troubleshooting lag in diablo 2 LAN game....yes the original


Sep 29, 2002
ok so it's an old game. diablo 2 is a dinosaur. and it's still a damn good time.

i recently got my older son into it. i did not like diablo 3 myself and 4 i haven't bothered with. it's great father/son time, he uses my destop and i set up my laptop right next to him and we play a TCP/IP game.

just for the background, had some issues getting this game to run right. D3D runs like ass on the desktop, total slideshow (AMD 6700XT) and the laptop wouldn't run it at all (nvidia RTX 3500 Ti). found an old 3dfx glide wrapper made specifically for diablo 2 and off we go.

mostly it plays fine...but we seem to have frequent issues with network lag. enemies appearing in different locations to us both, etc.

any suggestions?

both systems are windows 11. laptop is on wireless while the desktop is wired. and for some reason we have to have the desktop host the game, can't connect if i host on the laptop.

yeah i'm not expecting much here....i get it, this game is old and cranky. just hoping for some ideas is all. thanks guys.
Diablo II used to play fine on my school laptop with a pentium III and an Ati Rage II embedded vga. At this point, it should play alright on a potato. Although it's one of those games that was framelocked real low in the good times?

If you're seeing lag and desyncs, there's something wrong with the networking. But you shouldn't need much networking anyway. I'm pretty sure I played diablo II with people over irda networking. If the laptop doesn't have a nic, you can get a usb one, put it on a hub if you don't have enough ports. Run a cable through the house for now, take it down when you're not playing. If you don't have any switch ports, daisy chain another switch, or run the cable from the laptop to an extra nic on the desktop and set static ips, different from your real LAN for that private network. Maybe do the private crossover network between the two systems right away, because they're next to each other.
As to why the laptop can't host the game, can you try disabling the Windows firewall completely to see if that makes a difference?

Hardwired is ideal (which you said can't do?) but semi decent wireless should work fine, especially on an old game. You can run an iperf test between the laptop and desktop to see what kind of speeds you're getting. Ideally connect to 5GHz WiFi rather than 2.4GHz. If you get poor iperf results you're gonna need better/stronger WiFi signal.

Given the laptop is in close proximity to the hardwired desktop, you do have somewhat inexpensive options to hardwired it. Remove the Ethernet from the desktop, plug that into an inexpensive 5 port GbE switch (e.g. Netgear or TP Link) and then run two short Ethernet cables to the desktop and laptop from the switch. 2 more ports left for future stuff like printer/computer/access point or whatever. No Ethernet on the laptop? Buy a cheap USB 1GbE adapter. Both the desktop and laptop will communicate at line rate through the switch bypassing the access point/WiFi router with the least latency possible. The ideal situation for you.
It's an old game with a janky netcode. I wouldn't be surprised if LAN acts like 56k. I know it's expensive but you would probably have more like with the remastered edition.
THRESHIN I know I'm a few days late here, but if you're looking for a GREAT OG D2 experience, you should check out r/slashdiablo on reddit.

Here me out. It's a modded version of d2, repackaged, includes the required glide wrapper... and just plain works. It does require a 1.13 installer (not 1.14), but there are downgrade guides posted to the sidebar since I recall 1.14 being what you'd get if you downloaded direct from Blizzard.

TONS of allowed customization options (map hack, loot filter, multi box, SOJ selling =dclone, unlimited mules, higher res mods, etc.). It can be as vanilla or chocolate as you want it to be.

Check the side bar for FAQ/install instructions/complete details of what slashdiablo is.

This should fit your needs of wanting to play with your son easily, and both of you might get the bug to join the OG community and do some ladder play. There is also a discord link in there sidebar for trading, tech help, min/maxing strats, etc.

Not going to lie, this is one of the best gaming communities I've ever seen. Everyone there just loves d2 and wants you to as well.

It's been a few years since I've done a ladder run, but even typing this makes me want to get it fired back up :p
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