Not everything is all cake and gravy in PC land when it comes to Black Ops 4, the most recent installment in the long-running Call of Duty series. A Redditor by the name of Smcro felt that something wasn’t quite right with the game. After much testing, he discovered that the servers are currently running with a tickrate of 20hz. What makes this so strange is that the beta of the same game ran at 60hz. Smcro’s work, and documentation of his testing, is pretty in depth, and for the technically minded you can read all about it by following the link.
For those who don’t know what tickrate is, it can be boiled down to how often the server and client update each other. It is a case of the higher, the better, as this means more updates, and that the actions you take in the game are conveyed to other players faster. Slow tickrates can result in a judder-like feeling in a game, lag issues, teleporting players, poor hit registration, and a host of other problems when exacerbated by players having their own connection issues. Oddly enough, many of these issues can also be present if a server is struggling under the weight of having to send and receive too much information per second.
Treyarch has explained that this is the reason they dialed the tickrate back to just 20hz for the launch of the game. Expecting large volumes of players, generating massive amounts of information, they want the game to be as stable as possible.
For a game launch with as massive a population as ours hitting so many global servers at once, we configure our infrastructure to ensure game stability as the highest priority over all other factors. Now that we’re past the initial launch of the game, we are focusing on fine-tuning network performance around the globe, using the real-world data that we have collected. Over the course of the next two weeks, we will roll out several updates to our network setup that will continue to improve upon the experience of our players since launch.
For those who see the tickrate change as a step back, at least this means that the issue isn’t permanent, although there is no guarantee the game will get back up to the 60hz tickrate from the beta. If you are curious about my overall thoughts on Black Ops 4, stay tuned for my review, which is coming soon.