10 Best Routers for Gaming in 2018
Even the best gamer in the world is at the mercy of their internet connection. You can be the king of multiplayer combat, racking up enemy kills by the dozen, but all it takes is a quick drop in your internet speed for your well-planned ambush to fall apart. That’s why it’s so important to have a high-quality router in today’s world of fast and reliable internet service providers or ISPs. A good video gaming router will ensure that you can take advantage of the high bandwidth that your ISP is sending you.
Table of Contents
- View the Best Router for Gaming, Below.
- 1. NETGEAR R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 Wireless WiFi Router
- 2. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6S Extender with NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200
- 3. NETGEAR WNDR4500-100PAS N900
- 4. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S AC2600 R7800
- 5. NETGEAR Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router
- 6. ASUS RTAC68U AiMesh Whole Home WiFi Router
- 7. ASUS RT-ACRH13 Dual-Band 2×2 AC1300 Router
- 8. ASUS RTAC5300 Tri-Band Wireless Router
- 9. TP-LINK TALON AD7200 Tri-Band Gigabit Router
- 10. Linksys AC3200 WRT32X Dual-Band Gaming Router
- Impressive WiFi range
- Excellent USB performance
- High speed of up to 1900 Mbps
- MU-MIMO function
- Easy setup
- Impressive range
This will allow you to maintain a strong, steady or fast connection so you can enjoy optimal data transfer and the highest number of gigabytes without interruption or lag. So, if you’re using an older router that can’t meet the demands of today’s advanced games, it’s time for an upgrade. But how do you decide which router is going to give you the bandwidth that you need to take your gaming to the next level? With a host of specs like wireless range and speed, bandwidth range, data transfer rate, and other features.
Choosing the perfect router can get a little confusing, that’s where we come in, we put in the work so you can choose the best wireless gaming router and get back to smashing records. In this article, we’ll show you the best routers for gaming on the market today. But before we get into that, we’re going to take a moment to walk you through the buying process so you know exactly what you should be looking for in a new gaming router.
View the Best Router for Gaming, Below.
1. NETGEAR R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 Wireless WiFi Router
You’re going to see NETGEAR a lot in this review. They’re one of the leading names in the wifi router industry and the R7000 Nighthawk Onhub AC1900 Wireless Router is simply one of the best models in its class.
This wifi router is backed by a 1 GHz Dual Core Processor that delivers impressive performance. And with wireless dual-bands, it offers 600 and 1300 Mbps of speed for a max speed of up to 1900 Mbps.
NETGEAR built this model with gamers in mind. It features a Dynamic Quality of Service (QoS) system that prioritizes applications and devices, ensuring that your gaming rig gets the bandwidth it needs. And with beamforming, high-powered amplifiers, and antennas, it’s capable of amazing performance and WiFi range. Thanks to its compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, you can control the network with simple voice commands. And with the Nighthawk app, you can manage your OnHub AC1900 router, set it up, and even run speed tests right from your smartphone.
This is a well-made gaming router that offers a terrific balance of fast speeds, reliable connectivity, and a solid coverage range. As far as price goes, it’s certainly not a budget gaming router but it’s also more affordable than any of the premium options on the market. With excellent stability, good security features, and an attractive design, it’s a great value for anyone looking for a mid-priced option. See the NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 as an alternative.
Why We Like It
- Impressive WiFi range
- Excellent USB performance
- High speed of up to 1900 Mbps
- Sleek design
- QoS feature allows you to prioritize bandwidth to your gaming system
- Wireless Dual-Band
2. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6S Extender with NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200
Another entry in NETGEAR’s Nighthawk line, this bundle includes the X65 Extender and Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Wireless Router. Paired together, gamers can enjoy super-fast speeds and fantastic range.
The Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Router features a tri-band 1 GHz Dual Core processor with three offload processors for optimum performance. With a combined speed of up to 3200 Mbps, it’s one of the fastest WiFi powerhouses on the market. Plus, the X65 Extender ensures that your signal can reach anywhere in your home. And, thanks to FASTLANE3 technology, the extender makes a dedicated WiFi link to the router so you can avoid cutting the extended bandwidth in half.
This is a premium gaming router designed with all the features you need to take your gaming to the next level. MU-MIMO allows it to stream data to multiple devices simultaneously instead of rotating between devices like a conventional router would. And the tri-band feature allows you to send WiFi to more devices without sacrificing the performance of your gaming system. With beamforming, it delivers stronger connections to your gaming rig, even if it’s far from the router. Check out the NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 as an alternative.
And the 6 antennas, powerful amplifiers, and extender ensure that you get the maximum range possible throughout your home. For connectivity, it features 4 gigabit ports so you can connect smart TVs and gaming consoles to the router. And setup and router management is a breeze since the Nighthawk app allows you to perform most functions right from your mobile device.
This is a premium model and is one of the most expensive options featured on our list. But it’s also one of the best models around and is perfect for serious gamers who want excellent performance, lightning-fast speeds, multiple bands, and impressive range.
Why We Like It
- MU-MIMO function
- Easy setup
- Impressive range
- Tri-band specific feature allows you to allocate WiFi for specific applications and devices
3. NETGEAR WNDR4500-100PAS N900
The NETGEAR WNDR4500 Wireless Router proves that excellent gaming performance doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Capable of solid speeds and reliable performance, it’s one of the best budget gaming router models on the market today.
This wireless dual band router offers simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and up to 450 Mbps per band for a combined speed of up to 900 Mbps. While that might be a bit less than some of the more expensive options on the market, it’s more than capable of ensuring smooth lag-free gameplay for even the most demanding, fast-paced games.
This is a well-designed router that’s perfect for gamers. Its Advanced QoS system is optimized for smooth HD streaming and gaming, allowing you to make the allocation of bandwidth to your gaming rig a priority. With 5 gigabit ports with auto-sensing technology, it offers plenty of connection options. And a double firewall and DoS attack prevention ensure that your home system is protected from malicious attacks.
It might lack some of the higher stats and bells and whistles found in pricier models but the WNDR4500 still provides fast, reliable wireless performance and terrific output at both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Plus, it’s easy to manage and setup. While it might not offer the astounding speeds providing by more expensive models, it’s still one of the most affordable ways to upgrade your old router.
Why We Like It
- Wireless Dual band router
- Easy to use
- Excellent range
- Advanced Quality of Service feature
- Affordably priced
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S AC2600 R7800
If you’re looking for one of the best overall gaming routers on the market, look no further than the NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S AC2600. Versatile, fast, and backed by a powerful dual core processor, it’s guaranteed to deliver the performance you need to take your gaming experience to the next level.
With a powerful 1.7 GHz dual core processor and 2600 Mbps of combined wireless speeds, this is one of the best models on the market for die-hard gamers. And since the speeds can be allocated by device, you get lag-free gaming even when the rest of your household is using data for their own personal devices. And with four-stream WiFi architecture, you can enjoy 4K video streaming and smoother gameplay.
Fantastic MU-MIMO performance means your gaming rig gets the bandwidth you need for a strong connection and smooth gameplay. And the dynamic Quality of Service feature ensures jitter-free gaming. Beamforming ensures that your system gets a strong, constant signal at long range. And the built-n Geo-Filter lets your router search for local connections set by you, so you can enjoy optimum connectivity without experiencing any lag or stalls.
Plus, this router offers a customizable dashboard that lets you manage your router’s security connections and see how much bandwidth each connected device is using up.
Sometimes, you get what you pay for. And that’s certainly the case with the Nighthawk X4S AC2600. While it might cost more than some other models on the market, it offers the ability to allocate bandwidth so your gameplay is a priority and manage your connection through the dashboard. Plus, it delivers great speed and comes backed with a powerful processor. Put that all together and you have one of the top premium gaming routers of 2018. Why not look at the NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 for an alternative.
Why We Like It
- 1.7 GHz dual core processor
- Capable of providing total speed of 2600 Mbps
- Excellent range
- Impressive MU-MIMO performance
5. NETGEAR Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router
NETGEAR’s Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router is one of the newest routers on the market. It’s part of their Nighthawk Pro Gaming line and features a sleek, modern design and state-of-the-art software to deliver exceptional network performance that’s perfect for fast-paced gaming.
The XR500 is designed to optimize your internet connection so you can enjoy your games the way they were meant to be played. With a 1.7 GHz Dual Core CPU and a top speed of 2600 Mbps, this wireless dual band router has enough power under the hood to handle even the most demanding, fast-paced games. The NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 is a great alternative.
This powerhouse gaming router comes with all the features needed to elevate your gaming experience. It offers a great extended coverage range up to 5000 square feet and QoS allows you to prioritize your gaming devices so there’s no lag when other devices are using up data. And the Geo-Filter limits distance to your servers so there’s no drop in bandwidth. To monitor your network and data usage per device, simply view real-time bandwidth utilization on the gaming dashboard and identify applications that could be causing a lag with the network monitor.
This is a premium option designed for serious gamers. It might cost more than other models on the market but it’s well-made, reliable, and has all the features you need to enjoy smooth, seamless gameplay, even in large households.
Why We Like It
- Wireless dual band router
- Up to 2600 Mbps of combined speed
- Impressive wireless range
- Dynamic MU-MIMO
- Easy monitoring and customization
6. ASUS RTAC68U AiMesh Whole Home WiFi Router
Perfect for large homes, the ASUS RTAC68U AiMesh Whole Home WiFi Router features two AC1900 routers for extended coverage and amazing network performance.
With a 1 GHz dual-core processor, this dual-band 802.11ac 3x3 ASUS RTAC68U WiFi router offers combined speeds of up to 1900 Mbps per node. Designed with ASUS' innovative Amish technology, it allows you to connect multiple ASUS routers for a whole-home Wi-Fi networking solution so that all the devices throughout your home can receive the bandwidth needed to run quickly and smoothly.
This ASUS RTAC68U model is designed with Radar which allows it to strengthen wireless connectivity using beamforming for high power amplification, a stronger wireless signal, more stability, and amazing data speed increases. And it’s remarkably easy to set up and manage with the ASUS Router App. Plus, you’re protected from attacks thanks to Protection Pro and the router’s ability to block malicious sites and prevent infected devices from transmitted personal data. See the ASUS RTAC3200 for an alternative.
If you’re looking for a powerful option with fast wireless performance and great short and long range performance, this ASUS RTAC68U is one of the best investments you can make. While it’s more expensive than some options on our list, its versatility is its true selling point and makes it a great value. With Amish, you can connect as many routers as you need to cover even the largest area efficiently and enjoy fast, reliable wireless performance for all your gaming needs.See the ASUS RTAC88U as an alternative.
Why We Like It
- 1900 Mbps speed
- Incredibly versatile
- Beamforming for a stronger wireless signal
- Fantastic short and long range performance
7. ASUS RT-ACRH13 Dual-Band 2×2 AC1300 Router
If you want a high-quality dual-band router that’s great for gaming but won’t cost you a fortune, the Asus RT-ACRH13 AC1300 Router is definitely something to look into. With easy setup, great speeds, and excellent range, it’s one of the best options in its class.
This Asus gaming router offers dual-band 802.11 ac Wi-Fi with concurrent speeds of up to 867 Mbps and 400 Mbps on the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands respectively. That adds up to a combined speed of up to 1267 Mbps, which is more than enough to run today’s fast-paced games without lag and interruption.
Designed with Asus Smart Connect and MU-MIMO, this model delivers simultaneous and consistent bandwidth by switching devices between 2.4 and 5 GHz automatically. This means that you never have to worry about lag or losing your connection, even when other household members suddenly jump on another wireless device. And setup is simple with ASUSWRT’s web interface. And once connected, you can manage your network with your smartphone thanks to the Asus Router App.
While some routers might offer more features, this is a high-quality, well-designed dual-band model with solid speeds and excellent long range signal strength. Add in the simple setup and management as well as a solid MU-MIMO feature and Asus Smart Connect technology, and you have one of the best options on the market under $100. Look at the ASUS RTAC3200 for a great alternative.
Why We Like It
- MU-MIMO feature
- Affordable option
- Good wireless coverage area
- Speeds up to 1267 Mbps
- Web interface
8. ASUS RTAC5300 Tri-Band Wireless Router
With an impressive total data output rate of 5300 Mbps and a high-tech, modern design, the ASUS RT-AC5300 Tri-Band Wireless Router is one of the top premium picks on the market today. The ASUS AC5300 Tri-Band utilizes a dual 5 GHz and single 2.4 GHz connection type with the latest 802.11ac 4x4 technology. It has four-gigabit Ethernet ports with a 2 Gaps link aggregation and coverage spans up to 5,000 square feet.
The router also has built-in game acceleration that optimizes routes to game servers with low ping times, so you don’t lag when you're competing in an online multiplayer match. The ASUS AC5300 comes included with MU-MIMO, giving each connected device its own dedicated full-speed Wi-Fi connections along with Protection for security measures to protect against a wide variety of malicious infected devices and websites.
The ASUS AC5300 is a tri-band router that uses dual 5 GHz and one 2.4 GHz connections for an impressive maximum throughput of over 5300 Mbps. Plus, its 1.4 GHz dual-core processor is backed by a generous 512 MB of memory. These specs add up to a workhorse gaming router that can deliver stable, lightning fast connectivity for every device in your home.
This router is built with a 4 transmit and 4 receive antennas for maximum signal stability that can reach up to 5,000 square feet. And the inclusion of Radar beamforming allows you to direct the wireless signal to your gaming system for a stronger, faster connection. The ASUS Smart Connect feature ensures that you won’t encounter lag by switching devices to different bands when needed. And, with access to Waist Gamers Private Network, this router ensures low, stable ping times when playing games.
At just under $300, this is certainly a premium gaming router. But if it’s in your budget, it’s simply one of the best models that money can buy. It’s built specifically with the needs of serious gamers in mind and is capable of impressive speed, fantastic coverage, and a powerful, reliable connection that won’t ever let you down. Check out the ASUS RTAC3200 for a great alternative.
Why We Like It
- Can handle a large number of WiFi devices without slowing performance
- Loaded with features that ensure minimum latency during gameplay
- Fantastic built-in security system
- Solid troubleshooting and configuration options
- Single 2.4 GHz and dual 5 GHz bands
9. TP-LINK TALON AD7200 Tri-Band Gigabit Router
The TP-LINK TALON AD7200 Tri-Band Gigabit Router is a top-of-the-line powerhouse capable of directing lighting fast speed throughout your entire home. And with three connection bands and tons of signal boosting features, it offers smooth, reliable performance no matter how many devices are connected to it.
The TALON AD7200 has some of the best specs in its class. Its powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU makes reliable, high-speed connections using lightning-fast 802.11ad wireless technology. This tri-band router offers up to 7200 Mbps of WiFi speed across its 2.4, 5, and 60 GHz bands and has 512 MB of RAM and 32 MB of Flash memory. The addition of the 60 GHz band is especially significant since it offers speeds far greater than what Gigabit Ethernet can provide.
TP-LINK designed this router with MU-MIMO multi-user support and 4-Stream technology, allowing it to cut down on wait times and boost WiFi speeds by adding an extra data stream to the 5 and 2.4 GHz bands. Plus, beam-steering technology lets you direct the wireless signal that’s fed to your gaming rig for optimal connection strength. And with 8 fixed antennas and one 60 GHz antenna array, it can cover large areas with ease.
This is the most expensive model featured on our list but you get what you pay for. With unparalleled close and long-range performance, tons of connection and speed-enhancing features, and three bands, including one at 60 GHz, it’s one of the most impressive gaming routers ever built. If you can afford the sticker price, have a wide-variety of WiFi-enabled devices in your home, and crave the latest in wireless performance and technology, it’s one of the top picks of 2018. See the TPLINK ARCHER C9 as an alternative.
Why We Like It
- Amazingly fast WiFi capabilities
- Supports 802.11ad protocol
- Tri-band design
- Tons of features
- One of the best close-range performers on the market today
10. Linksys AC3200 WRT32X Dual-Band Gaming Router
Linksys boasts that their AC3200 WRT32X Dual-Band Gaming Router is the first router built specifically to prioritize gaming. And with a powerful CPU, great performance, tons of features, and lightning-fast speeds it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular routers in its class.
Designed with a 1.8 GHz dual-core CPU, the WRT32X is capable of ultra-fast data processing that lets you enjoy low latency gameplay even when multiple WiFi devices are sharing a connection. And with dual-band technology and impressive combined wireless speeds of up to 3200 Mbps, it’s sure to take your gaming experience to the next level.
This router is built with the Killer Prioritization Engine that prioritizes and speeds up gaming network traffic, reducing peak ping by up to 77%. And for optimum performance, each connected device gets its own dedicated data stream, eliminating the need for devices to compete for valuable bandwidth.
With dynamic frequency selection certification, the WRT32X can operate at 160 MHz as well as tripling the channels available at 80 MHz, so this router can operate at frequencies that other routers can’t. Plus, this gaming router was designed with a Gigabit Ethernet switch with 4 ports, making it the perfect option if you want to connect multiple gaming rigs.
This model packs a lot of punch while coming in at a mid-level price. It offers exceptional speed and performance, reducing latency while enhancing gameplay in environments where numerous devices are being used at once. At under $200, it’s one of the best values on the market today.
Why We Like It
- Supports MU-MIMO streaming
- Up to 3200 Mpbs of combined speed
- Killer Prioritization Engine allocates more bandwidth for gameplay
Router for Gaming Buying Guide
What to Look for When Buying a Router for Gaming
When it comes to routers, most people pick one simply by finding the model that offers the best performance within their budget. And if you want to see the video gaming routers that we’re really impressed with, just keep reading. But if it’s time for you to upgrade, it’s a good idea to understand how to evaluate routers for yourself. Here are the factors that you need to keep in mind when you’re on the market for a router for video gaming.
A good router is a great investment. But if you can only get a good signal when you’re sitting right next to your router, all the speed in the world isn’t going to make much of a difference. This is why it’s so important to purchase a model whose signal can cover a large area of space without any major impact on wired connectivity and wireless quality. Keep in mind that even the best router won’t be able to cover extremely large homes with multiple floors.
So, if you have a massive home, your best bet is to purchase a dedicated range extender along with your new router or look into a mesh router system that comes with a series of small routers which operate on the same signal. This will ensure optimum coverage throughout your home.
In many homes, router performance can lag because there are so many devices receiving data simultaneously. Smartphones, gaming PCs, laptops, tablets, streaming sticks, and even WiFi-enabled smart home monitoring systems can all be consuming valuable data at once.
To accommodate this, most routers switch between devices rapidly, offering the illusion that all of your devices are receiving data at the same time. The downside to this is that the fast connection will slow down and cause significant lag when the router gets bogged down feeding more than 4 or 5 devices. That’s why many routers now feature Multi-User-Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output, or MU-MIMO.
This feature concurrently allocates bandwidth. This can significantly increase performance speed when the router is communicating with more than 3 devices. So if you have an excessive amount of WiFi-enabled devices in your home, a router with MU-MIMO technology is a fantastic investment.
At one point, routers were only able to send one wireless network signal. These devices are known as single-band. Thankfully, while single-band models are still available, there are now dual-band WiFi and tri-band routers on the market. These technologies allow the router to send more than one wireless signal at once. The main advantage to this technology is that you can create specific networks from your router than can be allocated for specific tasks or uses.
This means that you can have a public home network for internet browsing and handheld devices and another that is only used for your expensive or budget gaming system. This speeds up the performance of your router, improving your gameplay experience. Because of this, our recommendation is that you should purchase a dual-band WiFi model at the bare minimum.
Many new routers offer multiple frequency options to choose from. The most common frequencies that you’ll find are 2.4 and 5.0 GHz. Each of these frequencies has certain strengths, which is why purchasing a router that offers this option is such a good idea.
The 2.4 GHz frequency band is terrific for covering large areas. It sends a wide signal throughout your home, allowing you to use it with tons of devices. The drawback is that, with so many devices using it, you’ll have to sacrifice some speed.
On the other hand, the 5.0 GHz band is perfect for smaller areas and delivers more bandwidth. This makes it great for delivering high-speed performance to a few devices within a close range. The drawback to this band is that it’s not capable of covering a large area.
Beamforming is a feature that’s definitely worth looking into. Routers with this ability let you focus your WiFi router signal to specific devices instead of sending a signal out throughout your smart home. Since the signal can be directed right to your video gaming rig, this gives you a better signal rate, even at significant distances.
Additional Software Features
Modern routers should offer plenty of software features that are a breeze to use. You want a versatile model that allows you to fine-tune the mesh router performance for your needs. One of the most important software features that you should look for is Quality of Service. This feature lets you choose which processes in your home receive the most bandwidth. This is an incredibly important feature when members of your household use the internet for downloaded, browsing, and streaming while you’re playing your games.
You can simply allocate more bandwidth to your gaming, allowing it to perform without latency and ping, even while other family members are using data at the same time. Choosing the right premium or budget gaming router doesn’t have to be tough. And now that you know how to evaluate routers, you’re well on your way to choosing the right model for your gaming needs.
But now that you understand what to look for when it’s time to upgrade your mesh router, let’s get down to our review so you can see some of the best options out there today!
Sick of your game stalling at the worst possible moment? Ready to take your video gaming to the next level? Then it’s time to upgrade to a high-quality gaming router. But with so many choices out there, choosing the right one for your needs can be a little confusing. That’s why we took a look at the best performers out there.
We compared the most popular premium and budget gaming routers available and evaluated them based on their design, performance, specs, reviews, features, and price. In the end, we came up with our list of the top 10 gaming routers of 2018. With something for everyone, we’re sure you’ll be able to find the model that’s perfect for you!
Choosing the Right Router for Gaming
If your old router is dragging down your online gaming experience, then it’s time for an upgrade. But it’s not enough to just go out and buy the first router you see. You need a gaming router that’s capable of delivering the performance and stability you need for truly optimized gameplay.
When shopping for a wireless gaming router, top speeds and memory space are only going to get you so far. If you have a few WiFi-enabled devices using data in your home, they’re all going to be sharing the connection which is going to slow down the performance of your gaming rig. To manage this, you want a router with some type of traffic shaping like QoS, or Quality-of-Service.
Routers with this feature allow you to prioritize your gaming traffic, allowing your video gaming rig to get more bandwidth compared to other devices. You also want to select a dual-band or tri-band router if you have multiple devices accessing your wireless connection while you’re playing. This will allow you to reserve the 5 GHz band for wireless gaming devices while leaving the 2.4 GHz band to deal with regular internet traffic.
This will ensure that you never have to worry about other devices slowing your gameplay down or hindering your system’s performance. By selecting a model with these features, you’ll never have to deal with lag or high ping rates again, allowing you to conquer fast-paced games without ever having to worry about your internet connection letting you down.
Once you purchase your new gaming router, you need to consider where to place it. While placement might not be a huge factor if you live in a studio apartment, in most homes it’s going to have a major impact on your wireless network performance.
The general rule is to make sure that your router is out in the open and is located close to the middle of your home. This optimal placement will ensure that you can enjoy maximum WiFi coverage and performance throughout your smart home.
Did You Know?
One of the most common mistakes that gamers make involves software, not hardware. Manufacturers frequently release updates to the software that runs their routers. This is why today’s routers allow you to manage these updates through their administration software.
By regularly checking for, and installing, the most current updates for your wireless gaming router, you can enjoy all of the performance improvements, enhancements, fixes, and security upgrades released for your router. This will ensure that it keeps performing at its maximum potential.