The fighting game community's early reactions and findings in Street Fighter 5's netcode update

Mixed reactions continue to stay within Street Fighter 5's legacy

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • February 19, 2020 at 12:34 p.m. PST | Comments: 96

After waiting and waiting to see what Capcom's new netcode adjustment update for Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition would entail, and now after last night's patch, we know ... kinda... maybe.

The fighting game community immediately hopped onto the servers to test what all's changed / different with SF5's online suite with patch Version 5.014, and many didn't have nice things to say. Until they did... again, sort of.

Early reports coming out of those playing online were not exactly pleased with what they were running into when it became immediately clear that the update removed the ability to use SF5's fan-made netcode mods entirely.

Much of the recent debate about Street Fighter 5's rollback netcode began / really heated up once Altimor released his first mod to attempt to fix the game's clock de-sync bug that's been present since the betas.

This mod, however, made playing a worse experience for anyone not using the fan mod in many cases leading to a bit of a fractured online community and some avoiding ranked play all together until a solution was implemented.

Clips, threads and tweets began to quickly flood the internet and FGC social media for players still facing one-sided rollback during matches where many came to the conclusion that Capcom's scripts remained unchanged save for removing the modded code.

Even some generally positive and patient voices within the FGC like Woolie Versus called the update "the single biggest botch they have ever had" while DemonDan voiced some dismay about the lack of clear communication from Capcom about what's different about the game now.

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Some of the early responses and concerns of the update

"We hope you're enjoying #SFVCE and thank you for all the support!A netcode adjustment has been made to the game and is available now for all players.We ask that you send your feedback to SFVServer. Please enjoy and look forward to #CPT2020 #SFL2020 #IntelWorldOpen starting soon!" - Yohshinori Ono following SF5's latest update

All we have on official word from the developers at this point is Yoshinori Ono's tweet following the server maintenance to say "a netcode adjustment has been made to the game and is available now for all players."

This didn't exactly instill much confidence in the community though some following discoveries helped contextualize that there is indeed more going on with the update than was initially believed / feared.

The programmer going by the name TOOLASSISTED, known for their reverse-engineering and bot makings skills, went straight into their own testing to see if there was anything else changed under the hood — and what they found wasn't nothing.

To sum TOOLASSISTED's findings up, Street Fighter 5 prior to the most recent update would only check each players ping value at the start of each match or round. It would also always be set at a static 15 max frames ahead value.

Now, those frame and ping values will update consistently throughout the match to hopefully provide a smoother experience by limiting how far ahead one connection can get in front of the other to try and lessen rollbacks.

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TOOLASSISTED's current netcode findings

A consensus seems to be growing that Street Fighter 5's netcode is indeed in a better state overall with many players reporting connections that were once laggy and spotty are playable now. How much of an improvement it is, however, remains to be fully revealed.

Others like EQNX|Brian F, who has been quite vocal about his displeasure with SF5's online play, still faced poor connections though he still notes that it's probably an improvement for most people — and that the game's largest issue may now come from its actual matchmaking process of who you're paired up with in the first place.

The question remains now if there were any other adjustments made behind the scenes which should come out in the coming days / weeks though the issue of one-sided rollbacks appears to still be an issue with some describing the current fix as a bandage over the larger problem of de-syncs.

Some prominent FGC voices have also spoken up about the response to the initial findings to try and avoid misinformation spreading within the community and stop harassment of the developers / Capcom team members.

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Responses after players had the chance to spend hours with SF5's update

One thing many did walk away from this experience feeling as well is that while it is nice that Capcom and Ono are being more open in their updates / communications, there's still a gap with how vague their statements and announcements on the internet tend to be.

Overall, playing around with the update suggests that Street Fighter 5 is in a better spot than it was in the previous months unless you are a player who was dependent on the fan mods to play online.

This story also includes reactions from VesperArcade, Dankadillas, 801 Strider, LPN, Justin Wong, LU|Alex Valle, END|Shine, and TS|Sabin.

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