Best Gaming Routers of 2022 Buying Guide

Even in the most demanding online games, the finest gaming routers will ensure that you have the performance you need to win the battlefields. While having the greatest gaming PC is vital for delivering top graphics performance and sheer CPU horsepower, it’s also important to ensure that your gaming traffic goes fast and smoothly to the game servers, which is where these top-notch gaming routers come in.

Best Gaming Routers of 2022The finest gaming routers will ensure you have ultrafast, lag-free gameplay with strong multi-core CPUs and excellent gaming optimization capabilities, so you won’t find things freezing up just as you’re ready to lead your men into battle or make that important kill shot. Furthermore, powerful QoS capabilities ensure that your games function smoothly even while other members of your household are watching Netflix or chatting on FaceTime. Any dedicated online gamer will profit immensely from one of the finest gaming routers, but don’t be fooled by the term “gaming” these routers are also excellent for streaming and video calling.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 gaming router is a formidable beast designed to satisfy the needs of even the most serious gamers—and the busiest houses. While it isn’t inexpensive, it is a router without compromises that offers unrivalled range and performance as well as a slew of sophisticated gaming optimization capabilities. The tri-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 provides up to 10Gbps of total bandwidth and is backward compatible with more prevalent 802.11ac devices. The eight-antenna beamforming array can also provide a strong and dependable Wi-Fi signal over up to 5,000 square feet of space.

If those Wi-Fi speeds aren’t enough, there are four Gigabit Ethernet connections around the back to hardwire in your gear, as well as a fifth 2.5Gbps gaming port for the fastest wired throughput available. Its 1.8GHz quad-core CPU drives a slew of smart features, including WTFast game acceleration, VPN Fusion to separate your gaming traffic from your VPN, and Dynamic QoS, which prioritises gaming traffic dynamically. Asus also has the most flexibility of any router we’ve seen when it comes to optimising your Wi-Fi, allowing you to set up a separate SSID for each 5GHz band to help separate your traffic, or configuring advanced rules to prioritise and steer higher-bandwidth traffic to the fastest and least congested frequencies.

You’ll also get all of Asus’ other outstanding security and networking capabilities, such as a built-in VPN server and client, adaptive firewall, and more, as well as AIMesh technology, which allows you to link a variety of Asus routers to build a mesh network to extend coverage across your house (and keep the non-gamers off the important Wi-Fi). However, with the range and coverage that the GT-AX11000 provides on its own, you won’t need it.

Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router

While Netgear has a superb line of multi-purpose routers, the sleek-looking XR500 was designed specifically for gaming. When it was originally introduced, the XR500 established a new benchmark for all gaming routers with the launch of the pioneering, game-centric DumaOS software.

The XR500 delivers what you’d expect from a mid-range dual-band gaming router in terms of Wi-Fi speed, with low-latency performance of up to 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band and a reasonable 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz side. While it won’t win any speed tests against more recent Wi-Fi 6 routers, it’s a low-cost device that nevertheless provides excellent value for money.

The sophisticated capabilities offered by DumaOS, which enable best-in-class QoS to ensure that your gaming traffic receives maximum priority, as well as a comprehensive web interface with a variety of game optimization tools, provide the majority of that value for gamers. By logging into the dashboard, you’ll be able to see precisely what’s happening on not just in your house, but also on the global gaming networks, allowing you to create regional profiles that ensure you’re constantly connected to the quickest servers possible.

Asus RT-AX82U AX5400 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

With its trapezoidal spaceship-like design and pulsing Aura RGB lighting on the front, Asus’ RT-AX82U not only delivers great performance and sophisticated gaming capabilities, but it also looks the part. This router offers a lot more than just aesthetics, with superior dual-band Wi-Fi 6 technology and almost the whole set of advanced gaming optimization capabilities that Asus routers are renowned for.

In fact, the WTFast Gamer’s VPN is the only item missing when compared to the more costly Asus ROG routers, but that’s a reasonable omission given the RT-significantly lower price tag. However, it has everything else going for it, including a dedicated gaming port that prioritises whatever you plug into it, a powerful adaptive QoS designed specifically for gaming, and a Gear Accelerator, which ensures that your PC or console gets the dedicated bandwidth it requires for lag-free gaming.

The Asus Aura RGB lighting on the front of the RT-AX82U, on the other hand, is quite intriguing. It will pulse smoothly through a range of colours by default, but you can adjust it using the Asus mobile app to match your high-end gaming PC or simply as mood lighting. It also comes with Asus’ usual AiProtection anti-malware and parental controls, as well as the newest AiMesh 2.0 technology, which allows you to create a mesh network with any other Asus routers in your house. A USB 3.2 connector on the rear allows you to connect a USB cellular modem, share a hard disc, and host printers.

Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 6-stream Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

Thanks to Netgear’s usage of the dedicated game-centric DumaOS software, the XR series of gaming routers are unusual in that they’ve been created from the ground up with gaming in mind. The XR1000 is currently the company’s flagship model, with sophisticated 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology and DumaOS 3.0, a full-featured “router operating system” intended specifically for gamers.

Unlike most router firmware, DumaOS offers “Rapps,” which are specialised modular apps that can be used to control and modify the experience. With Rapps intended to provide you with insights into every area of your gaming traffic, this gives dedicated gamers everything they need to optimise for optimum performance. The Geo-Filter Rapp, for example, will allow players to optimise their connections to game servers all around the globe by creating virtual “neighbourhoods” of the quickest servers for their team on a virtual global map. You can also use ping heat maps to discover the finest lag-free servers across the world, and that’s only scraping the surface of what this capable router operating system can accomplish.

Despite its robust gaming capabilities, the XR1000 is still as restrictive as other Netgear routers in terms of allowing you to fine-tune parts of your Wi-Fi performance, though most users shouldn’t need to since it gives excellent coverage straight out of the box. Besides, most professional gamers would prefer to get straight down to business than waste time worrying about Wi-Fi channel fluctuations.

Asus ZenWiFi XT8 AX6600 Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System

It’s no surprise that the ZenWifi XT8 is the best mesh system for gamers, given Asus’ experience in gaming routers. While Asus’ AiMesh technology allows you to create a mesh network from almost any group of Asus routers, the ZenWifi is a purpose-built mesh system that works as a mesh right out of the box, providing great coverage throughout your home with the low latency required for today’s fast-paced online games.

Although the ZenWifi doesn’t have all of Asus’ GT series routers’ advanced gaming optimization features, it does have cutting-edge tri-band Wi-Fi 6 technology, which means congestion won’t be an issue even on the busiest home networks, as well as Asus’ best-in-class adaptive QoS, which ensures your gaming traffic gets top priority.

The ZenWifi devices also fully support Asus’ AiMesh 2.0, so you can simply use them to extend a more powerful Asus gaming router like the GT-AX11000 if you’re wanting to establish the perfect home network for gaming. This will provide you with a wide range of wireless coverage as well as excellent game optimization tools. Nonetheless, the ZenWifi system does an excellent job of offering top-notch gaming performance on its own, and it, like any other Asus router, provides all of the complex configuration options to meet the demands of power users.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Gaming Router

The Asus GT-AC5300 is a tri-band Wi-Fi 5 router designed with gamers in mind. Our testing revealed that there’s enough performance here to keep your game running quickly, particularly with MU-MIMO and beamforming to guarantee that your PCs and gaming consoles receive a strong and concentrated signal, with a maximum throughput of 5,334Mbps over two 5GHz bands and a single 2.4GHz band. With enough power to cover a 5,000-square-foot home, Asus also offers some of the most comprehensive Wi-Fi configuration options available, allowing you to create separate SSIDs for each of your 5GHz bands to keep gaming console traffic separate from the rest of your family, or even set up advanced rules to automatically prioritise and steer your higher-bandwidth traffic to the appropriate band.

There are also eight Gigabit Ethernet connections on the rear, which means there’s plenty of space to plug in if the Wi-Fi isn’t cutting it perfect for LAN parties. What really sets the GT-AC5300 apart from the competition is its support for gaming optimization features such as the ROG Game Dashboard, which allows you to find the fastest and lowest latency servers via the WTFast Gamers Private Network (GPN), VPN Fusion, which allows you to keep your browsing private without slowing down your games, and Game IPS from Trend Micro, which protects your gaming network from hackers and malware. For some people, the sophisticated interface may be too much to handle, but it’s worth it to be able to tailor the performance to your specific requirements.

Final Words

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 router is a powerful router with about every gaming optimization function you can imagine, as well as sophisticated Wi-Fi 6 technology for optimal performance and range. However, if you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank, Netgear’s XR500 delivers outstanding gaming capabilities as well as Wi-Fi characteristics that will more than satisfy the demands of smaller homes.

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