December 9, 2022

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Best Gaming Routers: That 100% FTW List

12 min read

This post is a collection of the best gaming routers I’ve reviewed.

There’s no concrete definition of what constitutes a “gaming router”; but all listed below meet at least two of my qualifying criteria.

While you can generally play online games with any router, one of these will give you an edge in getting connected, plus the much-needed placebo effect — you know that you’re already well-equipped, possibly better-geared than the other guy.

Dong’s note: I first published this post on January 29, 2021, and updated it on June 24, 2022, with up-to-date options.

Best Gaming Routers: Asus's Trio
Best Gaming routers: Asus’s tri-band trio, the GT-AX11000, RT-AX92U, and GT-AXE11000 have a lot to offer gamers.

Best gaming routers of 2022: The list

All routers on this list are excellent for general use. On top of that, they collectively check all the gaming boxes.

They are listed here on reviewed orders with the latest on top — the number in front of their name is not for ranking but just numerical.

11. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000: The ultimate gaming router

Again, in case you didn’t read the intro: This is the latest member of this list. The number is not the ranking.

Asus GT AXE16000 Gaming Lights 3
Best gaming routers: The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 Quad-band Wi-Fi 6E router has the most Multi-Gig ports to date and a cool ROG Aura light.

The Asus GT-AXE16000 is the pinnacle of home networking, and gaming is just the icing on the cake. This is the ultimate router you can safely get — that’s if you can afford it.

Note: By itself, Asus has the largest selection of gaming routers — not all are listed here, but you can read about them in this post on Asus Wi-Fi broadcasters.

Asus GT AXE16000 Quad band Wi Fi 6E Router 3

Pros

Powerful hardware, Quad-band with Wi-Fi 6E support, three Multi-Gig ports (one 2.5Gbps and two 10Gbps)

Stellar performance throughout

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

Unmatched port flexibility, including interchangeable WAN, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Beautiful ROG Aura lighting

Cons

Expensive, NAS performance (when hosting a storage device) could be better

Awkward backhaul band design in a wireless AiMesh setup, no UNII4 (5.9GHz) support, no SFP+

Bulky design, not wall-mountable


10. TP-Link Archer GX90: The latest among gaming routers that “look the part”

TP-Link Archer GX90 AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 Tri-Band Gaming Router
Best gaming routers: The TP-Link Archer GX90 AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 Tri-Band gaming router sure looks cool.

The GX90 is somewhat a replacement for the Archer AX11000 (below). It is also somewhat of a pseudo gaming router since it doesn’t have any game-related novelty — it has a nice look plus a comprehensive QoS feature.

TP Link GX90 AX6600 Gaming Router 2

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance

Excellent feature set and network settings

Robust full web user interface

Nice design and comparatively affordable

Cons

Single Multi-Gig port; no Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation

USB-based storage performance could be better


9. Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400: Representing a new gaming product line

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Gaming Router
Best gaming routers: The Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 is a low-cost gaming machine.

The GS-AX5400 is an excellent new (gaming) router. It represents the new ROG STRIX product line and is a better version of the similar GS-AX3000.

Asus ROG STRIX GS AX5400 Gaming Router 3

Pros

Excellent overall performance

Complete AiMesh 2.0 support, including system-wide Guest network

Robust web interface, well-designed mobile app, no login account required

Lots of useful features, including those for gamers

Cool-looking front-facing AURA Game light

Cons

No Multi-Gig port or Gamer VPN (WTFast)

Performance as a NAS server could be better

The ROG logo doesn’t light up, a bit boring


8. Asus GT-AXE11000: Wi-Fi 6E is a still blur, but gamering is a sure thing

Asus GT AXE11000 Aura RGB Lighting
Best Gaming Routers: Among other things, the Asus GT-AXE11000 sure looks the part.

The GT-AXE11000, the first Wi-Fi 6E router, is not an upgrade to the GT-AX11000 (below), nor is it a downgrade to the GT-AXE16000 (above) — the three share similar designs.

It’s part of Asus’s ROG Rapture family of aging gear and includes all game-related features. While not as powerful as the GT-AXE16000, it’s comparable on the gaming front.

Asus GT AXE11000 Top View

Pros

Tri-band with Wi-Fi 6E support

Excellent 5GHz and 2.4GHz performance

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Cons

Wi-Fi 6E is not fully available

Only one 2.5Gbps port, no 10Gbps port

Bulky design, not wall-mountable, buggy firmware (at launch)


7. Asus RT-AX92U: The little router that could

Asus RT AX92U AiMesh
The Asus RT-AX92U is also available as a 2-pack AiMesh set.

The Asus RT-AX92U is an interesting case. It was a bit of controversy at launch due to the odd hardware specs and shoddy firmware. Later on, though, Asus improved it a great deal via updates. As for gaming, it’s the affordable mini version of the GT-AX11000 (below).

Asus RT AX92U Cuteness

Pros

Compact design, tri-band specs

Good performance, large coverage

Excellent set of features, including online protection, WTFast VPN for gamers, and system-wide Guest network when working as a mesh

Link Aggregation and Dual-WAN support, wall-mountable

Cons

Wi-Fi 6 available only on one of the 5GHz bands


6. Netgear XR1000: A sophisticated gaming router

Netgear XR1000 12
Best gaming routers: The Netgear XR1000 looks quite nice.

The XR1000 is a Wi-Fi 6 upgrade to the XR500 below. It’s the second gaming router based on game-centric DumaOS firmware and has fantastic gaming features, including an improved Geo-Filter with polygon mode and Ping heatmap.

Netgear XR1000 15

Pros

Sophisticated game-centric firmware

Fast Wi-Fi speeds and reliable performance

Robust web UI, beautiful hardware design

Useful mobile app, wall-mountable

Cons

Expensive but underpowered – items of the web interface can take a long time to fully load

Limited Wi-Fi settings, sluggish user interface

Mobile app can’t manage any gaming features

No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation

Online protection and VPN require subscriptions

Buggy — firmware needs some serious updates; no mesh option


5. Asus RT-AX82U: Possibly the coolest-looking gaming router

Asus RT AX82U 20
Best gaming routers: The Asus RT-AX82U and its unique programmable front-facing Aura RGB lighting

The Asus RT-AX82U is the RT-AX86U (below) with slightly lesser hardware. In return, it uniquely has a fantastic-looking programmable front lighting that will turn heads! If you’re into bling, this is the gaming router for you.

Asus RT AX82U 19

Pros

Beautiful design with tons of helpful networking, game-related features, and settings

Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app

Cons

No support for WTFast Gamer VPN

No multi-gig network port

Network storage performance (when hosting a portable drive) could use some improvement


4. Asus RT-AX86U: One of the best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 routers

The Asus RT-AX86U is an Excellent Gaming Router
Best gaming routers: The Asus RT-AX86U is, in fact, the best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router, and gaming is just one of many things it has.

Asus RT-AX86U is an excellent router — it was named the best dual-band router for almost two years. As for gaming, it has lots of features, including a set of robust pre-programmed settings, a game LAN port, and more.

Asus RT AX86U 12

Pros

Fast performance, excellent range, reliable

Tons of helpful networking features and settings

Useful settings for online gaming

Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app

Multi-Gig, WAN/LAN Link Aggregation support

Excellent NAS performance and features when hosting a storage device

Cons

Single, low-speed (2.5Gbps) Multi-Gig port

Gaming features turn Adaptive QoS off

No support for WTFast Gamer VPN


TP Link Archer AX11000 Router 3
Best gaming routers: Not really a gaming router, but the TP-Link AX11000 sure looks the part.

Yes, this is the one I called “fake.” But the TP-Link Archer AX11000 looks like a gaming router, and it has a robust QoS where you can quickly turn on prioritization for gaming.

TP Link Archer AX11000 Router 18

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance

2.5 Gbps WAN port with eight Gigabit LAN ports

160 MHz channel bandwidth support

Excellent, Antivirus, QoS, and Parental Control features

Robust full web user interface, helpful mobile app

Eye-catching and convenient hardware design

USB-C ready, wall-mountable

Cons

Misleading gaming veneer, no actual gaming-specific features

No multi-gig LAN port, bulky design

Not mesh-ready (at launch)

Artificial” “Game” items make the interface unnecessarily confusing

Mobile app requires a login account


2. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000: The ultimate gamers’ edition of a Wi-Fi 6 router

Asus GT AX11000 Router
Best gaming routers: The Asus GT-AX11000 is a massive Wi-Fi 6 router.

The GT-AX11000 is the first Wi-Fi 6 router for gamers, and it delivers. Among other things, it has built-in support for WTFast gamer VPN, which allows it to be part of a unique VPN where you can enjoy certain games with extremely low lags.

Asus AX11000 Top 1

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance with an excellent range

Lots of useful features for home users

Unique and effective settings for online gaming

Multi-Gig network port, Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation

Cons

Bulky design, loose antennas, non-wall-mountable

Fewer LAN ports than the previous model

Long boot-up time, buggy (at launch), fluctuating Wi-Fi throughputs


1. Netgear XR500: A gaming router at heart

Netgear-XR500-1
Best gaming routers: The XR500 has a cool design that looks like a spaceship.

The Netgear XR500 is the only Wi-Fi 5 router on this list. It’s the first router in the US that runs DumaOS, a special firmware made by the U.K. firm Netduma which develops special gaming routers — it even got the latest DumaOS 3.0 version via firmware update. Wi-Fi 5 is on the way out, but as a gaming machine, the XR500 still works great today.

Netgear XR500 1

Pros

DumaOS delivers comprehensive and effective QoS and online gaming features with a robust web interface

Excellent overall performance

Easy to set up and fun to use

Cons

No built-in security to protect the entire network from online threats

Content filtering can’t block secure website sites such as Facebook or Youtube

Best gaming routers: Hardware specifications and Wi-Fi performance

I tested all of these routers the way I do all Wi-Fi broadcasters. I also tried their gaming features via wired and wireless connections without a retail or mesh extender.

It’s best to use a game console (or PC) via a wired connection. If you have to use Wi-Fi, make sure the device connects directly to the very first broadcaster of your home if you have more than one Wi-Fi hub.

Extra note on gaming and Wi-Fi

For the best online experience — including online gaming or whenever you want to make sure the connection is the most reliable and with the lowest latency — it’s always best to get your home wired.

Get your home wired (almost) like a pro, today!

After that, connect your gaming rig to your network via a network cable. No matter how fast, Wi-Fi is always less ideal and will put a few extra milliseconds, or even a lot, on your broadband’s latency.

In gaming or any real-time communication applications, reliability and low latency are actually more critical than fast speeds. So it’s more a question of wired vs Wi-Fi than Wi-Fi 5 vs Wi-Fi 6.

But we can’t use wires all the time. That said, here’s the rule in Wi-Fi for gaming: Avoid multiple hops.

Specifically, here is the order of best practice when connecting your gaming device to the network via Wi-Fi:

  1. Use a single broadcaster — just one Wi-Fi router or access point.
  2. If you must use multiple broadcasters (like a mesh system) then:
    • Use a network cable to link them together (wired backhaul).
    • If you must use a wireless mesh then:
      • Connect the game console directly to the very first broadcaster — the primary router — of your home. Or
      • Connect the gaming device to the first mesh satellite node using a network cable. Also, in this case, it’s best to use tri-band mesh hardware.
      • Avoid the daisy-chain mesh setup.
  3. Avoid using extenders. If you must use one, make sure it’s a tri-band.

Again, the idea is that the Wi-Fi signal should not have to hop wirelessly through one extra hub before it gets to your device — you’ll get significantly worse latency after each additional hop.

Best gaming routers: Wi-Fi performance

I got the 5GHz numbers below via a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 160MHz client and a 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 client.

Best Gaming Routers Wi Fi performance
Best gaming routers’ Wi-Fi performance

Best gaming routers: Hardware specifications

Looking to compare these routers side by side? The table of hardware specifications below will help.

Note: This is a wide table. Make sure you scroll horizontally.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 TP-Link Archer AX6600
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6
Gaming Router
Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400
Dual-band Gaming Router
Asus ROG Rapture
GT-AXE11000
Wi-Fi 6E
Gaming Router
Asus RT-AX92U 
AX6100 Tri-band 
Wi-Fi 6 Router
Netgear XR1000 
Nighthawk 
Wi-Fi 6 Pro 
Gaming Router
 Asus RT-AX82U
AX5400 Dual-Band
Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
Asus RT-AX86U
AX5700 Dual-Band
Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
TP-Link Archer
AX11000 Tri-Band
Wi-Fi 6
Gaming Router
Asus ROG Rapture
GT-AX11000
Tri-band Wi-Fi 6
Gaming Router
Netgear XR500
Nighthawk
Pro Gaming
Wi-Fi 5 Router
Model GT-AXE16000 Archer GX90 GS-AX5400 GT-AXE11000 RT-AX92U  XR1000 RT-AX82U RT-AX86U Archer AX11000 GT-AX11000 XR500
Wi-Fi Technology Quad-band AXE16000 Tri-band AX6600 Dual-band AX5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E 
AX11000
Tri-band Wi-Fi 6
AX6100
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX5400
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX5400
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX5700
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX11000
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX11000
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 5
AC2600
1st Band
(2.4GHz)
4×4 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 1148Mbps
2×2 AX
Up to 574Mbps
2×2 AX
Up to 574Mbps
4×4 Wi-Fi 6 
Up to 1148Mbps
2×2 Wi-Fi 4
Up to 400Mbps
2×2 AX
Up to 574Mbps
2×2 AX
Up to 574Mbps
3×3 AX
Up to 861Mbps
4×4 AX
Up to 1148Mbps
4×4 AX
Up to 1148Mbps
4×4 AC
Up to 800Mbps
2nd Band
(5GHz)
4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 2×2 AX: Up to 1201Mbps 5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
2×2 AC
Up to 867Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
4×4 AX 6
Up to 4804Mbps
4×4 AC
Up to 1733Mbps
3rd Band
(6GHz)
4×4 AXE
Up to 4804Mbps
None None 4×4 AXE
Up to 4804Mbps
None None None None None None None
4rth Band
(5GHz)
4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
None None 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
None None None 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
None
Backward Compatibility 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n
AP Mode Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mesh-ready Yes (AiMesh 2.0) Yes (OneMesh) Yes (AiMesh 2.0) Yes (AiMesh 2.0) Yes (AiMesh 2.0) No Yes (AiMesh 2.0) Yes (AiMesh 2.0) Yes (OneMesh) Yes (AiMesh 2.0) No
Gigabit Port 4x LAN 1x LAN/WAN
3x LAN 
4x LAN, 1x WAN 4x LAN, 1x WAN 4x LAN, 1x WAN 4x LAN, 1x WAN 4x LAN, 1x WAN 4x LAN, 1x WAN 8× LAN 4x LAN, 1x WAN 4x LAN, 1x WAN
Multi-Gig Port 1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN
2x 10Gbps LAN/WAN
1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN None 1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN None None None 1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN 1× 2.5Gbps WAN 1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN None
LAN Link Aggregation Yes No Yes Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2) Yes (LAN1 + LAN2) None Yes (LAN 1 and LAN 2) Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2) Yes (LAN 2 + LAN 3) Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2) None
WAN Link Aggregation Yes No Yes Yes (WAN + LAN4) Yes (WAN + LAN4) None Yes (WAN + LAN4) Yes (WAN + LAN4) No Yes (WAN + LAN4) None
Dual-WAN Yes No Yes Yes (WAN + USB 
or LAN4 or 2.5Gbps)
Yes (WAN + LAN 1, or WAN + USB) None Yes (WAN + LAN4 or USB) Yes (WAN + LAN4 or USB) No Yes (WAN + USB 
or LAN4 or 2.5Gbps)
None
USB 1× USB 3.0 Port
1× USB 2.0 Port
1× USB 3.0 Port
1× USB 2.0 Port
1x USB 3.0 2x USB 3.0 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0 1x USB 3.0 1x USB 3.0 2x USB 3.0 1× USB-C 3.0,
1× USB-A 3.0
2x USB 3.0 2x USB 3.0
Mobile App Asus Router TP-Link Tether Asus Router Asus Router Asus Router Netgear Nighthawk Asus Router Asus Router TP-Link Tether Asus Router None
Gaming Features Aura Gaming Light
Gaming Port
Game Boost
Gear Accelerator
Mobile Game Mode
OpenNAT
ROG First
VPN Fusion
WTF Gamer VPN
Fancy-looking hardware and web interface
QoS
Aura Gaming Light
Gaming Port
Game Boost
Gear Accelerator
Mobile Game Mode
OpenNAT
ROG First
VPN Fusion
Aura Gaming Light
Gaming Port
Game Boost
Gear Accelerator
Mobile Game Mode
OpenNAT
ROG First
VPN Fusion
OutFox
WTFast VPN
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
DumaOS 2.0
Geo-Filter
Ping Heatmap
QoS
Dedicated Game Port
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
Aura Lighting
Dedicated Game Port
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
Fancy-looking hardware and web interface
QoS
WTFast VPN
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
Aura Lighting
DumaOS
Geo-Filter
QoS
Processing Power 2.0 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 2GB RAM
1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU 1.5 GHz Tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
1.8Ghz dual-core CPU, 
512 MB RAM, 256 MB Flash
1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU,
256 MB Flash, 1 GB RAM
1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU,  
512 MB Flash, 1 GB RAM
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
1.7GHz dual-core CPU,
256MB Flash, 512MB RAM
Dimensions 
(no antennas)
10.4 x 10.4 x 2.9 in 
(26.4 x 26.4x 7.4 cm)
8.3 × 8.3 × 2.0 in
(21.2 × 21.2 × 5.18 cm)
10.56 x 7.08 x 6.53 in
(26.8 x 18 x 16 cm)
10.4 x 10.4 x 2.9 in 
(26.4 x 26.4x 7.4 cm)
6.1 x 6.1 x 2.07 in
(15.5 x 15.5 x 5.26 cm)
11.61 x 7.87 x 2.51 in 
(29.5 x 20 x 6.4 cm)
10.83 x 7.26 x 6.5 in
(27.5 x 18.4 x 16.5 cm) 
9.52 x 3.93 x 12.79 inc. 
(24.2 x 10 x 32.5 cm) 
9.5 x 9.5 x 2.2 in 
(24.1 x 24.1 x 5.5 cm)
9.5 x 9.5 x 2.4 in 
(24.1 x 24.1 x 6.1 cm)
12.7 x 9.6 x 2.2 in
(32.2 x 24.4x 5.5 cm)
Weight 5.3 lbs (2.4kg) 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg) 1.55 lbs (701.3 g) 3.94 lbs (1.79 kg) 1.43 lbs (651 g) 1.32 lb (.6 kg) 1.63 lbs (740 g) 1.8 lbs (814.5 g) 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) 3.8 lbs (1.73 kg) 1.77lbs (801g)
Price
(at review)
$699 $249.99 $250 $550 $210 $300 $230 $250 $350 $450 $250
Best gaming router: Hardware specifications