Best routers for gaming Windows Central 2022

There's nothing worse than lag when you're playing games online, costing you the victory or even suffering disconnection penalties. If gaming is a hobby you take seriously, then it's time to ditch your dusty old router and upgrade to one of the best routers for gaming. This collection covers a range of budgets and specs to make sure you bag those critical wins.

TP-Link Archer AX11000

Best overall: TP-Link Archer AX11000

Staff pick

Pinching the top spot as the best overall router, the AX110000 has built-in "Game Center" software for traffic management. Eight Gigabit LAN ports for wired devices and tri-band Wi-Fi 6 means speed takes priority, its powerful 1.8GHz quad-core processor keeping up with the workload.

$287 at Amazon
Archer Gx90 Reco

Second-best: TP-Link Archer GX90

Coming in at a close second, the TP-Link Archer GX90 drops a couple of features without sacrificing the killer gaming software. Still offering tri-band Wi-Fi 6 but fewer LAN ports instead means any serious gamer focusing on wireless devices should lean towards the GX90.

$250 at Amazon
Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000

Third alternative: Netgear Nighthawk XR1000

The QoS software included with the XR1000 proves especially useful for online play. The included DumaOS features tools for monitoring and adjusting your network for the best connection to the fastest game servers. Its Wi-Fi 6 tech sticks to dual-band but still proves capable, with four Gigabit LAN ports to back it up.

$286 at Amazon
TP-Link Archer AX50

Budget-friendly: TP-Link Archer AX50

Without marketing itself as a gaming router, the AX3000 hides some fantastic QoS tools in its software. With presets designed for online gaming, this is the best budget Wi-Fi 6 gaming router on the market. Packing four Gigabit LAN ports and a dual-core CPU, it's perfect for gamers on a budget.

$110 at Amazon
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

Cutting-edge: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

The fastest in its price range, the RAXE500 sports tri-band Wi-Fi 6E up to 6GHz for wireless devices. Ethernet connections hit top speeds via four Gigabit LAN ports, all managed with the Nighthawk software. It's also better looking than the other routers, proving gaming can be stylish.

$591 at Amazon
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

Wired for speed: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

Some argue that serious gaming is only done over Ethernet, no matter how fast the Wi-Fi is. Enter the GT-AC5300 with its eight Gigabit LAN ports offering huge options for hard-wired networking. The 802.11ac wireless tech might be older, and it's still a capable tri-band setup hitting speeds up to 5,300Mbps, but this router takes LAN speed as its priority.

$300 at Amazon

Choosing the best gaming router

Routers designed for gaming will prioritize your multiplayer network traffic and maintain a lag-free experience, critical for enjoying your online play. Plenty of manufacturers claim to offer the best Wi-Fi routers, but the TP-Link Archer AX11000 is the best overall, specifically for gaming performance and value.

It was a close choice next to the Archer GX90 from TP-Link, but the value for money drops ever so slightly. If budgets aren't an issue, then certainly consider the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 to take advantage of the latest Wi-Fi 6E tech or the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 to connect a broader collection of wired PCs and consoles with Ethernet cables.

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