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Over 50 percent of console fighting game players use Wi-Fi for online matches according to Katsuhiro Harada

That number will vary by the game though

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • August 2, 2020 at 10:28 a.m. PDT • Comments: 81

As the focus of the fighting game community shifted this year towards almost exclusively online play, the players have pushed more and more the importance of using a wired connection in an age where wireless tends to rule all.

Following the announcement that Tekken 7 would be receiving updated online features soon in Season 4, longtime series director Katsuhiro Harada revealed the majority of fighting game players still primarily use Wi-Fi for matches.

The data reportedly comes from Bandai Namco's own fighting game offerings of Tekken 7, Soul Calibur 6 and Dragon Ball FighterZ, so other fighting games will vary in actual usage though it's highly probable they are similar as well.

This almost 60 percent statistic is tied to console players from all regions of the world, as PC players are apparently much more likely to use an Ethernet cable than their PS4, Xbox One and Switch counterparts.

Japanese players also use wired connections at a higher rate than most of the world though Harada didn't specify just how much greater that number is.

While some other genres can easily get by with wireless player connections, fighting games are generally seen as among the most vulnerable to feel the downsides of Wi-Fi technology.

These range from signal interference from other routers, walls and appliances like microwaves to the limitation that wireless connections can't really send and receive data at the same time like a modern wire can.

Interference and data issues cause packets of whatever you're trying to send or receive to become lost or delayed which in a fighting game leads to lag, jitter and connection problems / inconsistencies. That's a pretty big problem when many games come down to close set and frame-specific requirements.

Running multiple yards of Ethernet cables through homes isn't always easy or practical, but dedicated fighting game players have largely come to realize it's pretty much a necessity to keep matches running as smoothly as possible where every frame counts.

Take me for example, I did have a 50 ft cable running to my living room until my rabbit chewed through it, so I pretty much exclusively began to play fighting games from my office where it was much easier to simply plug into the router.

There's also powerline adapters which can use a home's electrical outlets to send internet data to another room so long as they're on the same circuit though they too can run into interference problems.

All of this comes as Bandai Namco will be adding a Wi-Fi indicator to Tekken 7 which allows players to see connection types and rating before accepting a match following similar implementations from other developers like NetherRealm Studios, Lab Zero and Team Ninja.

Because the percentage of players using wireless is so high in video games, however, other developers like Arika are wary of adding such a feature perhaps worried it may divide their already niche playerbases.

It's not always feasible or possible to use wired connections, but more and more players appear to be re-adopting it as their best option for better online play. Not only for them, but for their opponents as well.

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