The 7 Games You Can Play (Almost) Lag Free in the Middle East

By on July 31, 2011

You can still have your fix of the frag.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Lag – a momentary difference between an action executed and an action performed. In the Middle East, however, we have a different definition for it: Online Multiplayer Gaming.

Lag in the Middle East is so prevalent, it’s the most believable excuse for the lack of skill. Have a poor K/D ratio? Blame it on lag. Got killed from out of nowhere? Blame it on lag! Got killed even if you fired first, regardless of your poor aim? Blame it on lag, sir!

But it’s not the ISP (Internet service provider) that’s always to blame. The advantage players in the US and UK have is the large community base. Almost 60% of the US population are gamers – we are sure a large chunk of that are online players as well. Coupled with full regional support by publishers with dedicated servers, and local matchmaking features from Xbox Live and PSN, lag is, unless the game is poorly coded, almost non-existent. We in the Middle East, have no such luck. There are barely any dedicated servers from the actual publishers. Many users have to shell out from their own pocket to host one. Xbox Live is overlooked, there is no support for most of the region, hence matchmaking within the region is impossible. PSN does well on this front, but let’s be honest, it only works on Call of Duty.

Multiplayer games, then, are…sort of pointless. Only pursued by the hardcore, dedicated among us that will bare the zappings and un-aimed trappings of the system to have their fix.

The situation isn’t too dire, however. There are games that you can play with almost none to little lag; that, although does gum up with a bit of a twitch here and there, provides a mostly enjoyable online experience.

We did a bit of digging, and based on our experience and of others in the community, have come up with a list of games that either has a regional server, Asian or European servers that provide little lag, or just does exceedingly well with the matchmaking and netcode. Of course, finding completely lag free games are impossible, so expect at least ~120ms pings on most of the servers (or orange to green bars when on consoles). However, they don’t dither too much, the netcode compensates well for the delayed response and puts up a smooth, annoyance-free matches. So, let’s begin!

Halo: Reach

Bungie knows how to make brilliant first person shooters, there’s no denying that. What they also excel at is making a great infrastructure to provide one of the best online multiplayer matches on any console and pc. Of course, Microsoft plays quite a significant role in this as they have multiple server hubs setup throughout the world for their Xbox Live service to ensure optimal network connections for their online gamers. Which is also why we’re all paying $60 a year.

My personal experience with Halo 3 in the early days was still a bit iffy as Bungie was trying to sort out the server loads from the overwhelming demand as the game launched back in 2007. In a couple of months though, things started to get really smooth. Gone were the Yellow and sometimes Red connection bars, and what I had now was a constant Full green connection. And this is while playing with people anywhere in Europe. US connections resulted in either Green connections, or Yellow connections which was the case most of the time.

Now with Halo Reach, Bungie has pretty much perfected online multiplayer gaming, as I’m sure Microsoft is also providing their full networking support for their marquee title. I almost never get a connection below full Green on my 8mb Du connection at home. If the majority of a match’s players are from US or (very rarely) Japan, then I might get a mid-level Yellow connection bar. Otherwise anywhere in Europe or within the region (whole of Middle East and Asia) is all full green. This is why I always go back to this game, because I know my online experience will be nothing short of amazing.

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Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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  • Evie Oglesby

    Which is also why we’re all paying $60 a year.

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