The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout beta has largely been positively received by players, but it appears, according to a new report, that its netcode wasn’t very good.
YouTuber Battle(non)sense, who specialises in analysing the networking characteristics and netcode for many popular games, decided to put the Black Ops 4 Blackout beta through its paces.
Lag and other netcode problems weren’t particularly pronounced during the beta, though that is likely because it wasn’t live for very long on PC. According to their findings, the Blackout beta ran at a tickrate that’s as low as 10Hz, which is well below the standard for fast-paced shooters.
Black Ops 4 multiplayer, the beta of which ran at 62Hz, is more in line with other shooters like Overwatch, Battlefield, CS:GO etc. Which is why it’s disappointing – though hardly surprising – to see the tickrate drop this low in Blackout.
Of course, the number of players has everything to do with these results. Server tickrate in Blackout starts out at 20Hz in the parachuting phase, but things start turning sour as soon as players hit the ground. The tickrate then falls to just 10Hz, and stays there for a while in the early game, according to the report.
With 50 or so players alive, server tickrate goes up to around 20Hz and that’s where it’ll stay for the rest of the round.
As Battle(non)sense mentions in the video, this phenomenon is not unique to Blackout. Both PUBG, and Fortnite suffered from the same problems early in their release. Epic managed to get Fortnite to a stable 30Hz after a lot of work, and the game now has one of the lowest network delays for a competitive shooter.
PUBG Corp. has made great strides in this area as well, achieving a mostly stable 60Hz in PUBG regardless of the number of players alive. Though PUBG still has ways to go in the network lag department, it’s well ahead of where it was at release.
The Blackout beta sadly also appears to always register a shot regardless of how high the ping of the shooter is. In other words, a player with a low ping could get hit behind cover simply because their attacker had a high ping. This is a separate issue that has more to do with lag compensation, but it’s disappointing to see nonetheless.
Of course, some of this could be ironed out at launch, but it’s likely going to take time. This is a very complex process, and it took dedicated teams in other games months to fully tackle.
Blackout will be available at Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s launch on October 12 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.