The PS5 is truly one of the most powerful gaming machines ever created. While it may not be able to hold a candle to the absolute best of the best in PC graphics cards, it costs a fraction of what those often monstrously expensive machines can go for, so it’s a much better option for most consumers. When you unbox the PS5 and hook it up for the first time, you’ll be wowed by its incredible SSD-powered load times and gorgeous 4K visuals.
Sometimes, of course, the fairytale doesn’t quite pan out like that. While the PS5 may be an incredible machine, it’s just as susceptible to technical faults as any other console that’s come before it. Unfortunately, one of the most commonly-reported problems is the PS5 lagging, which makes it difficult to play games, maintain online conversations, or just use the machine in general. So, what’s the cause of this lag, and how can you fix it if it happens to you?
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself this question: how is my PS5 lagging? When we talk about “lag” in gaming, there are two separate issues that this could refer to. The first is probably the most common when it comes to PS5; it’s when you’re playing an online game and you experience stuttering, freezing, or rubberbanding, making moment-to-moment online play completely impossible. Let’s take a look at this version of PS5 lag first.
If you want to fix a bad online connection for your PS5, there are a number of steps you need to take. First, you need to determine whether or not it’s actually the console that’s at fault. After all, it might be a problem that persists across your entire connection, so test out the internet on other devices to ensure it’s just the PS5 lagging and not your entire network. If it’s a router problem, you could change your console’s port, restart your router, or even simply move the console closer to the router.
Another way you can try to eliminate PS5 online lag is to use a wired connection. By hooking up your PS5 directly to your router using an Ethernet cable, you can eliminate any of the problems that could arise as a result of wireless interference or a weak wireless signal. This works especially well if your PS5 is not close to your router; the signal travels along the cable incredibly fast, but the speed is significantly reduced if it has to travel wirelessly, so always go wired if you can.
One last thing you can try as a Hail Mary if your PS5 is still showing signs of lagging online is to prioritise it via your router’s QoS settings. QoS stands for Quality of Service, and it refers to which devices and connections your router prioritises when it comes to traffic. To do this, find your router’s MAC settings and note down the MAC address of your PS5. Find that corresponding address within the settings and set the priority as high as it will go. Hopefully, this should eliminate your lag woes!
Of course, it may not be online lag that’s causing your PS5 troubles. If you’ve noticed your PS5 lagging and it’s not due to online problems, then you’ve likely noticed frame rate drops or stuttering within the console itself. We understand how frustrating this can be; when you’ve just purchased an expensive piece of next-gen tech, you don’t want it to falter in this manner. However, this is a common complaint, and there are lots of ways you can try to fix it.
The first thing you should do if you notice your PS5 lagging is to clear out the storage. Delete any games you’re not currently playing and don’t think you’ll need in the near future. If your SSD is nearly full, this could negatively impact your console’s performance, so it’s important to schedule regular maintenance to make sure your storage isn’t overflowing. You won’t notice this problem to the same degree as you might have done in the past, but it’s certainly the most harmless and easy solution to try.
The next thing you should try to reduce PS5 lag is to change settings within individual games. Sometimes, the cause of your PS5 lagging is simply that you’ve set a game to the Fidelity graphics mode, which usually renders visuals at 4K in 30fps. This can look like lag if you’re used to 60fps, which most PS5 games offer in their Performance modes. Try using the Performance mode (or whatever the individual game labels it as) and see if this alleviates the problem.
While the PS5 comes with an excellent cooling solution built in, it still needs ample space around it for proper ventilation. If your console is stuttering or struggling, it might be because you haven’t adequately ventilated it, meaning that the components are getting too hot and not functioning optimally. Make sure that your PS5 is properly cooled, that it has enough space around it to circulate air, and that the vents aren’t covered by anything (whether that’s another object or just dust).
Finally, it might be worth trying a different display. Sometimes, lag can occur because of the TV you’re using; some TVs have visual modes or effects that don’t interact well with gaming, leading to visuals that look stuttery or laggy. Try using your PS5 with a different monitor or TV and see if this fixes the issue. If none of the above steps go any way towards helping to restore your PS5 to its former glory, then it might be time to contact Sony to ask about an under-warranty repair.