How to Fix High Packet Loss on Xbox: Full 2024 Guide

Updated on: May 13, 2024
Fact Checked by Hazel Shaw
Toma Novakovic Toma Novakovic
Updated on: May 13, 2024

Only 3 Steps (Quick + Easy) to Fix High Packet Loss on Xbox in 2024:

  • Get a fast VPN for Xbox. You’ll need a VPN that’s fast and has good router support — I recommend ExpressVPN, which has a native router app that’s super easy to install and use.
  • Set up the VPN on your router. This will extend the VPN’s connection to all devices connected to the router, including your Xbox. Connecting to a local or nearby server should get you the best speeds, lowest ping, and most stable connection for fixing packet loss.
  • Run the Xbox network diagnostics tool. Check if your high packet loss has gone down, and that’s it! You’re all set to get back to gaming on your Xbox.

A VPN is the best way to fix and prevent most causes of high packet loss on your Xbox. This is because VPNs optimize the path your data takes to reach the game’s servers, which reduces the likelihood of data packets getting lost or delayed in transit.

I tested dozens of VPNs to find the best ones that fix high packet loss on Xbox — I found 3 that stand out among the rest. Since Xbox devices don’t have native VPN support and require router configuration, I made sure all the VPNs on my list are easy to set up on a router. All of them provide super-fast speeds, too, so you won’t have to deal with lags, delays, or disconnects when gaming on your Xbox.

My favorite VPN for reducing high packet loss on Xbox is ExpressVPN. It has a native router app that you can install on your router and maintain blazing-fast speeds that are ideal for Xbox gaming.


What Causes High Packet Loss on Xbox?

  • ISP routing issues. The default route your ISP uses to connect you to a game server might be congested because of heavy traffic, which causes servers to delay or drop packets. Alternatively, the ISP’s policies or routing tables may not always prioritize the fastest path to the game servers, which also leads to packet loss. In this case, a VPN can provide an alternative, more stable route than your ISP’s default.
  • ISP throttling. Sometimes, ISPs limit users’ connections to conserve bandwidth which includes dropping data packets considered “excess.” This is especially common for activities like gaming and streaming (remember that cloud gaming is technically streaming!), and more so during peak hours. A VPN encrypts your traffic, so your ISP can’t see that you’re gaming or streaming and won’t be able to throttle your connection based on your online activities.
  • Network congestion. A very common reason for high packet loss on Xbox is an overcrowded host network. Popular Xbox games, like Fortnite or Roblox, can have over a million players online simultaneously. A congested network can’t handle all of the traffic that’s coming its way, so it starts discarding packets of data here and there to reduce the load — if the network didn’t do this, it would crash entirely, which is a much more serious problem.
  • Server data handling issues. Even if it’s not congested, a server could still experience some issues causing it to handle data packets improperly. A malfunctioning or badly configured server could have trouble parsing or properly addressing data packets, which can cause high packet loss.
  • Server miscommunication. Server miscommunication happens when the game server and your Xbox don’t “speak” the same language, often due to updates or changes on the server that your Xbox hasn’t matched. If the server changes how it sends data, but your Xbox is still using the old method, some of the data might not get through correctly, leading to packet loss.
  • Local network issues. Local network problems, like a weak Wi-Fi signal, other electronics getting in the way, or too many gadgets using the same Wi-Fi, can lead to high packet loss. This happens because these issues stop your network from sending and getting data correctly.
  • Faulty hardware. Damage and malfunctioning from the routers, modems, the ISP infrastructure, or the Xbox itself can contribute to high packet loss.

How to Check If You’re Experiencing High Packet Loss on Xbox

Xbox devices have a built-in diagnostic tool that measures packet loss (in addition to identifying other potential problems). Here’s how to use it:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the main menu screen.
  2. Go to Profile & System > Settings > General > Network Settings.
  3. In Network Settings, select “Test network speed & statistics”.
  4. The Xbox will take a few seconds to look at the numbers and display the details of your connection, including packet loss, download speed, upload speed, and latency.

I suggest running the test a few times at different times of day to see if there are any fluctuations. You can write down the results, so you’ll have the numbers on hand in case you’re contacting your ISP to report the problem.

Packet loss is usually displayed as a percentage (although you can also find it online as a “frame loss rate”). For reference, here’s what the numbers mean:

0% packet loss While this is the best-case scenario, it can be a little unrealistic to expect unless you’re on the best, most advanced servers available.
<0.1% packet loss This is universally considered to be acceptable for high-performance gaming.
0.1–1% packet loss This is considered to be perfectly acceptable for most online activities, including gaming. However, some games running at the highest performance levels could start running into minor issues here — this is especially important for speedrunners.
1–3% packet loss Acceptable for casual gaming that doesn’t require very high performance, but you’ll be noticing some lag or latency increases here and there.
3–5% packet loss At this point, you should already be having noticeable problems with latency. Some games could start disconnecting. Most gamers will want to start troubleshooting to solve the problem.
5–10% packet loss Most games get frustrating to play at this point. While some could still be playable, I doubt you’re having a fun time.
>10% packet loss Renders most games nigh-unplayable.
100% packet loss This most commonly occurs if the issue is with the game’s servers or your hardware.

How to Fix High Packet Loss on Xbox (Troubleshooting Tips)

Overall, getting a high-quality VPN is the best way to fix and prevent packet loss that results from traffic congestion or your ISP’s suboptimal routing and speed throttling. The VPN that does this best on an Xbox is ExpressVPN, thanks to its large server network with very stable connections and lightning-fast speeds.

That said, because several different issues cause packet loss, there a few other things you can try:

  • Restart your Xbox and your router. This clears temporary glitches or congestion in your devices and network, ensuring a smoother and more stable connection for data packets to travel without interruption.
  • Check for updates. Older software versions on your router or Xbox can disrupt the connection between your Xbox and game servers, resulting in packet loss.
  • Make sure there aren’t too many devices connected to the network. Too many active devices that use a lot of traffic can overwhelm your connection, causing packet loss during intense gaming sessions.
  • Switch from Wi-Fi to an Ethernet cable. Wired connections are more reliable as they help you avoid wireless issues like poor Wi-Fi signal or interference, which can cause packet loss.
  • Inspect your Ethernet cable for damage. Fraying or loose plugs can cause high packet loss by disrupting the stable flow of data between your Xbox and the network. Also, try using a different port on your router to check if the issue is with the port.
  • Contact your ISP to check for any network issues. While ISPs may not acknowledge throttling, they can address errors on their end that contribute to packet loss. Reporting the issue can prompt a solution.
  • Look for online updates about the game’s server issues. If others are also experiencing high packet loss in the same game, it’s likely a problem with the game’s servers, not your connection. Check the game’s official social media for announcements. In this case, waiting is the only option.

Best VPNs for Fixing High Packet Loss on Xbox in 2024

Quick summary of the best VPNs for fixing high packet loss on Xbox:

  • 🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for fixing high packet loss on your Xbox with blazing-fast speeds.
  • 🥈2. Private Internet Access — Highly-secure VPN with plenty of customization options & excellent speeds.
  • 🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — User-friendly VPN with gaming-optimized servers that are built to have low ping.

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Fixing High Packet Loss on Xbox in 2024

Approved by our experts
Approved by our experts
Most readers pick ExpressVPN
Servers in countries
Key Features
Industry-leading speeds
Number of devices
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days

ExpressVPN is my #1 recommendation for fixing packet loss on Xbox. It has a highly stable server network spanning 105 countries, which allows it to choose the most efficient path for your data to reach the game servers to reduce delays and the chances of packets getting lost.

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN currently on the market — it processes and transfers all data packets quickly and minimizes the time they spend in transit, which means less data packet loss. I tested it by playing Final Fantasy XIV, and there wasn’t any lag or slowdowns. I also downloaded a 5 GB patch update in about 7 minutes without any interruptions.

I’m a fan of ExpressVPN’s dedicated router app. It’s very easy to install and use, and ExpressVPN offers detailed step-by-step guides for it in case you haven’t done anything like this before. It only took me 5–6 minutes to set everything up and connect to a server.

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Fixing High Packet Loss on Xbox in 2024

Another thing I like about the ExpressVPN router app is the Device Groups feature, which lets you sort all connected devices into up to 5 groups with different settings. For example, you could make a group that’s exclusively for your Xbox and connect it to a fast server with low ping, while the rest of your devices are connected to a different server or use your local network directly.

I also find it convenient that ExpressVPN supports cloud gaming on Xbox, so you can stream your games on your VR headset, smart TV, or PC and reduce high packet loss with ExpressVPN’s secure VPN tunnels and super-fast speeds.

ExpressVPN has plans starting at $6.67 / month. It provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to try it for your Xbox risk-free.

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🥈2. Private Internet Access — Highly Customizable VPN for Xbox With Strong Security

Servers in countries
Key Features
Excellent ad blocker
Number of devices
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days

Private Internet Access (PIA) lets you fine-tune your connection for minimal packet loss. In the PIA app, you can decide the maximum packet size allowed through the tunnel and prevent data packets from being too large for the network to handle efficiently, reducing the chance of packet loss and improving overall connection stability.

PIA has servers in 91 countries, so there are plenty of alternative routes to find the best and fastest path for your data to reach the game’s servers. Plus, I like how PIA’s apps display the ping for every server location, which makes it super easy to find the quick ones for the best possible speeds when gaming on your Xbox.

🥈2. Private Internet Access — Highly Customizable VPN for Xbox With Strong Security

PIA has good router support, but it doesn’t have a native router app like ExpressVPN, so you’ll have to manually configure it on your router. It took me about 12 minutes to do that on my router as PIA has detailed step-by-step guides on the website for compatible router models. I still prefer ExpressVPN’s router app which takes less time to install and it’s easier to use.

Private Internet Access has affordable plans, starting at $2.03 / month, all of which are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — Great VPN With Large Server Network & Gaming-Optimized Servers

Servers in countries
Key Features
Special streaming servers
Number of devices
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
Up to 45 days

CyberGhost VPN has a huge network of servers across 100 countries, so it easily avoids overcrowded servers and finds the fastest path to the game’s servers with the least amount of potential disruptions to minimize data packet loss. The size of its server network also makes it easy to find a nearby server for the best possible speeds.

I really love CyberGhost VPN’s dedicated gaming servers for reducing packet loss. These servers are optimized to provide you with the most stable connections while gaming, as well as the best speeds and responsiveness (minimal lag) for games where every second counts. These servers are located in the US, UK, France, and Germany.

🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — Great VPN With Large Server Network &amp; Gaming-Optimized Servers

CyberGhost requires manual router configuration, unlike ExpressVPN’s router app, but it offers comprehensive guides for different router models. All of its guides are accompanied by screenshots for every step, so it’s really easy to configure the VPN on your router.

CyberGhost VPN’s plans start at $2.19 / month. It backs its long-term plans with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. If you opt for its monthly plan, you’ll get a 14-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost: Save 83% on the 24-month plan + FREE months!
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Quick Comparison Table

VPN Starting Price Native Router App Number of Countries Cloud Gaming Support on Xbox Money-Back Guarantee
🥇1. ExpressVPN $6.67 / month 105 30 days
🥈2. Private Internet Access $2.03 / month

(manual configuration)

91 30 days
🥉3. CyberGhost VPN $2.19 / month

(manual configuration)

100 45 days (long-term plans)

How to Choose the Best VPN for Fixing High Packet Loss on Xbox in 2024

  • Choose a VPN with good router support. The Xbox runs an operating system which doesn’t natively support VPNs, so you’ll have to configure the VPN on your router. All of the VPNs I recommend support router configuration, and ExpressVPN even has a dedicated router app.
  • Get a VPN with a large server network. A large server network means the VPN has more options to find the most optimized path for your data to reach the game’s servers and reduce packet loss in the process. This als means you can more easily find a nearby server for the best possible speeds and minimal latency.
  • Pick a fast VPN. A high-speed VPN handles data packets fast enough to minimize the time they spend in transit and reduce data packet loss. The VPNs on my list provide super-fast speeds for gaming on Xbox.
  • Check for good security features. A secure VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption (used by governments, banks, and militaries), has a no-logs policy so it doesn’t monitor or log your Xbox activity, and a kill switch to prevent data leaks. Plus, the VPNs I recommend protect against DDoS attacks on all servers, which causes high packet loss.
  • Opt for a provider that offers good value. The VPNs on my list all let you secure multiple devices simultaneously, have excellent extra features, and a money-back guarantee so you can try them risk-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much packet loss is normal for Xbox?

For casual Xbox gaming, you probably won’t even notice packet loss up to 3%. While packet loss of 1% and lower is considered generally acceptable, for high-performance gaming, less than 0.1% packet loss is the standard. For more information, check out my step-by-step guide on how to determine your packet loss and a more detailed breakdown of packet loss thresholds.

How does a VPN help with high packet loss on Xbox?

A VPN reduces high packet loss by choosing network paths with less congestion. It does this by checking the state of the network and then sending your internet traffic through less busy servers, lowering the risk of data packets being lost or delayed as they move between your Xbox and the game servers. VPNs also encrypt your data, which prevents your ISP from throttling your speeds based on your online activities.

What’s the best VPN for solving high packet loss on Xbox?

My favorite VPN for fixing high packet loss on Xbox is ExpressVPN. It has a large server network that spans 105 countries, offers the fastest gaming speeds on the market, and comes with top-notch security features like anti-DDoS protection on all servers. Plus, it’s one of the only VPNs that offer a native router app, which is a lot easier to install and use than having to manually configure the VPN on your router.

Does VPN cause packet loss on Xbox?

It depends on the VPN. Using a VPN can introduce the possibility of packet loss on Xbox because it creates an additional step in the data’s transit to and from the game servers. This means there’s one more point where things could go wrong.

The impact of a VPN on packet loss largely hinges on the quality of its servers — some VPNs might not have a good network to ensure smooth data flow, which can potentially result in high packet loss. All VPNs I recommend offer super stable and fast server networks and lots of other features that prevent and fix a lot of high packet loss causes.

Best VPNs for Fixing High Packet Loss on Xbox in 2024 — Final Score:

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About the Author
Toma Novakovic
Updated on: May 13, 2024

About the Author

Toma Novakovic is a writer at SafetyDetectives. Before joining, he worked as a freelance writer for various publications in the tech, language arts, and science fields. He has a broad array of interests and loves learning new things about the tech sector and the ever-growing field of cybersecurity and privacy. When he's not writing at work, he's likely writing fiction, reading up on obscure topics, or replaying some Final Fantasy video game.