Make no mistake: you’re going to need the best gaming router if you’re a serious gamer. What use is having the most powerful components and the greatest best PC games, after all, if your WiFi connection is not up to par.
By having one of the best gaming routers on the market, you’re ensuring a super reliable connection and uninterrupted online gaming. Gone are the days of sudden lag spike during the most crucial moments, as these routers will help avoid those spikes.
In fact, the best gaming routers will prioritize network traffic for your games, thanks to a nifty little feature called Quality of Service (or QoS). This feature helps ensure uninterrupted gaming sessions, despite other users in your network trying to use a chunk of that bandwidth by downloading their own games or streaming videos. Many of these gaming routers also offer MU-MIMO technology as well, which allows multiple Wi-Fi devices to simultaneously receive multiple data streams and increase the network’s throughput.
So, even though wired connections are best for online games, if you want to go wireless, you will be pleased to know that the best wireless routers will deliver impeccable connection for online gaming. They will also come equipped with features like Gigabit Ethernet ports, multiple antennae, and the reigning WiFi standards – currently, it’s still WiFi 5, though WiFi 6 is certainly well on its way.
Best gaming routers at a glance
- TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
- Asus RT-AC86U
- TP-Link Archer C5400X
- Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
- Asus RT-AC5300
- Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
- Asus RT-AC88U
- D-link DIR-885L/R
1. TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
Spinning a web of wi-fi performance
Speed: 802.11ac: 2,167Mbps, 802.11n: 1,000Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO support, Alexa integration, IFTTT
Fast and powerful
Alexa and IFTTT support
If you’re searching for the latest router technology but you still like that old school look, the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 might just be an ideal fit. This is one of the best gaming routers that pairs enthusiast grade features with a simple setup, packing them into a package that’s appealing to just about anyone. Factor in the Alexa support, and you have a router that can adjust to any situation, whether you’re trying to come out on top in the latest match in Apex Legends, or you have guests that are connecting to your network.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400 V2
2. Asus RT-AC86U
The value-packed saving grace for gaming routers
Speed: 802.11ac: 1,734Mbps; 802.11n: 450Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, AiDisk, Adaptive QoS, WTFast Gamers Private Network
Super fast transfers
Feature overkill for most
The Asus RT-AC5300 is one of the best gaming routers – it has a collection of advanced features, making online and network gaming as lag and frustration free as possible. This includes a straightforward yet powerful interface, as well as comprehensive QoS settings. The spider-like design is somewhat of an acquired taste, but the eight antennae serve a purpose since they can be used to direct the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, providing this router with remarkable range.
Read the full review: Asus RT-AC86U
3. TP-Link Archer C5400X
Speed: 802.11ac; 2.4GHz: 1,000Mbps; 5GHz: 2,167Mbps | Connectivity: 1x Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 8x Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 2x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Advanced Wireless AC beamforming, Tri-band netwroking, VPN acceleration
We know we’ve already mentioned the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 earlier, but the company added an ‘X’ to the end of this model, signifying the extreme boost in performance. It’s considerably more expensive, but that price tag is justifiable as it may be one of the highest-end and best gaming routers available. With eight ethernet ports around the back, it’s perfect for hardwiring a fleet of gaming equipment. And, the MU-MIMO and Tri-band support means that wireless connections are also top of the line. You’ll top the leaderboards irrespective of where you are in the house.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400X
4. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
Speed, with no compromises
Speed: 802.11ac: 2.6Gbps | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 2 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO support, QoS, Geo Filter
No broadband modem
If you’re a hardcore gamer, it can be maddening when your roommates are watching Netflix or downloading their own games at the same time. You should take a look at something like the Netgear Nighthawk XR500. Not only will this elite gaming router deliver a ridiculously fast 2.2Gbps speed, but with MU-MIMO support – not to mention, unique gaming features like location-based connection filtering and QoS, you can do some gaming all night without hitting a paralyzing lag spike. Just be ready for the high sticker price and make sure you’re ok with such a gamer aesthetic.
Read the full review: Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
5. Asus RT-AC5300
Speed: 802.11ac: 2,167Mbps, 802.11n: 600Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO support, Link Aggregation, traffic analyzer, WPS, 512MB RAM, 8 external antenna
Great Wi-Fi coverage
Powerful gaming features
Single USB 3.0 port
The Asus RT-AC5300 is a fantastic high-end gaming router that is filled with a bunch of striking features. This includes an incredibly simple yet powerful interface, on top of comprehensive QoS settings. The spider-like design isn’t for everyone, but the eight antennae are there for a reason, to help direct your Wi-Fi signal reach throughout your home, giving this router excellent range.
Read the full review: Asus RT-AC5300 Tri-band Gigabit Router
6. Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
An extraterrestrial gaming router that covers all bases
Speed: 802.11ac: 2,167Mbps, 802.11n: 800Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO support, StreamBoost, dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 512GB RAM, Zyxel One Touch app-based setup
Good MU-MIMO wireless speeds
Excellent traffic analysis software
Few current devices use quad-stream 802.11ac
Average USB port speeds
This router might look like it’s going to abduct a close friend or family member, but we promise the Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600 isn’t as alien in function as it is in aesthetics. Brimming with the latest MU-MIMO support, which boosts speed when multiple devices are connected to the same network, this gaming router prides itself on its performance capabilities. Since it can handle several devices, while prioritizing bandwidth depending on the needs of each connection, it’s one of the best gaming routers you can purchase today.
Read the full review: Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
7. Asus RT-AC88U
4×4 and 1024-QAM deliver the best possible wireless performance
Speed: 802.11ac: 2167Mbps 802.11n: 1000 Mbps | Connectivity: 9x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0 | Features: 1024-QAM, MU-MIMO, WTFast Gamers Private Network, Asus AiProtection, AsusWRT Software
Fastest wireless speeds
Comprehensive software UI
Requires special hardware for fastest speeds
The Asus RT-AC88U is an expensive gaming router. However, it justifies its price with crazy 802.11 wireless performance. Armed with four antennae and NitroQAM tech, which pushes speeds even further, this gaming router enables wireless performance that can break the 1GB/sec limit. There’s a catch – you’ll need to grab a NitroQAM wireless adapter, like the Asus PCE AC88, to approach these mighty speeds; but with speeds like this, it’s not hard to see why this is one of the best gaming routers available.
8. D-link DIR-885L/R
Speed: 802.11ac | Connectivity: 4x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Advanced Wireless AC beamforming, SmartConnect
Good selection of features
It may look like it came straight from Battlestar Galactica – the old Battlestar Galactica – but, the D-Link DIR 885L/R is a dependable mid-range gaming router with great range and speed. If you’re looking for the best gaming router, you may want to give this one a try. It comes with a good range of ports, as well as a nicely designed UI. It also touts DD-WRT open-source firmware, making this router as versatile as it is powerful.