Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has been out for a little over a week, but fans are already finding some frustrations in the multiplayer game. The biggest of these frustrations, which has taken up several posts on the front page of the game’s subreddit, is a common one for multiplayer games: hit registration.
Hit registration, more or less, is whether or not bullets are going where player expect them to and whether they’re actually doing damage to their target. A little too often, Black Ops 4 players are seeing their bullets not go where they expect them to based on what they’re seeing on screen, and that’s causing a lot of frustration.
The reason there’s a difference between what players see and what’s actually happening is all down to where exactly the game lives. Each multiplayer lobby exists entirely on one server, with each player sending commands to it. That means that what you see on your game might be slightly different from the way the server decides an action should play out. So, sometimes you shoot at another player and miss even though in your game your reticle is directly on them.
It’s easy to see why this discrepancy would cause frustrations for players, but it’s a more complicated problem than most players might think.
The number one recipient of blame, in most cases, is server tickrate — how often the server that hosts the game can receive inputs from the players in the game. For Black Ops 4, it appears that the servers are 20 tick or 20hz servers, that means inputs are being received about once every 50ms. Most players are under the impression that an increase to faster, 64 tick servers would fix all these issues. But that’s not exactly true.
While it is true that 64 tick servers would make the results that people see on their screens a little closer to what really happens on the server, it still wouldn’t be foolproof. Things like, a player’s framerate, internet connection type, the way the servers themselves were configured and even a player’s physical distance from the server in question can all have massive impacts on whether or not what they see is what really happens in the game.
That being said, Treyarch has let players know that it’s a problem it’s actively working on fixing. In the Black Ops 4 patch notes released on Oct. 21, Treyarch acknowledges the complaints the community has and offers a response:
For a game launch with as massive a population as ours hitting so many global servers at once, we configure our infrastructure to ensure game stability as the highest priority over all other factors.
Now that we’re past the initial launch of the game, we are focusing on fine-tuning network performance around the globe, using the real-world data that we have collected. Over the course of the next two weeks, we will roll out several updates to our network setup that will continue to improve upon the experience of our players since launch.
So, with launch out of the way, it seems that Treyarch will slowly start to shift its focus from stability to performance, which should make for a pretty big upgrade to the quality of games players experience. But, it’s difficult to say whether or not these adjustments will help alleviate all the complaints players have had. At the very least players can rest assured that Treyarch has heard them and is working on a solution.