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Best gaming router 2022: Top routers for gaming

If you want to get the optimum performance for online gaming, then getting the best gaming router is arguably a vital piece of the puzzle.

Networking is arguably one of the more confusing ends of the tech spectrum, and to help you out, we’ve put together this list of the best gaming routers money can buy that’s been based on our extensive testing and reviews.

For this list we’ve prioritised speed over range for the sake of max gaming performance – after all, you’ll want to place your PC/console as close to the router as possible for the best results. We’ve also looked out for the best gaming features, while also factoring in the cost.

If you’d prefer to buy a router with a more rounded performance for general online connectivity beyond gaming, then it’s worth checking out our best router roundup instead.

And if you can’t find a gaming router on this list that you’re happy to invest in, we recommend bookmarking this page, as we’ll be updating this article frequently as we publish more reviews throughout the year and beyond.

Best gaming routers at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test routers

We test every wireless router we review thoroughly over an extended period of time.

We use consistent testing conditions to determine the highest speed for every available band, while also noting down the performance at various ranges.

We also make sure to test all of the available features, including security and parental controls.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Netgear Nighthawk RAX200

Fastest gaming router (with Wi-Fi 6)
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Pros

  • Tri-band Wi-Fi 6
  • Exceptionally fast
  • Brilliant coverage

Cons

  • Expensive

For the absolute fastest speeds we’ve tested from a gaming Wi-Fi 6 router, look no further than the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200.

During testing, we managed to get average speeds of 742.14Mbps at close range, which is the fastest score we’ve seen yet from a Wi-Fi 6 router. And while you can get even faster speeds by upgrading to Wi-Fi 6E routers, there are currently no consoles that support the standard and so is only really worthwhile for PC gamers with cutting-edge hardware.

The Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 did admittedly fall away for our long distance tests, but at least remained above 350Mbps on the second floor that sits at 10 metres away from the router. If you need greater range, you’ll want to purchase a mesh system instead, such as the Amazon Eero Pro 6.

One of the advantages of this router is that it’s tri-band, giving you three networks: one 2.4GHz, and two on 5GHz. By having multiple bands, the router is better equipped to provide internet for multiple devices without causing major interference for your main gaming device.

On the front of features, a lot of the RAX200’s main offerings are controlled with the Nighthawk mobile app that gives access to set up and configuration, as well as the ability to control it via both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant skills for hands-free operation. The web interface also provides support for port-forwarding, VPN usage, and support for BT IGMP proxying, if they’re your service provider.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 Review

Netgear Nighthawk AX8

Best value gaming router
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Pros

  • Very fast
  • Ready for new devices with Wi-Fi 6
  • Neat interface and management app

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • No parental controls

The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is a fantastic choice if you’re after a router with lightning speeds, but is also more affordable than a lot of the other options on this list.

The AX8 makes use of Wi-Fi 6 with compatibility for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X. During testing, the AX8 proved to be exceptionally fast with average speeds nearing 730Mbps in close range, alongside figures of 350.59Mbps a floor up, 5 metres up, and 389.93Mbps at 10m on the second floor. The Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 proved faster in our tests, but is also noticeably more expensive.

The AX8 is an 8×8 router, giving you eight different streams to choose from – half are reserved for the quicker 5GHz band, while the other four work via 2.4GHz, which offers loads of bandwidth to play with. Like other Netgear routers, config is taken care of via the Nighthawk app that offers a convenient way of changing settings alongside the more versatile web interface.

Its looks are similar to other routers we’ve tested in Netgear’s Nighthawk range with a minimalistic design that offers two ‘wings’ that houses all the antennas – it makes the AX8 look like an Imperial Shuttle from Star Wars. In terms of ports round the back, it’s a standard fair for a router with five Gigabit Ethernet ports. If you’re after fast speeds, but don’t want to spend over the odds, this is our top recommendation for gaming.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Netgear Nighthawk AX8 Review

Netgear Nighthawk XR1000

Best gaming features
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Pros

  • DumaOS is powerful and flexible
  • Easy to set up
  • Fast

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other Netgear routers

If it’s oodles of features you’re after from a router for gaming, then the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 comes jam-packed.

As with other Netgear routers, setup here is taken care of by the Nighthawk app which offers basic functionality to change the name of the network and turn on the guest option.

It’s with the web interface, DumaOS 3.0, where the XR1000 really comes into its own though. With it, you can configure performance groups within the QoS settings so you can allocate more or less bandwidth to a task. This allocation system also works for specific apps, too. But the most powerful feature here is arguably the Geo-Filter, which helps you find game servers with the lowest ping to give you the best experience possible.

In terms of speed and connnectivity, the XR1000 is a Wi-Fi 6 capable router. In testing, we found the speeds here to be especially quick and plenty for gaming, with a close range speed of 715.57Mbps, while at five metres on the first floor it was 318.59Mbps. Speeds are slightly behind the the other two Netgear routers on this list, but the gaming features arguably make up for that.

For the design, the XR1000 is simply a rebadged version of the RAX50 with the same shape and size, but adds red accents to show the fact it’s a gaming router, which we’d argue makes it look even better. The port selection round the back offers four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices, plus a Gigabit Ethernet port for the WAN connection, as well as a USB 3.0 port for local file sharing.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 Review

Amazon Eero Pro 6

Best gaming mesh system
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Pros

  • Good performance
  • Easy to set up
  • Good price

Cons

  • Advanced features are subscription only
  • Few Ethernet ports

As opposed to a standard router, you could get a mesh Wi-Fi system for gaming instead, and the Amazon Eero Pro 6 is a superb option.

Having a mesh system means you get a router, as well as additional satellite devices that help to spread internet coverage throughout your home. Amazon rates each satellite as working well over 140 square metres each. These are a lot more compact than the competition, which means you should have no problem placing them wherever you wish, but do note, there is quite a short power cable. Ports wise, there’s USB-C for power delivery and a pair of Gigabit ethernet ports, which doesn’t offer much for direct connectivity as one Ethernet port has to be wired in directly to your router.

The speeds out of the Eero Pro 6 prove it’s capable, with out test results showing close range Wi-Fi connections to be faster (707.64Mbps) than other mesh systems we’ve reviewed such as the standard Eero 6 and the Netgear Orbi RBK852. Performance did drop on the second floor to 228.18Mbps, but the additional satellites will still ensure superior coverage than other routers on this list.

When it comes to features, setup is nice and easy with the accompanying Eero app, and we also found its homescreen to be one of the simplest out there with an especially intuitive layout. As this is an Amazon product, there’s also integration with Alexa, which can be used to pause the Wi-Fi, turn the guest network on and off, and narrow down a lost device to a specific base station. There’s also a Zigbee hub built in to each satellite, which allows direct control for devices such as smart bulbs, plugs and motion detectors.

We didn’t find any advanced control such as network splitting here though, which rivals routers offer, while features such as content filtering and ad blocking behind a paywall are locked behind a subscription paywall.

Reviewer: Tom Morgan
Full review: Amazon Eero Pro 6 Review

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000

Best Wi-Fi 6E gaming router
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Pros

  • 6GHz is fast
  • Security and parental controls
  • Dedicated gaming mode

Cons

  • Wi-Fi Radar hit and miss
  • Expensive

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 is an excellent gaming router for PC gamers wanting to take advantage of the absolute latest networking standard: Wi-Fi 6E.

The new Wi-Fi 6E standard offers the power of a 6GHz band (compared to Wi-Fi 6’s 5GHz) which provides a higher performance ceiling and less interference, making it a great option for gamers. When testing the Asus ROG router, the 6Ghz channel provided average speeds of 915Mbps, providing roughly the same speed as Gigabit Ethernet. However, the downside to this is that current consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X) don’t support the 6Ghz band, and so is only useful for cutting-edge PC hardware.

And while the router also features a 5Ghz band, which does work with consoles, our tests saw a speed of just 612.09Mbps at close range – that’s slower than all of the other routers on this list. As a result, you’ll really want to make sure your gaming hardware is compatible with the 6Ghz band in order to get bang for your buck here.

Configuration with this Asus router is achieved either through a browser or the Asus app – it’s easy to set up and won’t take too long. There’s a decent selection of features here that are each designed to help offer the best speeds possible for gaming, including a Boost option that prioritises gaming traffic and a handy service called Games Radar that lets you check the ping status of games. Asus also lets you loose with full parental controls, as well as built-in network security that blocks malicious sites and can block infected devices.

This is also quite a big router with a lot of antennas (there’s eight in total), meaning you’ll need a lot of space to house it. For the gamers, there is also RGB lighting, which can be turned on or off with the Asus app. There’s a good port selection on the Rapture GT too, with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as a WAN port for the internet and a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port. This comes alongside two USB 3.2 ports for printers, or sharing storage.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 Review

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FAQs

Are gaming routers really better?

Gaming routers won’t necessarily offer faster speeds than a normal router, but they often have features that allow you to prioritise your gaming PC or console ahead of other devices in your home to cut through network congestion.

What is the fastest router?

The Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 is the fastest Wi-Fi 6 router we’ve tested so far, while the Netgear Orbi RBKE963 Wi-Fi 6E saw the fastest Wi-Fi 6E speeds.

Trusted Reviews test data

2.4GHz (close)
2.4GHz (first floor)
2.4GHz (second floor)
5GHz (close)
5GHz (first floor)
5GHz (second floor)

Comparison specs

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