Input Delay

HOME NETWORK CHECKS.

Foreword.

I have been getting quite a few messages since the release of FIFA 22 asking me how to fix delay issues.
There is no easy fix because 1st off you need to know what is causing the problem.
If the problem is not your network, then it is very hard to get through to the right people to fix it.
Networks, not yours, do not play FIFA so do not understand the issues some of us have when playing.

Over the years I have tried many many times to get answers. Contacting EA , the ISP and even a tier network.
On the last attempt, I contacted the EU even.

This page will be dedicated to things you can do to make sure there is no issue on your side.
Some I have not actually mentioned before. Well, one issue. Read on and it could help as could some of the other tests and checks.

Run wired on a PC but also run on WiFi if you use that for the console.
If you do run on WiFi, place the testing device near the console.
My main test, which I have used for many years now, is run on the Dslreports website.
The plain old speed test. Except this test is a bit more detailed on bufferbloat.
The most important score on this test, in my experience, is the QUALITY score. A+ is a must. Not even A is quite good enough IMO.
For me, Bufferbloat isn’t a massive issue. Even if it shows up on this test I know it won’t affect me much because my network is never busy and it has 1 Gig up and down bandwidth.
I have 5 devices for WiFi but only 1 is used for streaming at the same time I play. The others are just connected (mobiles).
if you run this test without QoS enabled and have high bandwidth contracted with your ISP,
don’t worry too much about the bufferbloat.
Set QoS/bandwidth limiter to a low amount like 5MBs up and down and if you have bufferbloat then you may have an issue.

Bear in mind that WiFi can cause bloat.

The key score to look out for is A+ QUALITY. Anything lower is not ideal especially for FIFA. 

My connection can get A+ quality but at the time of this test I could only get A. This was without QoS enabled.

Dslreports Speed test.

It is like UOtrace but you can watch the pingtests in graph form.
Visually, it is easier to spot issues , unlike looking at numbers.

Usually I get the game server IP to test so that I can see possible issues along the route.
You can test to any IP to check your home network.
Usually, the 1st hop is your router. If you get latency spikes on the router hop/s , and the one after, it usually means there is an issue in your home network.
I have diagnosed a few people’s problems.
One person had a connection into their home which had been patched up with black duck tape!
Another had 15 devices on his network but the router only had a CPU of about 800 MHz.
In that case, I explained that for every device the CPU would be allocating CPU for each device being used.
Home routers do not have the same capability that higher-end routers have and can not cope as well.
High CPU usage will affect services on your home network. This will show up with latency spikes and or packet loss.
If you use WiFi and the WiFi isn’t configured well or you have a bad signal because you placed the console in a weak spot, you will also see spikes. Presuming the console uses.

On this test I set the interval to .5 seconds to cause packet loss. This does not happen when I run the test over Ethernet. It also doesn’t happen on WiFi with the interval set to 1 second.

If you have loss on hop 1 it means there is a problem in your home network. It can follow into hop 2. I tested before with 1 second intervals and the second hop onwards sowed jumpy pings.

Loss on other hops does not mean there is packet loss , but if you monitor the routes regularly and you get relatively clean graphs but one day you are getting really bad gameplay and the graphs are a bit funky , then you know where the issue lies.

This can and does happen to me. Look at hop 4 though. Higher average ping than the hops after it. It should be higher than the hops preceding it , but lower than the ones after. Quite a big discrepancy too.

For me I think I have an issue within the Movistar network today.

 

pingplotter

The last test I do is Wireshark.
I hope the guide is good enough for those who have little experience of how to use it for FIFA.
I use it to check the level of packet resends.
You can also use it to find the game server you are playing on.

Wireshark guide.

Remember to filter by entering “gvsp” in the control bar. If it doesn’t show anything then you will have to turn on gvsp options. See the guide.

Other checks.

Cables. Make sure they are not twisted. If the metal contacts are oxidized (not shiny) then it may be time for new ones.
Cat 8 is the new standard of cable. These can transport a humungous amount of data.
The cost to what a home network is capable of makes the prices of them not worth it IMO.
Cat 7 will be cheaper and more than good enough.
In reality though, cat 5e should be good enough for anything around 300MBs connections.
The problem with cables is not the specs. It’s the actual quality. Some look and feel cheap.
Mine are cheap but feel average. Previously I had brand new cat 7 cables but they felt really bad.
My advice is it would be better to pay more for a brand when it comes to cables.
Also, it is probably a good idea to get the same standard and make of cable for your entire wired network.

There are so many different brands it is impossible for me to recomend the best. If anyone knows and has used a good brand  then message me on Twitter. I will try to find out more and possibly test myself.

Ethernet ports. They can get dirty and worn. Replacing them is not easy so may want to think about cable placement so you don’t have to move the cables too often or take the cables out too much , causing wear and tear.

I do clean them occasionally. I use air pressure cans to clean out any dust. I have also used the other types of electrical equipment cleaner.

Turn devices off when cleaning including unplugging from the plug socket!!!!

Console. I clean mine every few months (PS4). I live in the dryest, and most dusty, part of Europe.
It gets very hot here in summer and is still very warm most days in the Autumn and Spring.
The air around here does carry sand from the Sahara and it ends up in my console lol.

There are quite a few guides on Youtube if you haven’t done this before.

A Torx screwdriver, size 8 or 9 should be good enough for the PS4 screws. bear in mind you will lose any warranty if you do attempt to clean it yourself. I do mine because it is way past warranty.
The dust in the fan always gets really bad. Earbuds with the electrical cleaner help. Bit tricky though.

Also helps if you rebuild the PS4 database regularly. At startup keep hold of the start button on the console and wait for the second set of beeps. A hidden menu will show up.
Connect the controller via the USB cable port and “Rebuild database”.
Another trick is to turn off the plug switch when you are at the PS4 menu screen, note not when in a game.
Get out of all games 1st.
This clears the cache.
I don’t fully trust this method and if you are unsure I suggest you don’t bother.
I have done it several times and my PS4 is still working.

Controllers.
I have 3. 1 is a Nacon, 1 is an old DS4 not USB capable for controlling and the other is compatible for use with the USB cable.
The Nacon Pro 2 is a disaster. I load the settings via the laptop but it always seems to lag after a certain time no matter what game I play.
The two DS4’s work ok. But for a bit of play on the newer one’s left stick. Probably the sweat from my hands after playing FIFA.
I would have said playing via the cable option to the console was best. But for me, it isn’t.
It could be for a newer console. I have the early version.
A trick I use when playing FIFA is to switch controllers if I feel delay.
Not 100% sure why it helps. I do remember viewing a Wireshark capture and came across some info that mentioned the USB ports. I double-checked at the time that it was the console IP.
This got me thinking that EA was looking at our controller data. Why would they do this?
I did mention it on Twitter but I have never been able to allocate it again since.
The controller switching mid-game does seem to work a little now though. Squad battles and online.

 

Note. I have used the calibration tool on Windows to look at the slightly faulty DS4 and the left stick doesn’t act like it should. It seems to only circulate part of the circle to the edges but on a part of the circle it doesn’t go tot he edge.

The other DS4 shows up fine ont he calibration tool but doesn’t feel better or worse.

Plenty of guides on Youtube on how to calibrate your controller.

A random one I just googled.