Best gaming routers in 2023
The best gaming routers can completely revolutionize your online gaming experience. Though you may receive a router from your service provider and not give it much thought, these bog-standard boxes aren’t providing you with an optimum connection for gaming.
Many of your connectivity woes may stem from a lackluster router rather than the connection to your house. The best gaming routers prioritize bandwidth for your gaming session, reducing lag and giving you a competitive edge when playing online.
Choosing the right gaming router should be as important as making sure you get the best CPU and the best graphics card when it comes to playing the best PC games online. These are the specialist gaming routers we’ve tried ourselves, whether you want the best that money can buy or a budget option.
The best gaming routers in 2023 are:
1. ASUS ROG Strix GS-AX5400
Best gaming router for most.
ASUS ROG Strix GS-AX5400 specs:
|1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 4 x Gigabit LAN, USB 3.2 Gen 1
|26.82 x 17.98 x 16.59cm
- Wi-Fi 6
- Great price-to-performance ratio
- Dedicated gaming port
- No Wi-Fi 6E
- No multi-gig ports
The Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 is our top gaming router overall. This Wi-Fi 6 router delivers fast speeds and is designed to optimize your gaming experience but it comes at a fair price. Wi-Fi 6 is still plenty fast and Wi-Fi 6E is only starting to make inroads into the PC space, so the GS-AX5400 still has plenty of legs.
The router boasts a sleek design with customizable RGB lighting and has four adjustable antennas for optimal signal coverage. While it lacks multi-gig ports for those lucky enough to have mega-fast internet, it does come with a dedicated gaming port to prioritize your PC.
You can easily set up and manage the router using the mobile app, which offers gamer-friendly tools for network optimization (or tricking everyone in your house into using the slowest band). The app lets you boost bandwidth for mobile gaming and apply parental controls.
The GS-AX5400 performs admirably, providing solid speeds on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It also comes with robust security features to protect your network. Though it has only one USB port, the Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400 is a fantastic choice offering a perfect blend of performance and affordability.
2. TP-Link Archer AXE300
Best overall Wi-Fi 6E gaming router.
TP-Link Archer AXE300 specs:
|2 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN, USB 3.0
|23.2 x 23.2 x 6.8cm
- Dual 10 Gig ethernet ports
- Understated design
- Fully-fledged Wi-Fi 6E performance
- Extra functionality behind subscription
- Currently unavailable in the UK
The TP-Link Archer AXE300 is a fantastic choice that offers impressive speeds and (relative) affordability in the Wi-Fi 6E market earning it our best overall pick for a Wi-Fi 6E router.
The 6GHz band offers less congestion and higher speeds. It’s perfect for handling multiple devices at once and delivering smooth performance even in crowded areas.
There is little in the way of gamer-aesthetic credentials but the AXE300 leaves such frivolities at the door. There is something ominous about its presence, not unlike the markers in Dead Space but fret not – this obelisk lives only to demolish latency and download times.
The AXE300 comes with dual 10Gbps Ethernet ports, allowing you to create a high-speed home network so you can send high-bitrate replays of your best gaming moments to everyone in your household.
The router’s Tether app is lovely and simple and offers features like HomeShield for security and parental controls. HomeShield does require a subscription for full functionality, it adds useful features to keep your network safe.
Unfortunately, it is currently unavailable in the UK but hopefully, this will change soon so our readers in Dear Ol’ Blighty can game uninterrupted as it rains non-stop outside.
3. Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300
Best-designed gaming router.
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 specs:
|4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
|22.12 x 29.8 x 7.8cm
- Cool unique design
- Affordable for Wi-Fi 6E
- Extra features are locked behind a subscription
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 stands out as our top choice for the router with the best design, offering a blend of impressive features and aesthetics. The router adopts a unique appearance reminiscent of the manta ray alien ships from Half-Life.
With support for the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard, the Nighthawk RAXE300 delivers exceptional Wi-Fi speeds on both 5GHz and 6GHz bands. The innovative fold-up ‘wings’ holding antennas contribute to its slick appearance, setting it apart from competitors with their bulkier antenna arrays.
The router provides four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices, along with a single 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port, which can be utilized as a LAN or WAN port. While additional high-speed Ethernet ports could be desirable for some users, the router compensates with its outstanding Wi-Fi capabilities.
Setting up and managing the router is breezy thanks to the user-friendly Netgear Nighthawk app. The app allows users to configure Wi-Fi settings, passwords and access valuable features like Parental Controls. The optional Premium version of Parental Controls and Netgear Armor security suite offer added protection for those willing to invest.
Performance-wise, the Nighthawk RAXE300 delivers solid 5GHz speeds and maintains impressive throughput on the 6GHz band. While not the fastest Wi-Fi 6E speeds with a throughput of over 800Mbit/s on the 6GHz band, the router ensures a reliable and fast wireless connection.
4. ASUS ROG Strix AX3000
Best budget gaming router.
ASUS ROG Strix AX3000 specs:
|1 x Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN, USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 1
|12.7 x 10.16 x 7.62cm
- Very cheap for Wi-Fi 6
- Frequently on sale
- RGB goodness
- Not the best range for larger homes
The ROG STRIX AX3000 is a very budget-friendly WiFi 6 gaming router but make no mistake – the price isn’t for a lack of features of speed as the router is packed with a lot of what makes more expensive options making it our best budget option.
You can optimize your gaming experience by making use of the dedicated Gaming Port, and Gear Accelerator. The Gaming Port automatically prioritizes any wired gaming device for a fast and stable connection without any configuration needed.
So as to not spit in the Asus ROG branding, the GS-AX3000 has fully customizable RGB lighting so it should fit right in with your gaming setup. It supports ASUS AiMesh, allowing you to create seamless whole-home mesh network-compatible routers for when you want to watch Twitch streams in the kitchen.
5. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000
Best premium gaming router.
ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 specs:
|1 x 2.5 Gigabit WAN port, 2 x 10 Gigabit WAN/LAN ports, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, 1 USB 2.0 port
|35.41 x 35.41 x 19.3cm
- Unmatched performance
- Huge range
- Plethora of features
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 Wi-Fi 6E router certainly has an eyecatching and impressive design – though we wouldn’t recommend it to those with arachnophobia as it really does remind us of a giant (and we mean giant) dead spider.
What’s not dead however are the high-end features to match its impressive looks. It comes with six Ethernet ports, including two 10-gig ports for ultra-fast network connections. The Wi-Fi performance is outstanding, providing four bands (2.4GHz, two 5GHz, and 6GHz) with combined speeds reaching approximately 16,000Mbps, making it suitable for large-scale, high-bandwidth networks.
Set-up should be a pain-free experience, with a QR code provided for quick configuration through the Asus app. Additionally, the router offers advanced features such as robust parental controls, Trend Micro anti-malware, Quality of Service (QoS) controls, and compatibility with Samba servers and Apple’s Time Machine.
6. TP-Link AX6000
Best mid-range gaming router.
TP-Link AX6000 specs:
|8 x Gigabit Ethernet, USB-A 3.0, USB-C 3.0
|30.48 x 25.4 x 10.16cm
- Excellent price-to-performance ratio
- Oodles of ports
- Easy setup
- Slow 2.4Ghz connection
- Only dual-band
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 Next-Gen Wi-Fi 6 is a compelling option priced at around $270 (£270.99) – but frequently on sale – it offers excellent value with its Wi-Fi 6 support, 2.5Gb WAN, and an abundance of Ethernet ports making it our best mid-range gaming router.
Setting up the Archer AX6000 is very easy. You can manage it using either the TP-Link app or a web browser. While its interface may not be as robust as some gaming routers, it’s still user-friendly and easy to navigate.
In terms of design, the Archer AX6000 takes a stealthier approach, opting for a black plastic exterior that blends well in any environment. Its eight permanently attached antennas and LED indicator add a touch of style rather than being too garishly RGB.
Making up its guts the AX6000 packs a punch with its 1.8 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 128MB of flash storage. The ample number of ports, including a 2.5Gbps WAN and eight gigabit LAN ports, make it perfect for those needing plenty of wired connections.
The router’s Wi-Fi performance is commendable, with solid 5 GHz throughput speeds, making it great for gaming and other bandwidth-intensive activities. However, its 2.4 GHz performance may not be up to par for older devices.
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 does have some limitations, like lacking Wi-Fi 6E support and offering only dual-band connectivity. But considering its mid-range price, it’s a feature-packed router that suits most gaming needs.
7. MSI RadiX AXE6600
Best budget Wi-Fi 6E gaming router.
MSI RadiX AXE6600 specs:
|1 x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 3 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN, USB 3.0 Gen 1
|33.8 x 22.4 x 19.8cm
- Wi-Fi 6E at a lower price
- Simple to use web interface and app
If you want a gaming router with the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology but without the price tag, the MSI Radix AXE6600 WiFi 6E Tri-Band Gaming Router is well worth considering. Priced at $349.99 (£322.98), it may not be the most affordable option on our list, but it delivers solid performance at close range earning its place as our top pick for the best budget Wi-Fi 6E gaming router.
Adorned with gray and black accents, the router looks to be a bit of a snooze-fest until you turn it on and its six antennas come alive with their RGB LED light strips, adding a touch of that certified gamer style.
The router includes multiple LAN ports, a USB 3.0 port, and a powerful 1.8GHz CPU, making it a capable gaming companion that can handle many connections.
As a Wi-Fi 6E router, the Radix AXE6600 can utilize the 6GHz band in addition to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, providing impressive speeds of up to 6,580Mbps. It supports various Wi-Fi 6 technologies for optimized performance and enhanced security.
The 5GHz band is a little slow unfortunately so you will only get the most out of it if you have quite modern devices.
You can manage the router using either the web-based console or the MSI mobile app, with the web console offering more configuration options. It allows you to select from four QoS presets, including AI Auto, Gaming, Streaming, and WFH, to optimize bandwidth allocation for specific tasks. Additionally, you can fine-tune advanced settings for a more customized experience.
How to choose the best gaming routers
When shopping for a gaming router, you’ll need to consider what version of Wi-Fi it supports and how many wireless bands it offers, so that gaming traffic doesn’t contend with less important packets being sent such as those from smart devices or streaming.
The fastest Wi-Fi protocols are Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, with the latter operating a 6Ghz bandwidth for a fast lane that offers better speeds and lower latency – both being crucial for online gaming.
As for how we decided which routers to include in this list, read our how we test page. For more help building your setup, read our guides on the best gaming PC and the best gaming monitors. Happy gaming.