Call of Duty: Modern Warfare netcode analysis shows big improvements from beta, but Ground War still needs work

By Sherif Saed
22 November 2019 11:01 GMT

Between the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta and the game’s final launch, developer Infinity Ward made a few welcome tweaks to netcode.

You may remember during the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta, YouTuber Battle(non)sense analysed the game’s network performance as far latency, delay and other factors that all contribute to what’s commonly referred to as a netcode.

In the original report, Battle(non)sense found that Modern Warfare’s netcode exhibited much longer delays than other popular shooters, with Ground War being a major problem. Today, the YouTuber has updated their thoughts after performing real-world tests using the current version of the game.

Despite Infinity Ward proclaiming that multiplayer only runs on dedicated servers, the YouTuber found that some games use the listen server model, meaning they’re hosted on another player’s network. This was rare, however, and testing was done on dedicated servers.

62Hz is once again the tickrate being used by most modes, including Gunfight at the low end, and Domination 10v10 at the highest. In all cases, updates were sent in a single data packet each, avoiding split-packet problems.

In Ground War, however, server tickrate is once again around 24Hz, with common cases of split-packets that cause damage stacking and other issues. Though this is an improvement over the beta, it’s not as great as you’d like it to be.

Watch on YouTube

The worst offender by far is custom games, which do not have the option of dedicated servers. Battle(non)sense observed a meagre 12Hz tickrate in those instances, which could also be the case when regular multiplayer matches are hosted on a listen servers instead of a dedicated server.

Network delay in regular multiplayer is where the game made its biggest upgrades over the beta. The video shows a 44.4ms delay for damage, 52.2ms for gunfire, and 60.8ms for movement, which is much better than the beta’s 100+ms.

The video also reveals that receiving damage behind cover is still possible, even if you have a perfect ping to the server. This happens when you get shot by a player with a very high ping.

In Ground War, improvements were made to the delay, but they’re still much higher than traditional modes, not to mention other games with bigger maps and more players. Ground War registered an average of 87.6ms for damage, 92.8ms for gunfire, and 99.4 for movement.

You can watch the full video above.

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