So you’ve got a killer gaming laptop, top-of-the-line peripherals, and even a comfortable gaming chair. All you need to compete online now (apart from some skill, but you’re on your own there) is a killer gaming router. Not only will this virtually eliminate lag when playing on Wi-Fi, they offer other special benefits like gigabit ethernet ports and software solutions to manage bandwidth.
If you’re looking to take your wireless gaming to the next level, here are the best gaming routers on the market in 2020.
Best gaming routers:
- Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
- Asus RT-AX88U
- Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700
- TP-Link Archer AX6000
- TP-Link Archer C5400X
- Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best gaming routers regularly as new ones launch.
1. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
As far as gaming routers go, you won’t find a more fitting example than the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. Not only does its sci-fi spider look fit the gamer aesthetic, it’s one of the fastest and most powerful routers on the market.
With full support for 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a tri-band router, so you can dedicated one 5GHz band exclusively to gaming. Plus, unique software implementations allow further prioritization of gaming traffic and optimized connections to game servers to reduce ping and latency to a minimum. If that’s still not fast enough, there’s also a 2.5G ethernet port for blazing fast wired gaming. It isn’t cheap, but this is easily one of the best gaming routers you can buy.
2. Asus RT-AX88U
If Asus’ premier gaming router is too expensive for you, the RT-AX88U is a great alternative. It still supports next-gen Wi-Fi 6 with speeds up to 6000Mbs, but does away with some of the more advanced software features of its more expensive cousin.
What makes this one of the best gaming routers you can buy is not just the incredible speeds, it’s also the eight gigabit LAN ports on the back of the router. All this connectivity means you can get the fastest possible speeds from both wired and wireless connections on all devices. For larger homes, it can be combined with the RT-AX92U mesh kit to boost coverage throughout the house.
3. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700
When money is no object and you want the absolute best gaming router you can buy, look no further than the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700. Sure, it has six gigabit ethernet ports and one 10 gigabit SFP+ port for incredible wired speeds, but with Wi-Fi speeds up to 7.2Gbps you can safely leave cables behind.
Pure speed isn’t all this gaming router offers, with advanced Quality of Service features to make sure your ping is as low as possible. It also has a built-in Geo-Filter to make sure you’re always connected to the fastest server, plus a fully customizable dashboard to monitor bandwidth utilization by all devices on the network in real time.
4. TP-Link Archer AX6000
It might not have all the bells and whistles of dedicated gaming routers, but the TP-Link Archer AX6000 gets the job done. Its eight high-gain antennas boosted by 1024QAM deliver speeds up to 5952Mbps via 5GHz and 2.4GHz connections.
Combined with eight gigabit LAN ports and one 2.5Gbps WAN port, you should have ample connectivity for all the devices in your home. Setup is also a breeze, and can be done via Bluetooth with the Tether app, which can also be used to monitor connections on the network.
5. TP-Link Archer C5400X
While the above option is great for general use, TP-Link makes another more powerful model that’s truly one of the best gaming routers around. Although it looks like a demon summoning portal or alien mothership (take your pick), this tri-band router has all the features of other gaming routers at a much lower price.
With two 5GHz bands (one dedicated to gaming) and one 2.4GHz band, the Archer C5400X will ensure that you never miss a shot due to connection stutters or high latency. It also has eight gigabit LAN ports, more than enough for any wired connections your setup requires.
6. Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
The last entry on our list of the best gaming routers is another relatively budget-friendly option. Zyxel might not be the biggest name in home networking, but its Armor Z2 AC2600 router is fantastic for the price. It delivers on speed with up to 2600Mbps of combined wireless, and even supports more premium features like MU-MIMO and dynamic QoS.
It has a respectable four gigabit LAN ports, and the only real drawback is a lack of customization features in the software. If you’re willing to install custom firmware like OpenWRT, you will find that this gaming router can compete with much more expensive devices from better-known brands.
Get more top gaming gear: