First person shooters are supposed to be really fast so as to capture players’ actions.
Overwatch has a very low tick rate when compared to other FPS which Blizzard is about to fix with a new update.
While most first person shooters like Battlefield or Call of Duty have 60hz tick rate, which is the time it takes to send a command to the server and receive a response, Overwatch has just 20.8hz which is exceptionally low. A lot of players have already complained that the shots they fired didn’t land as expected and some actions didn’t sync with the server. It shows something else on the screen while what they are trying to do is completely different.
Blizzard announced in their blog today that they are bringing some major changes to the tick rate on Overwatch PC version. Named the High Bandwidth mode, it allows players computers to communicate and quickly receive responses from the server. It might take some weeks for the feature to be rolled out to every region but once done, the game will be much more responsive and faster than it has ever been. Both Quick play and Competitive play modes will be using the high bandwidth system by default while other modes can be opted to use the mode, if the player wants it to.
Games like Battlefield 4 and Counter Strike Global Offensive has a tick rate above 60hz. With the new update, Overwatch will have 63hz bringing it on par with other competitive titles available on PCs. The server response is also based on individual player’s internet speed. Those who have faster internet connection, above 10 or 20 MBPS will usually be able to get the best tick rates. If the internet speed drops down, the tick rate will automatically be reduced so that it doesn’t create extra load on the servers.
Overall, Overwatch is expected to be more responsive and fun to play than it already is. Players may not immediately experience the difference but in due time, especially during intense team fights the change in tick rate will be evident.
Server lags have always caused chaos in online multiplayer matches as they tend to irritate players. Overwatch aims to go competitive and rolling out such useful features increases the games potential to become the next Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike Go or other MOBAs. The first tournament is scheduled to take place next month.