceeds it. Coming in at $199.99, this dual-band Wi-Fi 6 model has both style and substance to justify its competitive asking price. The best feature has to be the ability to remove any bottlenecks from your ISP so that everything runs well. This includes leading performance for the mobile platform, too.
When you’re plugged in, you benefit from the dedicated gaming port which automatically prioritizes games and launcher software so that your gameplay isn’t interrupted at any point. All you need to do is run an Ethernet lead from the Asus AX5400 to your gaming PC and you’re away. There’s no tinkering needed here. As far as the look of this thing goes, it’ll certainly mesh well on your desk when compared to your average everyday model.
- One of the most powerful gaming routers around
- The AC Smart Beam feature can keep an eye on the connected devices throughout your home; no more losing your cell phone!
- Tri-band speeds
- Only comes in one color
If you thought the AC1900 by Netgear was cool, then you’ll be amazed by the AC3200. You bring this bad boy out when you simply won’t settle for anything but the very best in terms of Wi-Fi connectivity and aesthetic design. That’s why it’s one of the best gaming routers to this day.
Again, this router from Netgear looks like a spaceship, and it performs like one as well. The super high-speed connectivity will put a stop to the intra-house arguments over who is hogging the connection once and for all. All of your flatmates will be able to enjoy 4K/HD video and online gaming simultaneously with its 3×3 data streams and 6 high-performance antennas.
Taking a page from its predecessor, getting started with the AC3200 is a breeze with its easy installation and network management software. Forget about remembering passwords, subnets, and IP addresses only to change a few simple settings; the AC3200 can be accessed remotely via its mobile app that can be downloaded free of charge.
So, in summary, there’s a huge amount of positives to the AC3200. The only thing that really lets it down is its price point, as it reflects a significant investment on your behalf. But sometimes, paying a little off the top of your budget is well worth the advantages you’ll reap later on from owning one of the best gaming routers on the market.
- Very affordable
- Simple installation
- Three antennas for extra reach and faster speed
- Well-known brand
- Data storage facilities
- One of the most basic options
- Nothing fancy or different about this one
Simple, affordable, robust. These are the words that describe the Asus RT-N66U. What we liked the most about this router is that although it features a classic design, it still has more than enough performance under the hood to be recommended to anyone who wants to tear it up online.
It also features a range of handy features such as concurrent dual-band transmissions and a wealth of Ethernet ports for the fastest, most reliable internet performance possible. In addition to being a reliable router for your entire household, it also comes with a wireless data storage option that allows access to router-connected USB storage devices. You can share your favorite pics and screencaps of your victories directly from your router if your other hardware supports this.
You also get expanded wireless coverage with its three detachable high-powered antennas, meaning every nook and cranny of your household is pleasantly accounted for, leaving no blind spots. Although the setup may not be as fancy or intuitive as some of the other routers in this guide, installation is still quick and easy. The menus are simple to configure, and your network will be detected automatically from the time that you plug your router in your phone line or cable connection.
- One of the best routers that money can buy
- Huge amount of features
- Very cool design
- Dual Core Processor
- Not everyone can use all the features
- A bit expensive
The Nighthawk AC2600 is the upgraded model from the AC 1900 that we covered earlier in this guide. A huge selling point to this one is its 4×4 channel connections, which means you get four downstream pipes and four upload pipes. The number of data pipes, or channels that your router affects how fast your connection will be, especially when downloading or uploading large files.
Having enough channels is particularly pronounced when torrenting, as a single computer on a network can easily clog up the connection for the rest of the computers if it is using an excessive amount of resources. When you have a device such as the AC2600, each channel can be dedicated or switched around so that the whole ecosystem of data is supported. No one will be left in the dark thanks to its wide range of channels, and you can be assured that your performance and ping will be the best it has ever been.
There aren’t too many downsides that come with this router, as it is generally known as one of the best gaming routers.
- One of the most powerful routers that money can buy
- Extreme range, signal quality, and speed
- Comes loaded with extra goodies from ASUS to ensure a low ping throughout the day
- Ranks number #1 as the best router to buy on many gaming networks
- Bulky and large
We’ve saved the best for last with the RT-AC5300 from ASUS. This device is simply the ultimate in gaming gear when it comes to purchasing a router, as it supplies the highest frequency signals of any that can be found on the market. Its sleek, aggressive styling will leave others in awe as soon as you take it out of the box, and its huge amount of antennas means that it’s far more than just eye candy. You’ll be able to get a strong signal anywhere in your house with this beast.
Like any good gaming router, the AC5300 is a tri-band model with dual 5Ghz and single GHz frequencies using the latest 802.11ac technology. This router is so insanely powerful that it provides coverage for up to 5,000 sq ft. This makes it perfect to be used as a commercial solution, such as in a warehouse or office building, or for when you have your friends over to play games or share files in a LAN setting.
A great thing about this router is that it comes packed with features such as built-in access to WTFast gamers private network for low-stable ping times for gaming, AiProtection by Trend Micro provides incredible protection from viruses and for saving sensitive data. It also features ASUS’ Smart Connect delivers consistent bandwidth by switching the devices in your home between the 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies based on speed and signal strength, too.
What to consider with the best gaming routers
Quality of Service (QoS)
Here’s something to keep in mind when shopping for your next gaming router: it absolutely needs to feature Quality of Service monitoring (or QoS for short).
We’ve all experienced it before: one roommate is torrenting the latest season of The Walking Dead and your connection comes to a pithy standstill. So what happened? Well, before you start thinking of some creative adjectives to describe your housemate, it’s not really his or her fault. In simple terms, your modem divides how much speed each computer gets depending how much data you’re using. A 30GB torrent will demand more resources, so the modem will provide more resources so you can get the fastest possible speed. Unfortunately, this leaves the rest of the gaming household with some very lazy connections.
But when you are using a modem with QoS enabled, it will prioritize certain applications (such as web browsing and games) over torrenting, video watching, and downloading large files. The result is that your ping or latency will be lower, which means faster and smoother gameplay, even when others are downloading to their heart’s content.
Every good gaming router has QoS enabled by default, so unless you’re buying a secondhand model, you shouldn’t run into this issue too often.
Gigabit Ethernet Ports
So besides making sure your new toy is QoS-friendly, you also need to make sure that there are enough Ethernet ports on your router. Because frustration doesn’t begin to describe how it feels to try to play a game over wireless. Your connection will be awful, your team will hate you, and your KDA will be laughable by even the freshest of new players.
Even if you sit less than a meter away from your router using wireless, there will still be a delay between your router and PC, and even a few milliseconds can contribute to a higher ping.
So make sure each gamer can be plugged in via an Ethernet connection if you want the best possible speeds.
This is absolutely essential to have a good gaming router. 802.11ac wireless is the best Wi-Fi support that you can ask for in a router nowadays. Wireless networking has gone through many changes since its introduction to the market, with each frequency allowing for greater and greater speeds. This top speed is unmatched when compared to lower speeds, and is impervious to a lag-free gaming experience.
802.11ac is the new wireless standard, which promises greater speeds and more stable connections. Most modern-day routers will support this configuration by default, but you’ll also need 802.11ac-compatible hardware to make the most of it. Make sure that you give your computer a bit of an anatomy check to ensure that all of your pieces of hardware can support 802.11ac wireless. This is something that should be included on most routers nowadays, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check to make sure.
802.11ac wireless is over twice as fast as the previous standard speed, which was 802.11n. It offers at least 1300 Mbps of Internet speed at its very base level, making it a beast when it comes to solid gaming connections. Again, it is backwards compatible with older devices, but make sure those devices can support the new and improved speed boost.
A new feature of modern-day routers is dual-band networking. This means the router will be able to transmit on two different channels at once, thus providing more wireless network capacity.
Although this is not a feature that is strictly limited to gaming, it can be a handy feature, especially for large households with many people using the router at once.
Having multiple connections to the router can slow everyone’s speeds down, so having a dual-band Wi-Fi router could be the answer to your problems. Dual-band capabilities are typically advertised very strongly on the label of the router itself, so you know exactly whether or not you are purchasing one with dual-band. Make sure that you ask around to make sure you are getting this essential feature, as you don’t want a router that comes without it.
While this isn’t necessarily a feature of the router itself, it’s good to have some financial security when you purchase one. Even the best routers can display different results once you’ve installed them, so make sure you purchase your router from someone who can process returns.
Some components of the router’s features may vary depending on the age of the model and where you buy it from. Since everybody’s home is equipped with a different WiFi environment, and everyone has different specifications for operation, the router may work differently than expected, or as advertised.
This is no fault of the router, but it simply means that you might need to make a few tweaks and test out a few different models before you find one that works perfectly with your home and your Internet usage style.
Do I need a gaming router?
Gaming routers are tailor-made by companies to prioritize online gaming, and the bandwidth strain associated with it, as opposed to your average everyday model. This is done by providing a higher quality of service to specific apps, client launchers, and designated URLs.
Who makes the best gaming routers?
We think that Netgear, D-Link, and Asus make some of the best gaming routers on the market right now. This is because these companies’ models have a proven track record of delivering excellent performance across the board.
The Asus AX5400 takes the top slot in our list due to its great value for money, powerful performance, and style. Coming in at under $200, there’s a lot that this tried-and-true model can do given the humble asking price. This includes the game priority dedicated LAN port, just plug it in and you’ll be gaming much faster on your PC.