I am having high ping recently, and I can see it in
Team Fortress 2,
Left 4 Dead. For example a European server I get
105 ms, but it should be
50-70. So I started looking for solutions.
I already have
ExpressVPN, and connecting to
Germany Frankfurt helps a little, making it go down to
90. Similar with
Dashlane Password Manager's VPN, which is provided by
Hotspot Shield. Both were freezing from time to time,
20 seconds every couple minutes and
Hotspot Shield for
3 seconds every minute.
WTFast before, offering better routes to the servers than the ones ISP provides. So I started the trial, tried many options and did many tests. Lowest ping was
70 which is really good but it was hanging for a long time as well, around
20 seconds. This is unacceptable so I removed it.
I looked for alternatives and found
ExitLag, and it is amazing. Allowing me to add maximum of
4 routes, best combination is
1 TCP and
3 UDP I think, since FPS games work with
TCP is there for other stuff, I’ve heard that
Overwatch uses it sometimes.
ExitLag is a lot easier to use than anything else because it shows me more useful information about latency, paths etc. Ping went from
zero freezes, it is just
over 400 games including
Team Fortress 2, it did not have
Left 4 Dead, and that was a big deal breaker for me. However I know that
L4D are using the same game engine, Source Engine.
I know that TF2 executable is
hl2.exe so I thought
ExitLag was just looking for that name. I renamed
hl2.exe but it did not launch, saying
Setup file 'gameinfo.txt' doesn't exist in subdirectory 'hl2'. Check your -game parameter or VCONFIG setting. Then I made a basic shortcut to the
hl2.exe and added the
-game left4dead to the shortcut path. It worked, but launching the game from Steam is looking for
left4dead.exe. So I didn’t go with this route since I want to put game launch options at Steam like
To solve all these, I renamed
hl2.exe and then I ran
CMD as Administrator. Then I ran
mklink "D:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\left 4 dead\left4dead.exe" "D:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\left 4 dead\hl2.exe". It made a shortcut called
left4dead.exe.lnk) which points to the renamed
Steam was able to find and launch
left4dead.exe and even apply
-novid -lv -freq 280 -noborder -fullscreen launch options. And yes,
Left 4 Dead as
Team Fortress 2 and worked the same way!
I thought it would be good to save this experience here, for future myself or a random stranger.
Edit: ExitLag froze for couple seconds only once during a long match. Also had very rare ping spikes.
VPNGame after writing the post, it’s also really good alternative to ExitLag. Ping is near
ExitLag. It does not have trial but it’s possible to purchase 1-Day which is ultimately cheap,
12 RUB. And monthly payment is only
$2 so I will probably prefer this instead of
ExitLag subscription. I did not have any freezes so far. Though some servers did not connect, I don’t know why. This has an option to add a custom executable which is great, like