What is netcode rollback in fighting games?

Enabling more stable online matches with less lag, netcode rollback is the answer for fighting games

Who has never been online to play a fighting game and encountered an extremely unstable connection? Delayed commands, characters teleporting, matches dropping, and difficulty connecting are some of the issues players face. Based on all these problems, Netcode rollbackAn important feature for fighting games and aimed at improving connections.

This feature improves contention, prevents lag, and significantly increases performance in each match. Follow this article and see how Netcode rollbackO Delay based netcode And that they reserve The future of fighting games.

Problems with latency based netcode

To dive deeper into netcode rollback, we need to explain what the form used in fighting games today is, Delay based netcode. In fighting games, when a player performs an action, he expects the response in the game to be as immediate as possible. This makes the game lighter, requires less stress on the player and only requires skill, knowledge and reaction time, just like when playing offline battles.

Netcode delays end up being limited when it comes to connection distance. The more or worse the connection between players, the more lag you’ll experience. This netcode waits for the opponent’s input (key pressed) before you and then reads your input as well. Hence its name “delay”.

In short, all games are 100% dependent on the quality of internet connection of both users. Even your route can affect the progress of the entire game. in response to netcode rollback.

With Netcode Rollback, working on an answer to the issues

It was created in 2009 and initially the so-called GGPO, it was created by Tony Cannon. Currently, Tony works at Riot Games developing a fighting game called Project L based on the League of Legends universe. Revert has been made freely available under the MIT license and any developer can use it.

This option handles latency in a completely different way. It doesn’t work the same way as a delay that waits for the player to perform an action, confirm that it’s done, get that data, send it to the opponent’s game, and then allow the animation to run. Its purpose is to process orders a instant On the artist screen.

In short, Netcode via Rollback incurs latency, which can cause input lag and improvisation. Basically it predicts what is happening on the screen and sends the player to the other side.

Street Fighter 6 will feature cross-platform crossplay and rollback netcode

Street Fighter 6 will feature cross-platform crossplay and rollback netcode
Capcom wants to avoid the issues plaguing Street Fighter V Online

How can Netcode improve connections through Rollback?

The biggest frustration with the current netcode delay was during the covid-19 pandemic in 2020. With tournaments taking place online, a much greater demand has been created for the quality of fighting game network code. Some games at the time already used the throwback, such as Skullgirls, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Samurai Shodown (2019). See below for an example of how rollback works.

In practice, it makes predictions and skips frames of animation to keep players in sync. If the player starts to walk around the screen, the code assumes that this action will be maintained, for example, for the next frames of the animation. If the prediction is wrong and the player presses another button, the game compensates for the received information by skipping a few frames, as if the character teleports. But it happens in milliseconds and is very difficult to notice.

However, it’s worth warning: Return alone doesn’t do a “perfect job” and players should ensure a good internet connection and opt for a wired connection if possible.

In short, the answer is the return netcode?

Currently, yes. The main reason why it has become popular is its guarantee of instant responses to inputs in online matches. Matches are played as if you were offline, bringing more precision to commands.

Another game that has already launched a comeback feature was MultiVersus, which reached the 20 million player mark, showing that its connection contributed to its success.

Check out some more games that already use this system:

  • Guilty Gear Strive
  • Street Fighter 5
  • DNF Duel
  • multiversus
  • King of Fighters XV
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Killer instinct
  • Tekken 7

What is happening? Will we have better and better connections in fighting games? Comment below what you think about this evolution in the connection system.

EVO, Sony and Epic Games have teamed up to reduce latency in fighting games

EVO, Sony and Epic Games have teamed up to reduce latency in fighting games
Companies want to make video games more responsive and fun to play.


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