It’s been quite some time since Guilty Gear -Strive- was released, and it’s been called the new gold standard for fighting games. A lot of that is attributed towards its good optimization and netcode, along with rollback. We will see what they are, and why this is considered a gold standard.
Guilty Gear Strive – Complete Rollback and Netcode Guide
When you first start playing online, there are understandable worries. You are ready to punch someone to the sound of some sick guitar riffs and numbers. There are two frames in the upper left and upper right. Over the course of a fight, the numbers go up and down.
The internet reactionary cried out in predictable anger, “How can this be stable?” after hearing that Dragon Ball FighterZ was unplayable for four frames of delay. This is frightening and angers me.
I am here to tell you to calm down, because someone invited math to a fist fight. I will tell you what these numbers actually mean when you rock out to “Smell of the Game” for a while.
Delay-based netcode can be encountered if you play a lot of fighting games online. The fighting game has to work if both players see the same thing, otherwise the game won’t work.
Netcode introduces delay between the point at which you press a button and the point at which your character does something. When you press a button, the game waits until the other player receives it, and then sends a loud and clear message to you. Your character does something. This is not a simple oversimplification.
When a game says there are four frames of delay in an online match, you can expect the game to wait four frames before anything happens. A four-frame delay is the amount of time between the button press and the corresponding action.
It takes the human brain approximately 250 milliseconds to react to visual stimulus when untrained. On top of that, some consoles have baked-in controller input delay as well. The PS4 and PS5 versions of Strive have an estimated 4-6 frames of natural controller-based input delay, according to tests by input-lag tester Nigel ‘Noodalls’ Woodal.
Rollback netcode synchs games up by waiting. The technology has been used before in games such as Skullgirls and Killer Instinct. If you press a button, your character immediately attacks, the data gets sent through the internet, and then on the other side the opponent’s game is synched up and shows you attacking.
If you make the right decision with the right timing in delay-based netcode, you might still lose.
Some players may not notice much of a difference, but others may see some lag issues when they’re playing online matches. Characters will still act the way you’d expect them to in an offline match.
And this means that you should expect to see some ping to your opponent displayed in plain-old milliseconds.
These ping numbers can get pretty high, and they can also tempt you into being a bit too salty about them in your Steam reviews. But once again, there’s more going on behind the scenes than you might think.
Fighting game developers put a few frames of delay into the offline mode. When you play offline, there is a very slight delay in your actions. When playing online, that delay is removed and replaced with the natural delay of online communication.
In the Punk/Deb match, they have rollback frames of 2-3, and standard delay frames of 1-3 (assuming the numbers are the same as they were in beta). Here is the video Link