PiHole on RPi3 B+ giving me gaming lag/high latency + spikes?


I think I have kind of a unique problem that I’m hoping someone here can shed some light on.

I have had PiHole + PiVPN + Yonder Unlocator Upstream DNS running on a RPi2 for quite some time now. I decided to grab an RPi3 B+ for an upgrade. Did a clean, fresh install of Raspbian + PiHole + PiVPN.

Started noticing huge lag spikes in games (Overwatch, Diablo 3, Destiny 2 etc, not limited to just one game from one developer/publisher). Where my latency/ping would usually be 30-40ms in-game, I would now experience huge lag spikes all the way up to 2000ms and anywhere in between.

Thought it was my ISP (I have CenturyLink Gigabit Fiber and have never had this problem), have been on the phone with them for hours since trying to troubleshoot it. Finally decided to turn off PiHole (I have it set on the router level so all my devices can benefit) and set Google and/or OpenDNS’s DNS servers and so far all my troubles have gone away.

Steps I’ve taken:

  • Eliminated PiHole’s DNS on my router entirely and ran Google/OpenDNS
  • Uninstalled PiVPN and took Yonder’s Unlocator DNS off my PiHole (still got lag spikes and high latency)
  • Re-enabled PiHole on my router, but set only MY gaming PC to Yonder’s Unlocator DNS (so far this has been my best solution, ping/latency is good, no lag spikes in the last 12-14 hours)
  • Tried my old RPi2 (same issue, high ping/latency w/lag spikes)

Everything including my gaming PC is wired and doing a speed test shows me I’m getting full (if not close) to Gigabit Speeds.

I’m having my ISP’s modem swapped out (hopefully) tomorrow morning. I recently got a new/upgraded modem from my ISP and I’m not sure if that’s affecting anything.

Also running a Dynamic DNS host (ChangeIP.com) and it’s set on my ISP’s modem as well.

Both my RPi’s have a Flirc case on them, RPi2 runs ~70-80 degrees F and my RPi3 runs around 100-111 degrees F.

Debug Token:



You have a lot of variables on your network which might cause lag. However, there should be no case where Pi-hole causes lag in games. A game only resolves the servers it needs once, and after that it will open a connection to the server and will never need to go through Pi-hole again.

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