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Mortal Kombat X is getting a networking code overhaul

GGPO-like netcode going into beta soon

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Mortal Kombat X developer NetherRealm Studios is overhauling the fighting game's networking code in an attempt to reduce lag and make online fights feel more like offline fights. To do so, NetherRealm is adopting a networking model similar to GGPO, the popular middleware that was developed by Evo co-founder Tony Cannon and is used in a number of fighting games.

NetherRealm community specialist Tyler Lansdown announced the upcoming change to Mortal Kombat X's netcode in a YouTube video today.

"We are attempting to move away from the dynamic input latency model towards a model that preserves the feel of an offline game more accurately while playing online and maintains a consistent input response," Lansdown said. "The model we are moving to is similar in function to the GGPO model and could be described as a roll-back, simulate-forward model.

"This means our engine will not have to wait for both players to agree on input before drawing its results to the screen. This creates a smoother gameplay experience and diminishes the feeling of lag in online play."

Mortal Kombat X players can try the game's "new and improved" netcode when NetherRealm kicks off a closed public beta. Players who have spent at least one hour with Mortal Kombat X online can take part by registering at the official website. Sign ups begin Jan. 19.

The upcoming MKX beta will include just four characters — Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Jacqui Briggs and Johnny Cage — though NetherRealm says it will add more over time.

Mortal Kombat X was released last April on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. In Polygon's review, the game was criticized for its sometimes shaky online stability.

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