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let me start by saying that I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this question, and that it's potentially geographically specific, which could make it prone to be closed; but hopefully, enough people is having my same problem and can get help from this.

Back to my question. The problem is that I have an AT&T U-Verse internet connection, 12Mbps download, 1.5Mbps upload, I live in San Diego, CA; and 95% of the games I run into I get 3 bars of latency quality. I know a lot of you will say that it's not bad, but it is, every time I face someone in a gun fight, my first 2 bullets never hit them. And this is seriously impacting my KDR, so it's beginning to frustrate me. I tested in, and my ping is around 50 ~ 70ms in a server in Los Angeles, CA; 200 miles away from here.

Just wondering if anyone else has seen anything like this and if you know a solution or the source of the problem.

I'm thinking of upgrading to 24Mbps DL and 3Mbps UL, but I just wan't to be sure there's nothing else I can do before I try that.

I made the question specific to Black Ops because in Modern Warfare 2 I would always get 4 bars and get host most of the time. Which rarely happens in Black Ops.


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What system do you play on? – DarkShiva Dec 6 '10 at 2:37
@DarkShive xbox – Carlo Dec 6 '10 at 8:13
@Carlo - I play on the PS3 and it is known to have issues within the game itself. If you are the host, there is a decrease in frame rate and it has a tendency to "hard" freeze. It happened to me a couple of times. I have heard it runs better on Xbox. – DarkShiva Dec 15 '10 at 13:46
For some reason, I've noticed that when I host games, I never have more than 3 bars for some reason and it impacts game play because the opponent always "sees me first" because of the latency. I don't understand how this happens with me hosting, but it does. – Earlz Feb 6 '11 at 2:42
@Earlz: It's because of the lag compensation, the game compensates your ping vs your opponent, I guess by getting the average between the two pings, then if applies the compensation accordingly. And it's worst when your are the host. – Carlo Feb 6 '11 at 5:40

After searching a bit, I found out that a very possible candidate for this problem is not anyone's connection / ISP / xbox. It's actually the game itself. Apparently treyarch reprogrammed something called 'Netcode' which compensates your ping with the one with the host. Since I have such good ping (UL and DL don't have any effect on this), I guess most of the people I play have a sucky one, so it ends up affecting me a lot. I'm not entirely sure how this works, but it sounds promising. And if that's the case, the only thing I can do is sit and wait for an update that fixes this, or stop playing if they don't.

Anyway, here are some links about that. Not official info, but it sounds right and makes sense:

Link 1

Link 2

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afaik, bandwidth wouldn't have anything to do with ping. I play with 1Mbps and it is usually fine.

You should find out if your pc/ps3/xbox has open ports/DMZ. If your ISP is throttling traffic over non-standard ports ( this is a particularly annoying problem ), you will have to try and use some obscure speedtest that the ISP is not boosting to improve results or write your own :)

Other than this, I found out that on the PS3 the game finds servers near your PSN address ( I have had multiple accounts from different countries ). So you can check that part out as well.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the suggestion, do you know where to find any of those 'obscure speedtests' you mention? I do play on the xbox, so the PSN address won't work for me. I'm almost at the point of stop playing it because it's really frustrating to see how I shot them and I die, and in their killcam I never shot a single bullet =/, pretty much everyone has an advantage on me. – Carlo Nov 30 '10 at 18:48
there are a few ways of doing this. 1. if you have access to a publicly available machine, then write a piece of code that sends 32KB of data and timestamp and when you receive it on this end, you subtract the timestamp from your own and that is your ping. Try this on a bunch of non-standard ports 2. If you don't want to be writing code. Find a public ftp that is not running on 21, like something from here and download a small file, see how long it takes. – Rohan Monga Dec 1 '10 at 2:55
Bandwidth and latency can have a lot to do with each other. If you are over-utilizing your circuit then your latency may either run continuously high or it may randomly spike, depending on the utilization problem. Speed tests are also somewhat inaccurate if you are testing to servers that are not on your ISPs network, but will give you a general idea. It is best to use SNMP to test actual bandwitdth usage. Traceroute and pathping are great to test your route and latency along that route with ICMP. – MaQleod Jul 24 '11 at 17:12

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