Gaming Woes: Why Is Xbox Cloud Gaming so Laggy? (8 Actionable Ways to Fix It)

Why is Xbox cloud gaming so laggy? If this question is haunting you, you’re not alone. Just take a peek at any Xbox Cloud Gaming laggy queries on a Reddit thread, and you’ll see gamers all over grappling with the same issue.

What’s the actual reason behind this problem? Why is cloud gaming so laggy on PC and phones? It’s because of server mess-ups, overloaded servers, slow internet speed, bandwidth limitations, and router performance.

In this article, we’ll explain these reasons and more and provide 8 actionable ways to resolve them. We’ll even let you in on which cloud gaming service is the smoothest and how to fix laggy Fortnite on Xbox Cloud. So, let’s start without any delays!

Why Is Xbox Cloud Gaming so Laggy and Ways to Fix It

So, how do you fix lag on Xbox cloud gaming? To learn the answer to this query, you’ll first have to know the reasons behind laggy cloud gaming. It could be anything from network connectivity issues to high network traffic, bandwidth limitations, VPN, overloaded game servers, and server distance. 

But worry not. If you want to find out how to make cloud gaming run better, read the reasons for lag and the ways to kick its butt errm… fix it below:

1) Network Connectivity Issues

Do you know what is the disadvantage of Xbox Cloud Gaming? It’s dependent on the internet, and that’s the root of the problem. Cloud gaming needs at least 10 Mbps internet speed, but it’s best to have 20 Mbps or more. If your internet is slower than that, you’re toast.

Besides the slow internet, Wi-Fi connections can cause lag due to weak signals and slower response times, especially when far from the router or obstructed by obstacles. 

Interference from other devices using the same frequency, like microwaves and baby monitors, can also disrupt Wi-Fi signals. Limited bandwidth is a problem too. If lots of devices are on the Wi-Fi or you’re downloading and streaming heavily, expect more lag.

How to Fix

First things first, check your download and ping speeds using a site like If it’s crawling, hit up your internet service provider (ISP) and see if they can boost it. If the lag’s still bothering you, switch to a different network. That’ll do the trick.

Other than that, swap to a wired connection instead, as it can send data faster and with less interference. If you can’t use a wired connection, go for a PCle Wi-Fi card. The best PCle wireless cards have features like tri-band Wi-Fi, fast speeds (over 3,000 Mbps), and Bluetooth. They even support the latest 6GHz Wi-Fi 6E bands.

2) High Network Traffic

During peak hours when everyone is hogging the internet, your connection might experience higher latency and slower speeds. This is because every device is fighting to have a piece of the network’s bandwidth, hence the lag.

How to Fix

Here’s the Xbox cloud gaming lag fix for high network traffic: Play Xbox Cloud Gaming during off-peak hours when the internet traffic’s low. You’ll experience less latency and smoother gaming then.

Another fix is to get closer to your router for a stronger connection. Also, disconnect your devices, hogging the network, and you’ll have more bandwidth for your Xbox gaming.

3) Server Distance and Location

The distance between your device and the cloud gaming server can cause lag. If the distance is far, it will take longer for the data to reach the server and the video to return to your device.

Thus, you’ll get more lag. For example, if you’re in the US, and the game server is in Europe, there will be a high lag compared to playing on a US-based server.

How to Fix

Check where the location of the servers are in your region and pick one that’s closest to you. That way, data travels faster, and you’ll get a smoother gaming experience. You can find information about whether your region supports Xbox Cloud Gaming here: Xbox Supported Countries & Regions.

4) Router Performance

If your router is old, it will struggle to transmit data quickly, especially when streaming a bandwidth-hungry game. Moreover, if it has a short range, it will only send input at a shorter distance, thus causing lag. And guess what? Most routers provided by ISPs don’t prioritize gaming traffic, leading to even more lag.

How to Fix

Upgrading to a newer and faster router model can cut down on lag big time. And if your router has a Quality of Service (QoS) feature, which is prevalent in Linksys and Netgear routers, turn it on.  It helps reduce lag by prioritizing game traffic, typically the audio and video quality in streaming.

The QoS feature is referred to as WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia Mode) in WiFi routers. However, it works best when you’re not using another streaming application in the background. Enabling WMM can be both beneficial and potentially harmful for cloud gaming, depending on your setup. 

If your router can’t handle the increased load or your internet plan is slow (under 300Mbps), turning on WMM might worsen the lag. The best way is to give this feature a shot on your router and see if it makes a difference. If it doesn’t improve things, just switch it off.

Here’s how you can enable WMM on your router:

  1. Open your browser and type in your router’s IP address (printed under the router or in the router manual) in the address bar.
  2. Sign in to your router using the default login credentials (printed under the router or in the router manual).
  3. Head to the “Wi-Fi” section and enable “WMM” and “WMM Power Save.” Save the changes. 

Additionally, get a long-range router to reduce lag. You’ll find many best WiFi long-range routers to help you solve the shorter-range issue. Due to their multiple antennas, their signal is stronger and can reach further distances. Plus, they also come with speedy processors and increased RAM.

5) Background Applications

Background applications can be a real nuisance for cloud gaming. They gobble up bandwidth, consume CPU, and memory, slowing down your device. This interference can lead to severe lag, especially if you’re playing a bandwidth-hungry game.

And watch out if you’re on Wi-Fi because background applications can also mess with your network traffic.

How to Fix

Shut down unused apps. That’ll free up bandwidth, CPU, and memory, reducing lag. Also, turn off automatic updates if you don’t need them. It’ll stop background apps from overloading your bandwidth and CPU with unnecessary downloads.

6) Bandwidth Limitations

Data caps and bandwidth limitations can also cause laggy Xbox cloud gaming. Data caps restrict the amount of data you can use each month, and going over it may slow down your connection, causing lag. 

On the other hand, bandwidth limitations limit the data transfer rate, making it tough to play cloud games smoothly, especially during busy peak hours.

How to Fix

Now, here you may ask, “How can I improve my Xbox One cloud gaming by removing these restrictions.” Simply put, check your internet plan to make sure you’ve got enough data for gaming. If needed, get a plan with higher data limits or no caps from your ISP.

That way, you can dodge lag. And when picking a cloud gaming service, keep bandwidth in mind. A lag-free cloud gaming needs specific bandwidth based on resolution and frame rate, such as:

●     720p/30 FPS: 10 Mbps download, 5 Mbps upload.

●     1080p/60 FPS: 20 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload.

●     4K/60 FPS: 35 Mbps download, 15 Mbps upload.

Your best bet is to sign up for a fiber connection like Verizon Home Internet or AT&T. Their internet plan offers up to 10,000Mbps (10Gbps) bandwidth with an 11-14 ms latency. If you like to go for a cable option, Spectrum or Xfinity is a solid choice. With their internet plan, you can hit a max of 1,200Mbps (1.2Gbps) with 15-35 ms latency.

7) Using VPN

Using a VPN or proxy can mess with cloud gaming. When you use them, your traffic detours through their server before reaching its destination. This extra route means longer travel time and more lag. Additionally, VPN also causes loss of data packets in transit. This can result in stuttering in Xbox cloud gaming.

How to Fix

If you’re not using a VPN for other purposes, turn it off and see if it reduces lag. However, if you still want to use a VPN or proxy, go for one with low latency to avoid extra lag. Also, choose a server closer to you if you’re connected to a VPN or proxy. That’ll cut down on latency.

8) Browser Performance

If you’re using a browser to play Xbox Cloud games, it can also cause performance issues like lagging.

That’s because cloud gaming depends on the browser’s implementation of the WebRTC protocol, which handles video game streaming. Browsers with superior WebRTC implementations usually deliver smoother gaming with less lag.

How to Fix

Use only supported browsers for Xbox cloud gaming. Try Safari for iOS 14.4 and MacOS 14.1.2 macOS devices and Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 20H2 and later. We personally found that Microsoft Edge Browser and Google Chrome deliver the best Xbox Cloud Gaming performances.

How to Make Xbox Cloud Gaming Less Laggy on the Phone?

If you’re now wondering, “Aren’t these fixes for computers? What about phones? How can I improve my cloud gaming speed on my phone?” 

While the fixes we just gave you above can work for various devices, phones have their own little quirks. Here are some reasons for laggy Xbox Cloud Gaming on your phone and some tricks to help you zap that lag:

1) Using a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi Connection

If you’re using a 2.4GHz for Xbox gaming on your phone, it could cause lag. The 2.4 GHz band is perfect for connections that don’t require super-fast speeds or when you’re far from the router. But it’s not as speedy as the 5 GHz band.

How to Fix

If your router has both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, connect your phone to the 5GHz network and keep your other home devices on 2.4GHz. 5GHz networks are typically less crowded and provide a faster and more stable connection.

Moreover, if your phone supports a wired connection, an Ethernet adapter can provide a more stable connection than Wi-Fi.

2) Distance from the Router

If you’re gaming on your phone, far away from your router, this could also be the reason for the lag.

How to Fix

Wireless routers spread Wi-Fi signals in all directions from their spot, so place your router in the middle of your home for the best coverage. If you primarily use the internet in a specific area, aim for a central spot there instead. Or move closer to your router to improve signal strength and reduce lag.

3) Using a Mobile Hotspot

If you’re using a mobile hotspot on your connection to play Xbox Cloud gaming, this can also be the reason for the lag.

Mobile hotspots have slower internet, less data for streaming games, and are susceptible to signal interruptions from other devices and the environment, leading to lag. Besides, sharing the hotspot with other devices can add more strain on the network and cause even more lag.

How to Fix

Upgrade your mobile hotspot data plan to get more data for smoother gaming. Also, if you’re sharing the hotspot with multiple devices, disconnect some to free up bandwidth and reduce lag.

4) Disabled Gaming Mode

Some phones come with a dedicated gaming mode that optimizes performance. If it is disabled, other apps might run in the background and hog resources like CPU and memory, causing laggy cloud gaming.

How to Fix

Check if your phone has a Gaming Mode and enable it to reduce lag.

5) Toggle Off Force 4x MSAA

4x MSAA (multisample anti-aliasing) is a feature in many Android phones that enhances the visual performance of games. But here’s the catch: if your phone’s processor isn’t strong enough, you’ll face frame drops in demanding games like PUBG, Fortnite, etc.

How to Fix

Toggle off 4x MSAA to play games smoothly on Xbox Cloud. You can check if your phone has that feature by going to “Settings,” tapping “About Phone,” and then “Build Number” seven times.

Once recognized as a developer, head back to “Settings,” tap “System,” then “Developer Options.” Look for the “Force 4x MSAA” option and toggle it off.

Which Cloud Gaming Has the Least Input Lag?

With the relentless progress of technology, cloud gaming providers are pushing limits to reduce lag for optimal gameplay. Let’s look at two of the best cloud gaming services in 2023 that have managed to minimize input lag, offering players a near-instantaneous gaming experience.

1) Xbox Cloud Gaming

Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) is a popular gaming service by Microsoft. It offers 100+ games, including Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, and third-party games like Minecraft and Destiny 2.

Internet Requirements – 5GHz WiFi, 10 Mbps for mobile devices for 720p/30fps, and 20 Mbps for PCs, tablets, consoles, and smart TVs for 1080p/60fps. It requires latency under 125ms, with 60ms being ideal.

Subscriptions – Game Pass Ultimate that also provides access to Xbox and PC Game Pass service for PCs and consoles.

PC Requirements – A 1.5GHz multi-core CPU and 4 GB RAM. 

Compatibility – Android, iOS, smart TV, Windows, and Mac.

Xbox Cloud gaming is still in beta, but its gaming quality is getting better every day. It supports DirectCapture encoding for better latency, and many games have touch controls, perfect for Android and iPhone users.

We tested the platform by playing Forza Horizon 5 on a PC and San Francisco server and found the gaming performance without lag at 1080p/60fps. To check the gaming latency, we used a 120 fps camera to capture the gameplay and found the latency to be 48ms.

However, there was a noticeable lag when we played Forza Horizon 5 on iPhone, but Mac showed no lag with the Edge browser. The visual quality also suffered a bit due to compression to maintain gaming performance.

2) NVIDIA GeForce Now

GeForce Now (GFN) is another popular cloud gaming service offering 1500+ games for streaming from Steam, Epic Games Store, and

Internet Requirements – 5Mbps for 720p/60fps and 45Mbps for 4K/120fps gaming, with latency under 80ms and 40ms being ideal.

Subscriptions – Free (1-hour play), Priority (6-hour play, priority server access), and Ultimate (unlimited play, 4K streaming).

PC requirements – 2GHz dual-core CPU, 4GB RAM, integrated graphics.

Compatibility – Android, iOS, smart TV, Windows, and Mac.

During our testing, we chose the Ultimate tier with AV1 encoding, Reflex mode, and RTX support. We connected to the Miami server, which supports the next-gen RTX 4080 gaming rig.

Playing Fortnite on our ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM monitor with a WiFi 6 router gave us no lag. To check gaming latency, we used Nvdia’s LDAT tool and found the latency to be 34ms. However, when we switched to 5GHz WiFi, the lag was noticeable. 

Fortunately, using an Ethernet cable on the 5GHz network resolved this issue. But we were a bit disappointed that GFN didn’t offer popular AAA titles like Call of Duty.

Why Is Fortnite so Laggy on Xbox Cloud Gaming?

Fortnite continues to be a popular game on Xbox Cloud Gaming, but there’s a downside too. Many players have complained of it being laggy. 

The reasons behind it could be anything from overloaded cloud servers to ISP throttling and a congested wireless channel. So, let’s have a detailed look at how to fix lag on Xbox cloud gaming for Fortnite:

1) Overloaded Servers

Due to Fortnite being in popular demand, tons of players try to log in all at once, and that causes overload on the servers, especially during peak hours. This, in turn, results in laggy gaming.

How to Fix

To have a smoother Fortnite experience, try playing during early mornings or late nights. Fewer people are on then, so the servers aren’t as jam-packed, and you’ll get better performance. Also, make sure to pick the server closest to where you’re at. Connecting to a nearby server will cut down on lag.

2) ISP Throttling

If you’re playing Fortnite on Xbox Cloud too much, you’ll use up a lot of bandwidth. This might make your Internet provider slow down your connection, especially if you’ve exceeded your data limit.

ISPs use this throttling to prioritize certain types of traffic, like gamers, to give users a better experience. They also throttle when there’s too much traffic at once, which can cause slow speeds for everyone. Slowing down certain users helps ease network congestion, but it also causes lag in gaming.

How to Fix

If you’re hitting your data limit or getting throttled too often while playing Fortnite, try upgrading to a better internet plan with more data. Contact your ISP about their throttling policies and if they offer gaming-friendly packages. VPNs can also sometimes help dodge throttling, but be careful and pick one optimized for gaming.

3) Congested Wireless Channel

If the Wi-Fi channel you’re using for Fortnite is crowded, it can cause lag and performance problems. When many devices share the same frequency, it leads to interference. This interference slows down your connection and makes it hard for your device to get the data it needs to play the game smoothly.

How to Fix

If you’re on a 2.4 GHz network and experiencing congestion issues while playing Fortnite, try switching to a less crowded channel. Use an Android app like WiFi Analyzer to find a better channel, preferably 5 numbers apart, like 1, 6, or 11 (up to 13 in Europe).

For 5 GHz WiFi, there are more channels available, but if you’re on a busy one, change it in your router settings to improve your connection. Most routers have a channel scanner feature accessible through the web interface.

For less congestion on 5 GHz, consider using DFS channels 52-64 and 100-140 if your device and router support DFS.

4) Outdated Wireless Drivers and Router Firmware

If your network drivers and router firmware are outdated, chances are they’re making your Fortnite all laggy.

How to Fix

Router manufacturers give updates to make it work better, faster, and safer. You can download and install these updates yourself. Just plug your device into the router with a cable, and upload the new firmware made available by the manufacturer. That should resolve the laggy Fortnite gaming problem.

FAQs-Cloud Gaming

Is Cloud Gaming Better with Ethernet?

Yes, cloud gaming is better with an Ethernet connection due to its stability, reliability, and low latency. Compared to WiFi, Ethernet provides higher bandwidth, enabling faster data transfer between your device and the cloud server.

Additionally, Ethernet connections are more secure as they are less susceptible to interference from other devices or signals.

Do You Need a Good Computer for Cloud Gaming?

You don’t necessarily need a high-end computer for cloud gaming. Cloud gaming allows you to play video games remotely on servers hosted by a cloud gaming provider. The processing is handled on the server, so you don’t need a powerful gaming computer.

All you require is a stable internet connection and a device capable of running the cloud gaming client, like a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, smart TV, or even a low-end computer.

Does Graphics Card Matter for Cloud Gaming?

No, your device’s graphics card doesn’t matter for cloud gaming because the game is rendered on remote servers. Only video and audio are streamed to your device, and your inputs are returned to the server.

The quality depends on the cloud gaming provider’s servers and the stability of your internet connection. However, some cloud gaming services may require specific hardware like a fast processor and graphics card and enough memory for smooth video streaming.

What Internet Speed Do You Need for Xbox Cloud Gaming?

Xbox Cloud Gaming requires a minimum internet speed of 20 Mbps on PCs, tablets and a 5GHz WiFi connection. If you’re using your phone, a lower speed of 10 Mbps is Microsoft’s recommended minimum for smooth gameplay.

How Much Latency Is Good in Cloud Gaming?

Anything between 40-60ms is considered good, as latency can never be zero. If it’s under 20ms, that’s the ideal scenario for cloud gaming.


So there you have the reasons and the solutions for your laggy Xbox Cloud gaming woes. Whether it’s an overloaded server or a slow internet, these 8 actionable ways should improve your gaming speed. Now, the ball’s in your court. Is cloud gaming worth it, like Xbox? Only you can decide!

Andrew is arguably the geekiest member of our team. He has a knack for new gaming hardware and awesome gadgets. Although Overwatch is his current favorite, he thinks the Counter Strike Global Offensive is the best shooter of all times. He is constantly hunting for news about new hero releases and patches. Andrew believes that playing video games is not just a hobby but a way of life. He regards his job at RealGear as a way of helping fellow gamers make the most of their gameplay by writing reviews about the hardware he uses and the FPS/ RTS he plays.

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