Consider investing in one of the best gaming routers of 2021, especially if you’re all about online gaming. Such a router is just as vital as the components inside your gaming PC, as it meets the specific game-related network demands you need for a smoother, lag-free experience. So, while there are more exciting peripherals to buy when putting together your gaming rig, you also need to spend just as much time and effort choosing a gaming router.
The best gaming routers do more than provide a dependable connection. They are also able to do things like prioritizing network bandwidth for your PC as well as minimizing lags and other intermittent problems. In other words, they’ll deliver a rock solid connection throughout your entire gaming session, especially during the most important or intense moments. That’s something most typical routers just can’t do.
And, that’s on top of their gaming-oriented features that only add to their value. MU-MIMO technology, for instance, lets routers communicate with multiple Wi-Fi devices at the same time and speeds up the network's throughput. Quality of Service (or QoS), on the other hand, makes sure your gaming is uninterrupted even while others are using up a fair amount of bandwidth.
Having the latest internals are important for playing the best PC games, but you just won’t get far if your router is not up to the challenge. Get the most out of your rig with one of the best gaming routers available, whether that means getting one equipped with Wi-Fi 6 or one with an attractive set of features.
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Best gaming routers at a glance
- TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
- Asus RT-AC86U
- TP-Link Archer C5400X
- Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
- Asus RT-AC5300
- Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
- Asus RT-AC88U
- D-link DIR-885L/R
If you’re searching for the latest router technology but you still like that old school look, the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 might just be an ideal fit. This is one of the best gaming routers that pairs enthusiast grade features with a simple setup, packing them into a package that’s appealing to just about anyone. Factor in the Alexa support, and you have a router that can adjust to any situation, whether you’re trying to come out on top in the latest match in Apex Legends, or you have guests that are connecting to your network.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400 V2
The Asus RT-AC5300 is one of the best gaming routers – it has a collection of advanced features, making online and network gaming as lag and frustration free as possible. This includes a straightforward yet powerful interface, as well as comprehensive QoS settings. The spider-like design is somewhat of an acquired taste, but the eight antennae serve a purpose since they can be used to direct the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, providing this router with remarkable range.
Read the full review: Asus RT-AC86U
We know we’ve already mentioned the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 earlier, but the company added an ‘X’ to the end of this model, signifying the extreme boost in performance. It’s considerably more expensive, but that price tag is justifiable as it may be one of the highest-end and best gaming routers available. With eight ethernet ports around the back, it’s perfect for hardwiring a fleet of gaming equipment. And, the MU-MIMO and Tri-band support means that wireless connections are also top of the line. You’ll top the leaderboards irrespective of where you are in the house.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400X
If you’re a hardcore gamer, it can be maddening when your roommates are watching Netflix or downloading their own games at the same time. You should take a look at something like the Netgear Nighthawk XR500. Not only will this elite gaming router deliver a ridiculously fast 2.2Gbps speed, but with MU-MIMO support – not to mention, unique gaming features like location-based connection filtering and QoS, you can do some gaming all night without hitting a paralyzing lag spike. Just be ready for the high sticker price and make sure you’re ok with such a gamer aesthetic.
Read the full review: Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
The Asus RT-AC5300 is a fantastic high-end gaming router that is filled with a bunch of striking features. This includes an incredibly simple yet powerful interface, on top of comprehensive QoS settings. The spider-like design isn’t for everyone, but the eight antennae are there for a reason, to help direct your Wi-Fi signal reach throughout your home, giving this router excellent range.
Read the full review: Asus RT-AC5300 Tri-band Gigabit Router
This router might look like it’s going to abduct a close friend or family member, but we promise the Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600 isn’t as alien in function as it is in aesthetics. Brimming with the latest MU-MIMO support, which boosts speed when multiple devices are connected to the same network, this gaming router prides itself on its performance capabilities. Since it can handle several devices, while prioritizing bandwidth depending on the needs of each connection, it’s one of the best gaming routers you can purchase today.
Read the full review: Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
The Asus RT-AC88U is an expensive gaming router. However, it justifies its price with crazy 802.11 wireless performance. Armed with four antennae and NitroQAM tech, which pushes speeds even further, this gaming router enables wireless performance that can break the 1GB/sec limit. There’s a catch – you’ll need to grab a NitroQAM wireless adapter, like the Asus PCE AC88, to approach these mighty speeds; but with speeds like this, it’s not hard to see why this is one of the best gaming routers available.
It may look like it came straight from Battlestar Galactica – the old Battlestar Galactica – but, the D-Link DIR 885L/R is a dependable mid-range gaming router with great range and speed. If you’re looking for the best gaming router, you may want to give this one a try. It comes with a good range of ports, as well as a nicely designed UI. It also touts DD-WRT open-source firmware, making this router as versatile as it is powerful.