PlayStation 4

Online fighting games during COVID: How rollback helps us connect


Enlarge / Sol Badguy faces off against Faust in Guilty Gear Strive , the latest entry in the long running fighting game series coming in April


The feeling of discovery, the community and competitive spirit—a good release means potentially thousands of hours of playing and learning, not to mention all the sharing and talking with fellow players.


We count frames, we look for things we know are unsafe we can punish, we watch for the telltale movements that might indicate an overhead attack is coming so we can shift our blocking to high.


Luckily, there's a bit of clever networking tech, called rollback netcode, that can alleviate most of the disadvantages of distance and physics (doesn't matter how good your Internet connection is—there's no beating the speed of light).


It does this in such a clever way that the local player may not even notice a large percentage of network instability, and they can play through any remaining instances with confidence that their inputs are always handled consistently.


Back in late 2019 I interviewed Daisuke Ishiwatari , the creator of the Guilty Gear series, about the upcoming release of the latest version of his game.






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