If you’ve ever complained about activating a crucial ability in Overwatch only to die before it triggers, then it might not have been your fault. Blizzard’s first-person shooter continues to have the low tickrate it featured during the beta, and this means it may not always feel the most responsive (via Eurogamer).
A game’s tickrate signifies how often its servers update per second. Overwatch’s tickrate is 20.8 Hz, while games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive‘s tickrate is around 60 Hz. Overwatch’s low tickrate may explain why your ability didn’t activate in time or why you took damage while standing behind an obstacle. YouTuber Battle(non)sense analyzed the Overwatch beta’s netcode in the video below.
Despite this, you can raise the tickrate to 62.5 Hz in Custom games. Developer Blizzard detailed the game’s netcode in a video, where it discussed latency and responsiveness. Lead engineer Tim Ford said that a 60 Hz update rate will “help a lot,” but it won’t reduce lag in cases where you’re playing with people who live in different regions.
“It’ll shave off about 20 milliseconds on average from the interpolation delay and about 20 milliseconds on from the processing time, so that 40 millisecond zone, assuming everyone has a good solid connection, should be good,” he said.
It’s currently unknown if Blizzard plans to bring 60 Hz to matches outside of Custom. Reddit user NickVids1313 noted that the developer ignored a tickrate question, which NickVids claims was “the most popular one” of a recent Facebook Q&A.
“It had the most ‘likes’ on the page and they straight up ignored it,” they said.
We’ve contacted Blizzard for comment on the game’s low tickrate and if it plans to raise it outside of Custom games. We’ll update this article as more information is revealed.
It wouldn’t be unprecedented for Blizzard to increase the tickrate post-launch. Battlefield 4 had its “small” servers tickrate increased from 30 to 45 Hz in February. That change only affected the console versions of the game.
In related news, the game’s Competitive Play should be released in June, game director Jeff Kaplan said during the aforementioned Facebook Q&A. It was also revealed that more story videos are coming, including one that puts the spotlight on the large, hook-wielding Roadhog.
Overwatch was scored a 9 in GameSpot’s review, in which critic Mike Mahardy concluded that “Overwatch is an intelligent cascade of disparate ideas, supporting one another, pouring into one another, and coiling around themselves as they flow into the brilliant shooter underneath.”
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Author: Mat Paget
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