Thursday, January 9, 2020

Street Fighter 5's Netcode Problem Fixed By Modder

Reddit user Altimor has taken the task of fixing Street Fighter V’s long lambasted netcode themselves. They developed a patch allegedly in just a little over two days that dramatically improved the online performance for PC Street Fighter 5 players.

This is a huge deal for the Street Fighter 5 community who have been clamoring for Capcom to address the netcode issues for years. But there is a notable quirk that goes along with the mod. While the patch reportedly works great in PC to PC connections, tests have not been so positive for PC vs PS4 matches, and many PS4 players are complaining that online matches have been even worse since the PC fix went live.

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Details on how the netcode fix works are a little jargony, but here’s the explanation straight from Altimor:

“SFV has a bug where one player's game can lag behind the other's online. This can cause artificial lag and a one-sided rollback for the other player.

When the players' "clocks" are synced, if there is e.g. a 4 frame packet round trip time between them, each player should be 2 frames ahead of the time of the last received input from their opponent, and experience 2 frame rollbacks.

If one player lags, the other player will receive inputs from farther "in the past" (up to 15 frames!) than they should, causing unnecessarily big rollbacks and artificial lag, while the player that's behind may even be receiving inputs that appear to be "in the future" to their game and never experience rollbacks at all.

This fix ensures your "clock" never gets more than half of your packet round trip time ahead of your opponent's so that you never experience more rollback than them.”

To decipher some of that, I highly recommend checking out Infil’s fantastic explainer on fighting game netcode, which does a great job of breaking down complex netcode concepts with easy to understand examples and animated diagrams.

Reaction to Altimor's patch among the FGC has been mostly positive, though many PS4 players are not happy about how it has affected their experience in both playing against and finding matches with PC players.

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IGN has reached out to Capcom for comment.

[poilib element="accentDivider"] Mitchell Saltzman is an Editorial Producer at IGN and lover of fighting games.


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