There Should Be No More Excuses for Bad Fighting Game Netcode

For the most part, I’m loving Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]. Having picked up the game a few weeks ago, its particular brand of anime fighter is deeply gratifying. I’m enjoying it so much that I’ve played dozens of matches through the game’s horrid netcode and will probably suffer through many more just to get a less-than-ideal fix. Even online matches against my brother – who is a 10-minute drive from me – feel sluggish. With everything going on, adequate online play would have been greatly appreciated.

It’s not entirely fair to bash Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] for a problem that’s much larger than itself. Furthermore, with this game technically being the fifth update to an old game, one can argue that it’s hampered by delay-based netcode of the time.

Nevertheless, the subject of netcode in fighting games has recently hit a crescendo. As more games adopt better solutions to the fundamental problem, it’s become increasingly maddening to see major developers lean on inferior netcode solutions.

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Mortal Kombat X is Getting Enhanced Online Netplay

Recently, NetherRealm Studios announced that Mortal Kombat X was getting updated with GGPO-style rollback netcode. This is a huge win for the game and its fans, as the dynamic latency model currently used leads to a less-than-ideal online combat kombat experience. As far as I know, a complete overhaul of a game’s netcode this long after launch, at least in a fighting game, is unprecedented.

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