Wireless Access

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Access network design for branch, remote, outdoor and campus locations with Aruba access points, and mobility controllers.
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Issues while gaming on wireless

  • 1.  Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Mar 08, 2018 01:05 PM

    Has anyone received feedback from users about lags or even drops while gaming on wireless?

    We support gaming consoles on a "devices" SSID  (PSK and MAC auth). We're trying to resolve reports from a user with a new PS4 Pro who is experiencing issues while gaming. It was reported that during a 3 hour gaming session the user experiences about 8 lags and 4-5 disconnects. Apparently most issues occur right after power up then smooth out. Lags are described as freezes for a few seconds which auto-correct. Disconnects are described as the whole console losing connectivity and a "Retest Network Connection" is required to get it working again (though time might also be a factor in getting it back on).  Logs show the devices jumps APs every now and then but we haven't been able to match this up to the user's experience yet. Our eduroam and open (CP) SSID seem to working ok. Client density does not seem to be a factor and the user reports great speeds. Client Health seems fine. Our eduroam and open (CP) SSIDs seem to working ok but there is the usual RF imperfections associated with res halls. I hesitate to make global RF profile changes that may affect the other VAPs.

    Are reports of gaming lag on enterprise wireless common or the exception? What's the first things to check to identify where the lag comes from? Should roaming introduce lag or can that occur lag free?  I realize we're talking UDP here..

    The PS4 is currently in user debug and we've asking the user to record timestamps to try to corroborate logged events.

     

    Any advice about how to make gaming consoles happy would be appreciated.

     

    Mike



  • 2.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Mar 24, 2018 10:51 PM

    Mike,

     

    I am struggling with this exact issue as well.  We have a handful of gamers on Campus that have logged several tickets with us and we have been banging our heads against the wall trying to resolve this.  One thing we have discovered about PS4s specifically is they only have 2.4Ghz radios.  As we all know the 2.4 space is congested.  However, we have the same issues on Xboxs which have 5Ghz radios.

     

    For the Xboxs we have verified SNR, channel utilization, etc. to rule out the RF side.  We have also taken packet captures and verified speed from Xbox and sat a laptop next to the consoles and ran constant pings.  There were a few dropped pings and the latency jumped up to around 3k ms a few times but overall the connection looks good.

     

    Another thing we noticed is the consoles seem to roam excessivly which could cause these issues if it roams during a online game.  I'm not sure what we can do about that since the client makes the decision to roam.  Ideally a stationary device shouldnt roam if its already connected to the closest AP.

     

    Anyone else seeing these issues?



  • 3.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Mar 24, 2018 11:37 PM

    Roaming while stationary indicates that on the Transmit side, the power is too high.  Some devices will allow you to remove some of the lower rates to make the clients more "sticky".  Other devices will not operate with lower rates removed (Nintendo Wii).  You will have to experiment, or others can chime in with their experiences.



  • 4.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 21, 2019 09:50 AM

    i have the same issue. after i switch AP from Mikrotik to Aruba 303H i started to lagging ingame.

    no AP switching(flapping) ... just lag each 1 min or 2 min ... . i don't know why 



  • 5.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 22, 2019 05:20 PM

    Just a thought -- but do you have off channel scanning enabled?  It would cause the AP to switch channels briefly before switching back which would add jitter (i.e. lag) into anything that is latency sensitive.  Maybe starting with these in the rf arm-profile:

     

    scanning Enable/disable AP scanning other channels. Default:
    Enabled

    scan-interval How often to drift out of our channel (secs). Default:
    10 sec

     

      There might be other items to check/adjust too, maybe someone else can shed some light on it?

     



  • 6.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 03:17 AM

    is this options ?Screenshot_24.png

     

    looks like if i disable scanning then i should manualy set channels for radio which is kind of painfull. 

    i would like to set interval more rarely but can't find out where is this option on Instant AP



  • 7.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 05:25 AM

    Disabling scanning is not a way to troubleshoot performance issues.  You should first identify the device with issues and whether or not it connects on the 2.4ghz or 5ghz band.  When you do that, you should examine the access point it connects to and determine if that device has performance issues on that band.

     

    Disabling scanning also disables RF management and should not be done lightly.



  • 8.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 05:56 AM

    in my case i have :

    ASUS Laptop with "Qualcomm Atheros Killer Wireless-N 1202" compliant with IEEE 802.11n and up to 3 meter distance to Aruba 303H

     

    Each ~10 sec i get lag in game. 

    There is no lag at all before i switch to Aruba from Mikrotik hAP AC.

     

     



  • 9.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 05:58 AM

    Is it operating on the 2.4ghz or 5ghz band?



  • 10.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 06:10 AM

    ofcourse 5Ghz it's preffered on both sides

    .



  • 11.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 06:20 AM

    Ok.

     

    I would uncheck 80mhz support.  There are not many 80mhz channels by default and it is possible that they are interfering with each other.



  • 12.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 08:42 AM

    Agreed that disabling scanning has multiple negatives -- but if we are defining gaming as a critical application, then there only a few items that can help that directly.  We already have:

     

    video-aware-scan If enabled, AP will not scan if video session is in
    progress Default: Enabled
    voip-aware-scan If enabled, AP will not scan if VoIP call is in
    progress Default: Enabled

     

      Is there a setting that would disable scanning when any client is connected to the AP?  It's description isn't worded quite the same but perhaps:

     

    client-aware If enabled, AP will not change channels when there are
    active clients. Default: Enabled

     

     would be enough to keep off channel scans from occurring?

     



  • 13.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 09:06 AM

    100% of gaming environments work with scanning enabled.  Scanning does not occur long enough or often enough to match the issues you are seeing.



  • 14.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 09:07 AM

    In addition, gaming is not a voip or video application, so it is not covered by those knobs.



  • 15.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 09:21 AM

    cjoseph,

     

      Respectfully, I wasn't trying to say those knobs were directly related to this issue, just as examples that those knobs exist for items that are latency sensitive (voice/video).  Since there is a supported mechanism to stop them from causing trouble, then it seems that off channel scanning can have some (negative) impact.

     

      To your point, how long does the AP spend with off channel scanning?  Is it long enough to hear beacons?  If our beacon rate is 102.4ms, with a small buffer bringing it up to a hypothetical 105ms scan time, that introduces 105ms of jitter into the equation and for games that are latency sensititve, that jitter can get perceived in different ways (lag/rubber banding/etc).

     

    Just my $0.02 and I could be way off base.

     



  • 16.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 09:32 AM

    periodic nature of this issue does not kind of "noise / interference / channel switching issue". 

     

    in-game overlay shows ping like

    60

    60

    60

    60

    120

    60

    60

    60

    60

    120

    60

    60

    60

    60

    120

    ...

     

    it's looks like a scheduled jobs on AP.



  • 17.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 09:53 AM

    @xocolate wrote:

    periodic nature of this issue does not kind of "noise / interference / channel switching issue". 

     

    in-game overlay shows ping like

    60

    60

    60

    60

    120

    60

    60

    60

    60

    120

    60

    60

    60

    60

    120

    ...

     

    it's looks like a scheduled jobs on AP.


    Scanning occurs about once every 10 seconds for less than 100 miliseconds.  And quite frankly, clients also scan other channels at the same time they are connected to an access point.  If your chart shows all of the pings going through but the response time goes up from 60 miliseconds to 120 miliseconds, something as small as other people using the wifi or using the same channel as you, or other unprioritized traffic on the same laptop can generate the same results.  Since all of your pings are going through, that is not a cause for concern.  Pings are also much less forgiving than TCP gaming traffic so I would expect that if TCP gaming traffic is being dropped, that ping traffic would be dropped way before that.

     

    Please also make sure that on all of your SSIDs, under advanced, "Broadcast Filter ARP" is enabled so that you are not competing against excess broadcast traffic.



  • 18.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 24, 2019 03:29 PM

    some latest statistics while gamming 

    pings:

    12 x 1ms pings
    Ответ от 10.10.10.1: число байт=32 время=1426мс TTL=64
    6 x 1ms pings
    Ответ от 10.10.10.1: число байт=32 время=2208мс TTL=64
    36 x 1ms pings
    Ответ от 10.10.10.1: число байт=32 время=1703мс TTL=64
    88 x 1ms pings
    Ответ от 10.10.10.1: число байт=32 время=2207мс TTL=64
    78 x 1ms pings
    Ответ от 10.10.10.1: число байт=32 время=2494мс TTL=64
    37 x 1ms pings
    Ответ от 10.10.10.1: число байт=32 время=2191мс TTL=64
    39 x 1ms pings
    Ответ от 10.10.10.1: число байт=32 время=1833мс TTL=64
    72 x 1ms pings
    Ответ от 10.10.10.1: число байт=32 время=2558мс TTL=64
    83 x 1ms pings

     

    captured traffic in high ping moment

    Screenshot_9.png

     

    Screenshot_10.png



  • 19.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 25, 2019 05:26 AM

    Looks like i'm on my way to solve issue. 

    Yesterday, i made some tunning on client side. Killer Network Wilresess Adapter came with software which is provide QOS-like features for specific application. So i pick game as high priority app and huge lags are gone for now. 

    Tomorow i will check this idea more deeply and try to use external USB Wi-Fi dongle. 



  • 20.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Dec 10, 2019 01:20 PM

    @cjoseph wrote:

    Please also make sure that on all of your SSIDs, under advanced, "Broadcast Filter ARP" is enabled so that you are not competing against excess broadcast traffic.

     


    Is this under the VAPs? I am struggling to find it. We're running 8.5.0.3



  • 21.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 08:14 AM

    Hi all,

     

    Still looking for help with this and the above post^^^^^.

     

    Students arrived back from winter break and we've had a barrage of complaints about PlayStations and Xboxes with slow connections and disconnects, both on the 2.4 and 5Ghz bands.

     

    Sometimes these clear up on their own, sometimes I reboot the AP, it varies how we eventually solve the issue.

     

    Has anyone in higher ed, or any other dense deployments, experimented with setting their channels to 20 wide? This is very frustrating.



  • 22.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 08:23 AM
    What kind of equipment do you have?
    What version of ArubaOS do you have?
    How long has it been deployed?
    The discussions in this thread are specific to the people that advances before and may not match the suggestions we would give you...


  • 23.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 08:50 AM

    8.5.0.3

     

    2 MMs, HW5Ks

    6 local controllers, 7240XMs

     

    4000+ APs throughout campus, with roughly 2200 315 APs in res halls, typically every other room deployment. Buildings vary from old, barrack style to newer suite type apartments.

     

    3 SSIDs, eduroam, our secure 802.1x SSID, and our public/guest SSID.

     

    Game consoles are sent via Clearpass to the public SSID, so they receive public IPs.

     

    This setup has been deployed for about 4 years. We will be upgrading the res halls APs to 515s this coming summer in a 1 for 1 swap.

     

    The res halls have been wired-free for over two years, so Ethernet is not an option.



  • 24.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 08:53 AM

    Did you try opening a case with Aruba Technical Support, so that they can look at the details of your setup and propose any fixes?



  • 25.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 09:11 AM

    We've opened a few cases with TAC about gaming, be it console issues or PC gaming, and really haven't gotten much traction given the finicky nature of the latency, jitter, ping loss, and various servers involved.

     

    The best we could come up with is a gaming role tied to a policy with a list of network ranges, sites, and ports specific to gaming, giving them priority.

     

    We have also stressed to students if they do choose to bring devices onto campus, to make sure they are 5Ghz capable. But as we've seen, we still have issues on 5Ghz.

     

    I don't mind opening another case, but it can get tedious trying to coordinate with students and TAC to all be on at the same time to troubleshoot, hence my question about various setting tweaks.



  • 26.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 09:16 AM

    To be clear, I was asking about TAC because they would be able to obtain more detailed information from you that we would be able to gain here.  If anything else was already attempted to fix the issue, we would know what doesn't work and use that to suggest something else.  If you already had existing issues, TAC would be able to give you recommendations based on those issues and make suggestions to try something else.

     

    With that being said, which devices do you have issues with and what are the details of the issues?



  • 27.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 09:21 AM

    Xboxes and Playstations, specifically. They range from older 2.4-only, to the newer ac capable.

     

    The issues also vary, from not being able to connect to the guest SSID, to being able to connect to the guest SSID, but unable to play online/multiplayer games.

     

    The tickets coming in now fall in the "slow speeds and frequent disconnects to various game servers (FIFA, etc.)"

     

    I know these consoles can be notoriously bad on wireless, and the networks themselves (Xbox Live and PlayStation Network) can experience system-wide problems, but I want to make sure we can do all we can on our end to make our wireless the best it can be.



  • 28.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 09:34 AM

    My advice is to work with a single motivated user on each platform at a time to determine if your changes made improve things.  Ideally, things that you do to improve wireless in general improve things for gaming devices, so you should look at the system, or the general area where gaming devices exist wholistically, first.

     

    If you are using 40 or 80mhz channels, I would drop to 20 mhz wide channels to improve performance and avoid cochannel interference.  Working with the user that has the most prevalent issues, I would do a site survey of that person's entire dorm room to determine if your signal strength/quality is good enough.  If you are not enabling "broadcast filter all" on all of your Virtual APs, I would consider it, because that is a prevalent source of disconnects.  If you are not using DFS channels on the 5ghz band, I would consider it.  I would look at the RF utilization on the access points with the issue to determine how much utilization you are seeing to determine if things are congested.

     

    Again, working with a user who has the most issues who is motivated to make it work is your best chance at understanding your challenges.



  • 29.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 09:50 AM

    Appreciate your time and advice, I will look into those changes.



  • 30.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 09:54 AM

    Wait...  These are just recommendations, but we need to know what your existing settings are before you consider changes, as they must not be made blindly.

     

    Do you use 40mhz channels?

    Do you have Broadcast Filtering Enabled on all of your Virtual APS?



  • 31.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 10:07 AM

    Posted this before I saw your last response.

     

    The majority of our res halls are at least 40 wide. It's been a back and forth debate about keeping it this way or going 20 wide, so I need to discuss with everyone before making mass changes.

     

    Also, I cannot for the life of me find that broadcast filter in the VAP settings. I'm sure it's right in front of me, but I'm stumped. Can you help?



  • 32.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 10:23 AM

    The only reason why I would consider 20 mhz channels if you already have 40mhz channels is if you are NOT using DFS and you have channel overlap on the 5ghz band.  It is certainly not a no-brainer to change to 20mhz channels.  

     

    The knob in the virtual ap is "Drop Broadcasts and unknown multicast".

     

    If you want to create a new post and phrase it as a poll about "what users have done for gaming", you are welcome to do so, so that higher education customers can participate and give you some ideas about what they do...



  • 33.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 11:29 AM

    Okay thanks, I found that. As of right now, it is not enabled. That will be a discussion to have with our team, as far as pros/cons and impact on other users on that SSID.

     

    We use DFS channels throughout campus, so maybe 20 wide isn't the quick fix I was looking for. I know I saw it on various Xbox/Playstation threads that users would configure their home routers to 20 wide and would solve their 5Ghz issues. Apples and oranges between home and enterprise, but I'll consider everything at this point.

     



  • 34.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Jan 23, 2020 11:33 AM

    Curious, has it been verified that affected gaming consoles scan for DFS channels?

     

    Mike



  • 35.  RE: Issues while gaming on wireless

    Posted Oct 23, 2019 09:47 AM

    @kurtisg wrote:

    cjoseph,

     

      Respectfully, I wasn't trying to say those knobs were directly related to this issue, just as examples that those knobs exist for items that are latency sensitive (voice/video).  Since there is a supported mechanism to stop them from causing trouble, then it seems that off channel scanning can have some (negative) impact.

     

      To your point, how long does the AP spend with off channel scanning?  Is it long enough to hear beacons?  If our beacon rate is 102.4ms, with a small buffer bringing it up to a hypothetical 105ms scan time, that introduces 105ms of jitter into the equation and for games that are latency sensititve, that jitter can get perceived in different ways (lag/rubber banding/etc).

     

    Just my $0.02 and I could be way off base.

     


    @kurtisg,

     

    I was answering @xocolate who was asking about turning off the scanning knob.  To be frank, I don't know anything about his network, so I have to discuss things based on the likelihood that things will actually work.  I am not knocking your idea about scanning, I was just talking about the possibility that it would be causing his issue.  If turning off scanning fixed your issue, you are free to chime in and mention specifics.  This is an open forum and everyone can share their experiences.