As the industry continues to trend toward online multiplayer, the online experience for fighting games has come under scrutiny in recent years. In a post-pandemic world with events like Evo still being canceled, fighting game fans have had to engage with online competitions more frequently, resulting in more blowback from the fighting game community than usual. Partially because of the fan response, Arc System Works is finally enhancing the netcode for two of its older titles.
Beginning sometime next year, both BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle and BlazBlue: Central Fiction are getting rollback netcode support. While we don’t have specific dates, BlazBlue: Central Fiction started its public rollback test today on Steam, but don’t expect a similar test for Cross Tag Battle. The studio’s latest fighter Guilty Gear Strive launched with rollback to universal praise, likely influencing the decision to introduce it to the BlazBlue franchise for the first time.
Rollback is considered the best netcode type for fighting games because when implemented properly, it offers the most seamless experience. Many fighting games use delay-based netcode in which players’ inputs are delayed as the game waits for input from the other player to be registered. With rollback netcode, fighting games predict players’ inputs. If the system predicted the wrong input, it immediately rolls back to the player’s proper input, hence the name.