After a tweet from game director Masahiro Sakurai yesterday informed fans of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that the game’s online functionality should be improved, players took to the title’s multiplayer to see for themselves. Now, after some significant testing, it looks like Sakurai’s claim was warranted.
An investigation performed by a group of Smash fans uncovered that Smash Ultimate’s 8.1 patch has increased the Tick Rate/Hertz from 30 to 60 packets per second. This increase only applies for players that are in a 1v1 game, however.
Thanks to @Humanbomb & @EmJay10_ we discovered a big change in 8.1!— Nerf_0 (@NerfHerder08) August 5, 2020
- The Tickrate/Hertz in a 1v1 with no spectators has changed to 60 instead of the old 30 packets a second.
-Lobbies 3+ still run at 30.
In theory, quick play and 1v1 lobbies should feel better. https://t.co/B9u35Yt4OR
One important factor to note is that hosting lobbies of 3 or more players will not allow for the increased Tick Rate to take place, and the online boost will also not work if a match has a spectator.
In theory, however, this should mean that regular Quick Play and regulated 1v1 lobbies should feel better.
What does increasing Tick Rate do?
For those not in the know, an increase in Tick Rate in a fighting game such as Smash Bros. results in more packets being sent, containing player inputs and character positions, to the server.
A higher Tick Rate leads to less chance of failed inputs, as well as a general decrease to game-stuttering and lag spikes. A Tick Rate of 60Hz means that the game is capable of sending packets at most 60 times per second.
One Reddit user confirmed that doubling the Tick Rate from 30 to 60Hz should, in theory, result in a ping reduction of 16.6 ms, leading to at least one frame less input lag.
However, it’s actually looking like two to three frames of lag may have been reduced, meaning that this fix is perhaps well on its way to improving the overall online experience.
Thankfully, the recent patch notes suggest that this won’t be the last fix coming to Smash Bros. Ultimate’s multiplayer, and players everywhere just got a little more optimistic about the state of their favourite cross-over fighting game’s online mode.