Fortnite may be a massive revenue generator but developer Epic Games isn’t one to rest on its laurels. The game’s net code has been tweaked ever so often for better performance. Starting at a tickrate (the rate at which the game is run on a server) as low as 8Hz Fortnite’s patch 3.4 brought it up to 20Hz. After a number of upgrades and downgrades, Fortnite’s tickrate is at a stable 30Hz minimum with the latest 4.2 patch. The client update rate has also been upped to 75/s from 50/s. However do these upgrades improve gameplay?
According to YouTuber Battle(non)sense (via VG 247) tested this out with two PCs having a ping of 25ms to the same server to see how big the delay for each of them would be at different times of the day. Before this, Fortnite had a delay between 63ms to 70ms depending on what you’re doing in the game. After the Fortnite patch 4.2 it dropped to an average of 20ms.
What’s interesting is Fortnite’s player-to-player delay puts it ahead of PUBG and H1Z1 – the battle royale game with the lowest delay previously. And despite having half the server tickrate of the likes of Battlefield 1, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Overwatch, Fortnite is also ahead of these games in player-to-player delay.
However, Battle(non)sense observes that while these improvements are welcome, they don’t mean the game is perfect. The server tickrate sometimes drops to 20Hz during the match, so more work could be done to try and maintain a stable 30Hz.
Would Epic bring these optimisations to the Unreal Engine itself? If so, it could help games that require fixes to their netcode like PUBG on PC.