No Rollback Netcode in Virtua Fighter 5, Despite Improvements

by in Fighting Game News | May, 28th 2021

We were definitely hoping to see Virtua Fighter 5 have Rollback Netcode. Now admittedly, Virtua Fighter 5 had some of the best netcode on the internet in its original release. However, things have changed since then! Upgrades to netcode have happened, and we pretty much always want to hear a game has Rollback instead of Delay. The upcoming re-release of Virtua Fighter 5 by RGG Studios (Yakuza, Judgment) may be upgrading the game, but Rollback isn’t a part of the deal. Is it a surprise? Absolutely not. Is it still pretty disappointing? You better believe it.

The Past is The Present

Now, there’s a lot to be excited about here. Virtua Fighter 5 may not have Rollback Netcode, but it is being designed in RGG’s “Dragon Engine”, and it looks gorgeous. Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown looks great and is going to be free-to-play for PS+ users in June, but sadly, we aren’t going to see the Rollback Netcode we were hoping for.

The reason for this is that Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown’s online mode is built directly off the previous console release in 2012. Sure, it had a quality online experience, it’s still over 8 years old. There aren’t too many people who get hyped over delay-based netcode.

Rollback Netcode is a prediction-based netcode. When another player’s input comes through, if it didn’t match the predicted input, the game will rollback the state of the game to the last correct state. It will then replay the players’ revised inputs back until the current frame. Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown won’t be using Rollback, but Delay-based Netcode.

This requires both players to wait for the input of the other before the game state advances, and this creates delay to make sure everything is going the way it should. What this means for you, the player, is there’s a great chance of players experiencing dropped inputs, or delays in battles.

We’re disappointed that Virtua Fighter 5 is going to use delay-based netcode, but we can hope that this is changed somewhere down the line. Everything could go well though, and we may not even notice the difference. It’s this writer’s theory that the Virtua Fighter x Esports system may implement a better netcode, should it even feature online play instead of only LANs. It’s just such an odd choice to implement a return of a much-beloved game, only to use an archaic netcode. Now, will this stop people from playing online? Not a chance. Will players make sure their console is hardwired instead of being on wireless, to help prevent input delay?

Of course not. If you have PS+ though, starting on June 1st, you can pick the game up for free, until August 2nd.


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