Any FGC memeber knows full well the woes of netcode. Some games are infinitely better than others when it comes to online play, with complaints about lag being intermittent depending on the game. One game in particular that has been a constant problem is Street Fighter V. In other words, playing online in Street Fighter V can often be a nightmare. The same issues causing lag in the latest Capcom fighting game were also present to a degree in Street Fighter IV. Players have been asking Capcom for a Street Fighter V Netcode fix for years, and nothing has materialized.
So what issues are we talking about? We have to get a little technical here, so forgive the jargon. Street Fighter V relies on a handful of systems to control online play, and most importantly, keep frame data consistent between two players. Part of that process involves a concept called rollback. In short, this is a backend system that creates an expected outcome from player input and frame data, and will “rollback” the state of the game to an expected state if major disruptions occur. A common cause for this is lag.
Street Fighter V attempts to control the rollback by setting a clock on both users in a match. That clock is essentially a frame data tracker, and if frame data for one player falls too far behind, the clock will reset. It seems like the variable that controls this clock was improperly set in Street Fighter V, leading to the issues players have seen for years. Because the clock was possibly set to be too lax, causing excess rollback.
Modder Altimor has shared some additional details about this netcode issue:
“When the players’ “clocks” are synced, if there is e.g. a 4 frame packet round trip time between them, each player should be 2 frames ahead of the time of the last received input from their opponent. Players should normally experience 2 frame rollbacks.
If one player lags behind, the other player will receive inputs from farther “in the past” than they should. This can be up to 15 frames. This can cause unnecessarily big rollbacks and artificial lag. The player that’s behind may even be receiving inputs that appear to be “in the future” to their game and never experience rollbacks at all.”
It’s now strongly recommended that PC players pick up the Street Fighter V netcode fix. You can download the patch from here.
You would think, that with the upcoming release of Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Capcom would be on top of such a simple fix, but I guess not. By the way, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is due to launch on February 14th, 2020 for PS4 and PC. The new version of the game will include tons of previously released DLC and cosmetics and will effectively be the definitive edition of Street Fighter V.