The Best Gaming Routers In 2022

How To Find The Best Gaming Router

The word “best” is highly subjective. The “Best Gaming Router” can mean different things to different people. To some, the “best gaming router” may be the newest, most expensive router on the market. To others, it may be the coolest looking, the one with the most antennas, the biggest bandwidth numbers, or the one with all the latest bells and whistles like VPN support, link aggregation, or the new Duma OS.

best gaming router

It may simply be the wireless router that gives you the best value and biggest performance boost on your home network without destroying your budget. We provide examples of each in this article.

Gamers are always looking for an edge when it comes to their gaming experience. Many gamers believe that using a router explicitly designed to help them destroy, pillage, and rampage from level to level can give them that edge. So, what is the difference between a gaming router and a regular router?

And, which one is better for you?

What Is A “Gaming Router” Anyway?

A gaming router is a type of wireless router that is specifically designed for performance and throughput. It typically has features that help to reduce latency and packet loss, which can improve your online experience. They are also often equipped with more powerful processors and higher-capacity antennas than traditional routers, so they can handle the increased traffic from gamers streaming HD video or playing multiplayer games online. If you’re a serious gamer, it’s a must-have piece of equipment.

How are these routers designed differently from any ordinary router? What features can you expect to find on one that you wouldn’t find on a normal router? Do you know what to look for when shopping for one?

The truth may be hard to swallow but some of the most important features to gamers can be found in many common, everyday wireless routers. For a better understanding let’s compare some of the features you’ll find on a typical wireless router with features you’ll find on most high-performance wireless routers designed with gamers in mind. 

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Features Found On Typical Wireless Routers

Gigabit Ethernet Ports: The truth is that wired network connections are still faster and more reliable than wireless ones unless you’re using an 802.11AC or 802.11AX router. Even then it’s debatable if you’re Wi-Fi speeds are faster than your wired speeds because Wi-Fi uses more overhead and is more susceptible to things like interference and latency over distance. For the best gaming experience possible, you always want to plug your devices into a hard-wired connection. Wi-Fi was originally intended to be a convenience feature that should be used when a wired connection is not possible.

Dual Bands: Dual bands can be used to separate different types of traffic. For example, keeping all your email and web surfing on one band greatly increases the amount of available bandwidth on the other band. Dual bands are not a hard-to-find feature in most modern wireless routers. On some high-end routers, these bands can be combined to form a larger band.

QoS: Quality Of Service is probably the most important of all of the features mentioned here. It allows you to prioritize certain types of traffic over others. For example, a gamer can use QOS to override everyone else’s web surfing, email, and video streaming traffic. This is very important to the timing-dependent data streams which power video games. Sure it could be annoying when the movie gets a little glitchy but it’s excruciatingly painful when you get behind in a game or have your character killed because Mom is downloading cooking recipes in the kitchen.

best gaming wireless routers

Features Found On Gaming Routers

Let’s take a look at some of the features you’ll typically find in high-performance wireless routers and routers designed for gamers:

MU-MIMO: stands for Multiple User Multiple Input Multiple Output. Clients can send and receive at their top speeds simultaneously instead of waiting for their turn.

Beamforming: instead of spewing signals in all directions beam forming locks onto the client with concentrated beams and stays connected even when the client moves around.

High Throughput: Throughput is a measure of how much data a router can process and efficiently push from one port to another or one medium (wired or wireless) to another. This is directly related to the power of the processor(s) in the router and the chipset on the board. Some chipsets perform better in this area than others. Generally, wireless routers designed for gamers have higher specs in this area than most routers so this can be a distinct advantage of purchasing one.

Tri Bands: An additional 5GHZ band is added to many routers designed for maximum bandwidth. This is like opening up another lane on a freeway for the sole purpose of driving at top speed if the other lanes get backed up.

Link Aggregation: This allows you to combine two ports on your router to make a single logical high-bandwidth stronger and faster port.

2GB Switch Ports: A new Ethernet standard emerging as a result of the fact that traditional 1GB switch ports are becoming a bottleneck in homes with fiber ISP connections.

Choosing The Best Gaming Router

If you’re a PC gamer, you know that a high-performance wireless router is essential for online play. Not all routers are created equal, however, so if you’re in the market for one, it’s important to do your research. The best wireless routers on the market offer high-performance features like multi-user MIMO technology and Gigabit Ethernet ports that will keep you connected no matter how intense the action gets.

They also come with gamer-friendly extras like QoS (quality of service) controls and built-in VPNs that can help protect your privacy. So, if you’re looking for the best possible online experience, be sure to check out the latest models from Asus, Netgear, TP-Link, and other top brands.

First, you’ll need to consider what type of gamer you are. If you’re a casual gamer who just wants to be able to stream shows and play a few games online, any basic router will do as long as you don’t have a lot of bandwidth hogs on your network. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer who wants the best possible performance for online gameplay, you’ll need a high-end wireless router with features specifically designed for gamers.

Next, you’ll need to think about your budget. High-performance wireless routers designed for gamers typically range in price from $150 to over $400. If you’re just getting your feet wet, you may want to start with a cheaper router and upgrade later.

Tips For Finding The Best Gaming Router

  1. If you’re a serious gamer, you need a router that can handle heavy traffic and won’t slow down your connection.
  2. Look for a router with at least four Ethernet ports so you can connect all your most bandwidth-intensive devices directly to the router.
  3. Wireless routers are fine for most gamers, but if you want the absolute best performance, go with a wired connection.
  4. Make sure the router you choose supports the latest wireless standards, such as 802.11ac or 802.11ax.
  5. Some routers come with built-in features specifically for gamers, such as Quality of Service (QoS) which prioritizes certain types of traffic over others.
  6. Routers that support OpenVPN have an added layer of security since they allow you to safely access your home network remotely without worrying about it being vulnerable.
  7. When shopping for a new router, consider what kind of range you’ll need – long-range routers might be better for those who live in larger homes with lots of obstacles between them and their WiFi router; short-range routers might be better for those who live in smaller spaces where it’s not necessary to have the WiFi reach across their entire house or apartment.
  8. Connecting a modem to the router will help provide more speed and stability than just connecting a computer to the modem alone.
  9. Don’t forget you’ll also need power! Make sure whichever model you buy has AC power, unless it is battery powered.
  10. The last thing you should know before buying a new gaming router is how much money you want to spend! Price ranges from $100-$400 depending on your needs and preferences. Some people prefer to pay less for lower-quality equipment, while others will gladly pay extra for high-end routers that guarantee low latency connections and superior speeds. In general, you get what you pay for when it comes to electronics.
  11. If possible, test out the router by connecting one device to it and then testing the connection speed. The fastest way to do this is by streaming video off of YouTube through a browser on your laptop or desktop computer connected wirelessly via Wi-Fi to the router itself.
  12. Your Internet service provider will also be able to tell you how fast their service is available at any given location in town – this information can help narrow down your choices when considering different models of routers based on cost, range, and features.

Routers Designed With The Gamer In Mind

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TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Router Review

Best Value 1 TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Router Review
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The Practical Mans Gaming Router
The TP-Link AC AC5400X is a performance beast with a sticker price that is less of a shock than most of its direct competitors. TP-Link went for the jugular with this assault on the field of gaming routers and produced a surprisingly high-performance piece of hardware.
Rating
9.5
PROS:
  • The number of LAN ports
  • Throughput performance.
  • Alexa support
  • Malware and anti-virus tools.
CONS:
  • Large footprint.
  • Average file transfer speeds
  • Lack of game-centric features
  • Expensive…but not as expensive as other gaming routers.
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Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 Router Review

2 NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming WiFi 6 Router (XR1000) 6-Stream AX5400 Wireless Speed (up to 5.4Gbps) | DumaOS 3.0 Optimizes Lag-Free Server Connections | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 3.0 USB Ports
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Powerful Hardware And Networking Capabilities
The Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 is a high-end gaming router that is perfect for those who want to experience the best online gaming experience. With its powerful hardware and excellent networking capabilities, the Nighthawk XR1000 is perfect for gamers who want to improve their online gaming performance.
PROS:
  • Wi-Fi6 performance at mid to long-range.
  • A wide array of configuration options
  • Gamer tools and interface
CONS:
  • Expensive
  • No Multi-Gig or link aggregation support
  • Only 1 USB port
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Netgear Nighthawk AX4 Router Review

Best Price 3 NETGEAR Nighthawk 4-Stream AX4 Wi-fi 6 Router (RAX40) – AX3000 Wireless Speed (Up to 3 Gbps) | 1,500 Sq Ft Coverage
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Netgear Nighthawk AX4 gaming router is designed for gamers on a budget. It provides high-speed, reliable connections for online gaming. The router also includes an intuitive user interface and powerful features for seamless gaming and streaming, including a somewhat underpowered dual-core CPU and 256MB of memory. With the Netgear Nighthawk AX4 gaming router, you’ll be ready to conquer the battlefields of your favorite games without breaking the bank.
PROS:
  • Affordable performance
  • Good set of features
  • Support for 160MHz channel
  • Familiar web interface
  • Wall mountable
CONS:
  • Middling Wi-Fi range
  • Not link aggregation or multi-GB ethernet
  • Buggy app
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Asus RT-AX88U Router Review

Editor Choice 4 ASUS AX6000 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX88U) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router, 8 GB Ports, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Adaptive QoS, MU-MIMO
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Asus RT-AX88U – Unmatched Speed and Reliability
Asus is a well-known name in the tech industry and their RT-AX88U gaming router is no exception. This router offers great performance for gamers who need to maximize their internet connection for online gaming or streaming. The router has 4×4 MU-MIMO technology which allows it to transmit data faster and more efficiently, making sure your game is lag-free.
PROS:
  • Stunningly fast over 802.11ax
  • Eight network ports
  • Link Aggregation ports
  • Useful features including AiMesh
CONS:
  • No 10 Gbps network port
  • Dual-Band instead of Tri-Band
  • Pricey
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ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router Review

5 ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 Gaming Router (GT-AX11000) - Tri-Band 10 Gigabit Wireless Router, 1.8GHz Quad-Core CPU, WTFast, 2.5G Port, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, AURA RGB
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The Asus Rog Rapture GT-AX11000 is a sophisticated gaming router that has been designed specifically for gamers. It offers otherworldly performance and features advanced networking technologies to help you stay connected while gaming. The router also has an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to configure and use. It can support up to 11000 Mbps of data transfer, which is great for online games like World of Warcraft and Fortnite.
PROS:
  • High level of customization
  • Performance actually improves with distance.
  • 2.5GB wired connection
CONS:
  • Big
  • Expensive

Top Five

1. Asus RT-AX88U

Asus is a respected brand in the tech industry. They have a reputation for producing outstanding networking devices. Their RT-AX88U is an excellent choice for gamers who need to stream or obtain online access to online gaming. The router has 4×4 MU-MIMO technology, which is intended to provide superior transmission speeds and prevent lag.

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ASUS AX6000 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX88U) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless...

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If you are following the recent developments in Wi-Fi technology, you’re aware that the change from Wi-Fi5 to Wi-Fi6 is a major one. The ASUS RT-AX88U is designed to take advantage of it. The new ASUS RT-AX88U is the Wi-Fi6 version of the RT-AC88U. Switching from the letters “AC” to “AX” comes from more bandwidth, reduced latency, and improved MU-MIMO and Beamforming.

The ASUS Rt-AX88U is a powerful wireless router with a number of eye-popping features for avid online players. With 1.8GHz Quad-Core CPU processing, this router can tackle 30 different devices at a time and smoothly handle those processes. It also contains comprehensive security features to make sure your network and infrastructure are secure.

Overall, the Asus RT-AX88U is an excellent choice for gamers who need a powerful and reliable router capable of handling bandwidth-intensive sessions and coverage.

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Asus RT-AX88U Router Review
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The Asus RT-AX88U And The Wonders Of Wi-Fi6 If you’ve been following along with the recent technological leap forward from Wi-Fi5 to Wi-Fi6 you know it’s a big leap. The ASUS RT-AX88U is designed …

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At first glance, your heart may jump because it looks like a giant spider crawled onto your desk and croaked. The eight red and black antennas are enormous and striking in appearance but are fixed and cannot be directed. The router itself is 9.5 inches × 9.5 inches × 2 inches tall. It’s a big boy.

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TP-Link AX6600 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (Archer GX90)- Tri Band Gigabit Wireless...

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If possible, always keep your most important devices like desktop computers, smart TVs, and game consoles hardwired. The TP-Link AC5400x saves you the cost of an additional Gigabit switch by doubling the number of Ethernet ports found on traditional wireless routers to 8.

At just under $200, the TP-Link Archer C5400x is an excellent value for an affordable router. Its wide range of connectivity options, powerful processing capabilities, and rich set of features make it an excellent choice for gamers of all levels. If you’re looking for a simple and affordable wireless router that can handle large networks and high-performance devices, the TP-Link Archer C5400x should be at the top of your list.

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TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Router Review
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TP-Link’s AC5400 Tri-Band router is a powerful device that can handle a lot of traffic. It has three bands, which allows it to reach farther and faster than other routers. The router also has an …

TP-Link AC5400 Tri-Band Full Review

3. Asus Rog Rapture GT-AX11000

Some time ago, we spoke of the ASUS RT5300 as “overkill.” It appeared extremely unlikely that there would be another router with better specs. Well, never say never. Now WiFi 6 technology has been injected into comparable hardware to the RT5300. A few GHz of processing power (1.4GHz quad-core processor to 1.8GHz quad-core processor) has been sprinkled in and memory has been increased. The result is a beast that leaves the old King Of The Hill in its dust.

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ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 Gaming Router (GT-AX11000) - Tri-Band 10 Gigabit...

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$381.80 $449.99

A mere glance at the number of zeros in ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000’s name tells you you’re not dealing with an ordinary router. The ROG contains two 5 GHz “AX” bands that can produce 4.8 Gps and a third 2.4 GHz “AC” band that generates 1.2 Gps. It all adds up to a heart-stopping 10.8 Gpb.

Powered by Broadcom’s BCM43684 Wi-Fi chip, The GT-AX11000 creates a tri-band 802.11ax network (WiFi 6) that taps into the latest wireless techniques, including Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and dynamic frequency selection.

Designed with gamers in mind, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the Wi-Fi 6 router to choose if you need to fill a large home with a strong Wi-Fi signal.

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ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Router Review
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Not too long ago we referred to the ASUS RT5300 gaming router as “overkill.” It seemed there would never be a gaming router with more impressive specs. Well, never say never. With the advent of …

Asus Rog Rapture GT-AX11000 Full Review

4. NETGEAR Nighthawk XR1000

This is the third in the trilogy of the Netgear Nighthawk series of high-end wireless routers designed for gaming. Previously, the Nighthawk XR500, and XR700 were considered by some to be the best routers explicitly designed for gamers in the world.

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NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming WiFi 6 Router (XR1000) 6-Stream AX5400 Wireless Speed...

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The Nighthawk XR1000 has a powerful 1.5 GHz tri-core processor, which allows it to handle heavy loads with ease. It also has 512 MB of memory and 256 MB of flash memory, which provides it with enough power to handle the most demanding games. The DumaOS allows a high degree of customization in your network connection and gaming enjoyment.

This Nighthawk model provides numerous features specifically designed for gamers. It contains an 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) network adapter that delivers lightning-fast connections and advanced security features such as 256-bit AES encryption and dynamic Quality of Service (QoS) prioritization. The XR1000 Nighthawk is perfect for anyone seeking an unmatched online experience!

Zombies and aliens, beware! The Wi-Fi 6 version of the “World’s Best Gaming Router” is here. For those of you who loved the XR 500 and the XR 700 and the gaming enhancements of the DumaOS you’ll love the XR 1000.

1
Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 Router Review
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The Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 features a powerful 1.5GHz tri-core processor, which allows it to handle heavy loads with ease. It also has 512Mb of memory and 256Mb flash memory which gives it enough …

Netgear Nighthawk X1000 Full Review

5. Netgear Nighthawk AX4

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Asus Rog Rapture GT-AX11000 we find the Netgear Nighthawk AX4 – a router that focuses more on stable performance than bragging rights.

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NETGEAR Nighthawk 4-Stream AX4 Wi-fi 6 Router (RAX40) – AX3000 Wireless Speed...

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$86.99 $199.99

The Netgear Nighthawk AX4 is designed for gamers on a budget. It provides high-performance, dependable connections for online gaming. The router comes with an intuitive user interface, and strong features for streaming and gameplay, including a somewhat underpowered dual-core CPU and 256MB of memory.

You’re giving up some of the processing power, additional Ethernet ports, and long-range features you have as a result of the Nighthawk AX4 but you still get fast WiFi6 connectivity with 160 MHz channel width and enough throughput for a quality gaming experience.

Netgear AX4 is a great choice for casual gamers who wants to get their feet wet with Wi-Fi. It’s important to remember that to get the max benefit of Wi-Fi 6, you need Wi-Fi 6 clients. Many times this can be handled with a simple Wi-Fi6 adapter.

Wi-Fi 6 Adapters

Once you have this router, you can make a smooth transition as you accumulate more Wi-Fi6 clients.

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Netgear Nighthawk AX4 Router Review
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On the opposite side of the spectrum from the Asus Rog Rapture GT-AX11000 (One of the fastest and most expensive routers on Earth.) We find the Netgear Nighthawk AX4 – a gaming router designed …

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Buzzwords You Should Know

Mesh

Instead of a single centralized wireless router, a mesh WiFi system uses multiple nodes to spread WiFi throughout your house. Mesh systems usually work way better than extenders that can cut your bandwidth in half. The secret is the “magical 3rd band” built into mesh systems. This frees up the other two bands while the 3rd band maintains communication between the nodes and tracks the location of your devices. The result is a single SSID spread throughout your home with no need to disconnect and reconnect as you roam.

Plex Media Server

A Plex Media Server is more than just a centralized storage space. It offers an attractive, intuitive user interface that allows you to organize and categorize all your media content. Plex is typically used on NAS systems. Plex also offers transcoding for devices such as phones and tablets that may not use the same file format as your computers. With a Plex website account, you can access content on your Plex server at home from just about anywhere on any device. 

AiMesh

AiMesh is a proprietary ASUS technology that allows compatible ASUS AiMesh devices to act as nodes on a mesh network. This can be a great way to make the move to mesh if you’ve already invested in a high-end AiMesh router and would rather limit your purchase to another router instead of an entire mesh system.

Plex Media Server

Smart Connect allows for load balancing and the optimal speed of devices at different speeds. Too many slow devices can slow faster devices down. Smart connect places slower devices on their own band. Load balancing makes sure all devices are distributed evenly across your bands to prevent one from being overloaded. 

Last update on 2022-12-10 at 08:11 Affiliate links and Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” – Jerry Jones

Affiliate Disclosure

Jerry Jones (WiFi Guy) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” – Jerry Jones

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