You're on a server and are about to win a competition, you've put a lot of effort in this past hour, and just when you're about to kill the last enemy - PUF! - he teleports, none of your shots land, and you suspect he's using hacks but your thoughts get interrupted by a message on your screen letting you know that you've disconnected from the server due to a network issue. Does this sound familiar to you? This is one of the many problems caused by lag.
And what's "Lag" you may ask, well, "Lag" per the dictionary refers to a delay of some sort, and in this case, network-related in the form of a delay between the player input and the server output. There are many factors to take into consideration to avoid lag, but one of the most important is the location or how far we are from the main server, which is the reason, some popular communities have multiple servers worldwide to distribute the players to their most suitable location.
We'll get depth into these concepts and explain why the server location matters!
Why is the server location so important?
This is where a concept named 'ping' comes into play. In some games, you may have already seen '30 ms' values displaying under your name, this represents your Ping.
This "Ping" is measured in milliseconds, and is in simple words the average time it takes for a 'packet' or information to travel from your location to the server location, each Km/Mi between you and the server will have an effect on your average ping when connecting to the server, the less ping you have the better. A good ping is considered to be between 30 ~ 50 ms.
Lag can also be caused by many different factors: connecting to a far location, limitations from your ISP, firewall configuration, and for Minecraft Servers this could also come from in-game sources like Redstone machines, unoptimized mods, and plugins, limited server specs. Read our guide on How to Optimize your Minecraft Server to get the most out of your server specs
High latency or lag can affect both you and other players, and some servers can even set whitelists to allow traffic from only specific countries to avoid this. In actuality, many ISPs have incorporated new technologies and offer better network speeds, making the location the major factor in your average ping.
So what location should I pick?
To put it simply, the closer you are geographically the better. Avoid at all costs picking a location overseas unless you want to offer your community a 'nice' experience of 200 ms on average. Always pick a closer location.
For example, if you or your player base are from a specific state -Texas, for example- in the USA then it's best for you to pick Texas as your server location, but we understand this is not always possible or available, so anything close to Texas or, as a last resource, inside the USA can be a great option as well.
Are you still not sure about what location you should pick? You can use this small guide from our available locations as a reference :)
- Are you from Europe? Pick London or Frankfurt.
- Are you from Asia or India? Pick our Singapore location.
- Are you from the USA, Canada, or Latin America? Pick one of our available USA locations.
- Are you from Australia? We have Sydney available just for you :)
Iceline Hosting has a bunch of locations available and we're always looking to expand to any demanded locations! Check our available locations here!
How do I check my ping?
You can check the Transfer Tab from Iceline's Game Panel to verify your ping to each of the available locations.
There are websites available to help you check an estimated ping between 2 cities, this can be really useful to get an idea of the best location you could pick and the impact it will have on your players. Wondernetwork is a great option! You can even add the cities from the countries you need to check.
Iceline Hosting offers low-latency servers in multiple locations worldwide, high-performance server specs, and DDoS protection to keep your server online at any moment, and with our game panel features, managing a Minecraft Server has never been this easy! Start your minecraft journey today!