Improve Your PS4’s Gaming Ability with the Best MTU Setting

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While Sony’s PS5 is already out in the market with its wide range of new features, some of us still are proud owners of its older brother, PS4. PS4 was launched in November 2013 and by November 2020 Sony sold over 100 million units of this popular gaming console. In that period it also built a library filled with several thousand games containing exclusive titles.

Classic’s like God of War (2018), Spider-Man, and Bloodborne can only be experienced on Sony’s PS4.  PS4 has its own fan base following and is still seeing growth even though a new version that beats the PS4 is out in the market. Also, considering the tech giant Microsoft’s brand new Xbox Series X in the arena, PS4 has done well and for some, it has even exceeded expectations. 

If you are one of the gamers who belong to the PS4 fanbase, you would be enjoying exclusive games at 1080p/60fps. Those with a gaming console, switch on their devices thinking about a graphic intensive high-speed gaming experience. But often, you might not get the experience that you dream of. 

The resolution of your graphics and the speed of your games depend on the quality of the internet that you are connected to. Many PS4 enthusiasts believe that if you change the MTU setting of the PS4 it can drive the speed of the game. 

Let us explore and see whether this proposition is true or not.

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What is MTU?

When data is transmitted over the internet, it is broken into small structures of data called packets. Whether it is text, audio, images, or video, all types of data come broken down in packets that are reassembled in devices or computers. This is why when you try and load a picture over a slow connection, chunks of it appear one after the other. 

MTU or Maximum Transmission Unit refers to the maximum packet size that can be transmitted over your network. Simply put, it is a setting that tells your computer how much data to put in a packet that is to be sent over to the destination network. The MTU feature on a router allows you to determine the biggest data size that can be transmitted on your connection. 

Does Changing MTU Size Help Speed Up Gaming on PS4?

Changing the MTU setting is one of the things to do when you find that your internet is lagging on any device. But, this may not be true for all devices. Many gamers have experimented with MTU settings and have obtained faster internet speeds. However, if you are looking to speed up your internet, changing the MTU setting may not work. 

If you are not facing a lag in your games, then you can avoid tweaking the MTU. But, if you are facing frequent lag issues tweaking your MTU settings is worth a try. The truth is that there is no correct MTU value for gaming. There is no real evidence that changing MTU improves either bandwidth or latency for gaming consoles.

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How Does MTU Work?

As a rule of thumb, the larger the MTU size, the more data can fit into fewer packets. This generally results in a faster and more efficient transmission of data across your network. Consider this for an example, there are cabs and buses for transportation within a city. It is better to fit in a large number of people on a bus and have fewer buses running on the roads rather than fitting only a few numbers of people in a cab and have more of them running around clogging the traffic. 

MTU is measured in bytes. For most Ethernet networks, MTU is set to be 1500 bytes. Therefore, over an Ethernet network, many hosts assume they can transmit 1500 Byte packets. 

If a host transmits a packet too large to pass an intermediary link, two things can happen. First, a router might fragment the packet and then pass it through. The receiving host will reassemble the fragments to create the original packet. The second, possibility is that the router drops the packet and sends a message to the originating host. The message says that the network couldn’t transmit the packet and asks the host to follow the maximum IP MTU for the link.

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Finding the Right MTU Size for PS4

Finding the right MTU value takes some time and effort. It will need you to experiment with numbers by manually testing lower MTU values on your internet configuration settings. You will have to enter numbers below the default setting of 1500 bytes until you reach the best setting. When you reach the right MTU size your gaming console will inform you that packets can no longer be fragmented. 

This message indicates you have hit the MTU limit for your console and network and the maximum packet size you have set is now too small to allow certain packets of data to be fully sent at once. Once you have hit the right MTU number you would need to add 28 to it to get the ideal MTU value to input on the PS4. The reason for this is that there are IP headers that are part of any packet that you sent across a network. IP headers always take up to 28 bytes and have to be added to the packet of data. Finding the right MTU size may take a few tries but sometimes the right MTU size can help optimize the performance of your network.

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How to set the MTU size for PS4?

The simplest way to determine the optimal MTU size for your home network is through a simple ping test. The ping command must be run from Command Prompt if you are a Windows user. Once you get the ping command, keep lowering the MTU value on your PS4 by inputting a lower MTU value each time.

Keep testing your internet connection with progressively lower MTU value each time until your connection test screen displays that “packets are no longer able to be fragmented”. Add 28 to this starting value to get your own optimum MTU value. Once you find the right value reconfigure your PS4’s internet connection manually by entering your optimum MTU value at the correct screen.

Some gamers say that changing the MTU setting has helped them drastically improve their internet connectivity for gaming. Many other gamers have experienced a sudden spike in the internet speed after changing the setting, only to notice the speed dropping down a little while later. 

These observations lead to the conclusion that MTU value depends on each person’s device and internet connectivity. In this high bandwidth age, you usually don’t need to tinker with MTU settings as you would barely notice differences in the transmission speed. 

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