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Sakurai considered rollback netcode for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Online multiplayer in Smash Ultimate has always been the game’s achilles heel, but it seems creator Masahiro Sakurai tried to implement rollback netcode during development.

Smash Bros. Ultimate creator Masahiro Sakurai apparently considered improving the game’s maligned online multiplayer by implementing a new netcode. 

In leaked excerpts from Sakurai’s weekly Famitsu column (translated by PushDustin), the designer discusses the improvements to the 1v1 online mode, before going onto state rollback netcode was “looked into” during development. 

The netcode however wasn’t implemented due to “a lot of adverse side effects” - although it’s unclear exactly what these are. The chaotic nature of items, assist trophies and level hazards however might have something to do with it.  

 

 

If you’re unfamiliar, rollback netcode is largely considered the best option for online multiplayer in fighting games. In contrast to delay-based netcode, which delays moves in the game until player inputs have been registered, rollback netcode essentially continues to simulate the game without inputs, but reverses and corrects this when inputs are made by the player. 

This can cause animations to jump if connections are unstable, but it is largely far more responsive and reliable considering fighting games rely on lightning-fast reactions. 

 

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Smash Ultimate got slight improvements to 1v1 online (Picture: Nintendo) 

It’s important to note however Sakurai’s quotes are taken from an excerpt of the full article which is set to be released this week, so we’ll update this page if any more context is given. 

The online multiplayer of Smash Ultimate however has been a constant bugbear within the community, who have managed to get the issue trending online and repeatedly called for Nintendo to improve the service for tournaments. 

 

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