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Question about acceptable levels of latency in online gaming

Discussion in 'Multiplayer' started by AxisRob, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. AxisRob


    Aug 6, 2013
    Basically, I have a high-speed online game. When I run network tests, I'm getting from 50 - 300 latency, depending on who I connect to.

    Question - for a fast-reflex game, what kind of latency is acceptable and can reasonably be covered for with network prediction? Think something like Call of Duty or Halo. I'm finding that even without network prediction, 100ms is pretty playable through just network extrapolation.

    I'm asking because I don't know what numbers are playable and have a system where my players can choose the server they connect to; I'd like to be able to, after running my ping test, show them a simple red/yellow/green status bar to show what ping is acceptable.

    Does that make sense?
  2. Magiichan


    Jan 5, 2014
    You'll start noticing the lagg at around 170+
    Atleast from the games that I've been playing o3o
    green 0-80(time for information to reach your brain is 80ms)
    yellow 80-170
    red 170-300
    black? 300+
  3. jtsmith1287


    Aug 3, 2014
    There's a lot of games that will warn you at 200, or even kick you. I'd say:
    Green: 0-60
    Yellow: 61-100
    Red: 101-200
    Restrict access: 201+

    It's not an unreasonable (or uncommon) thing to prevent someone from playing a game that has high ping. It should be considered a system requirement, right up there with CPU and GPU. Understand that it's not just the 201+ individual who will suffer. How many times have you seen that guy blinking around the map or seem invincible, because the server can't get messages there and back fast enough. It hurts everyone's experience.
    charles_haney likes this.
  4. CaoMengde777


    Nov 5, 2013
    (from experience of playing games)
    id say restrict access at... 300+ ? .. 200+ is a little low.. many people still will get about 210 ,and its not Horrible.. its noticable, but not Horrible ... its common now to have about 50-90 ping... i live rural so my internet is only 3Mbps.. i usually get like 90-150 .. sometimes it will spike to 210 for like 1 second, and ill get kicked... its really lame lol..

    restricting access at a certain ping level shouldnt be a thing you make in your game... there should be an option to do so, but it shouldnt be "Built-in mandatory"
    .. and if it IS "built-in mandatory" make sure that the player has to stay at a certain ping before they are kicked... like they have to stay at 250+ for 5-10 seconds? before they are kicked... because its seriously LAME to get kicked ALL THE TIME because your ping spikes for half a second, every 20 minutes lol

    something interesting though is.... it seems games have become laggier?? i guess because they are sending more information across the network than they used to...

    i remember playing Wolfenstein Enemy Territory when it first came out, and id Always have like 500 ping, and it was "okay" lag was noticable, but it wasnt "unplayable" like 500 ping would be nowadays... and it seems back then the average ping was like 150-300 not ~90 as i see now..

    i was thinking
    0-90 green
    90-180 yellow
    180- 300 red
    280? or 300? (if value held for more than 5- 10 seconds - kick ?)
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  5. jtsmith1287


    Aug 3, 2014
    What you're experiencing is all the server side logic needed in todays games. In the past, if you shot an opponent your client would tell the server, "Hey I just shot this guy and did X damage" and then the server would tell the client who was shot that they were shot and for how much damage. This is super low latency and definitely preferred in game development. It's fast. However, the few jerks out there ruin it for everyone. Cheaters have made server logic look more like this:
    Client sends position and rotation, or just raycast information, along with the "I just fired my weapon" event trigger and the server then checks for collision, compensates for lag calculates damage etc, then send that information back to the clients to update what the player sees.

    This makes cheating really hard. Not impossible, but hard. The downside however is that if you have a really high ping, or rather a ping that differs greatly effects how the game feels. Things will be very out of sync.

    So I'll amend my recommendation. If you're running a heavily authoritative server high pings will be much more noticeable and pings of greater than 200 will be bad. You reserve the right to restrict access to keep the play experience smooth.

    However, if you're running a game that's mostly or completely client handled, lag won't be AS noticeable and higher pings would be acceptable. You're not doing much cheat protection so syncing isn't as important. You just need to make sure that objects in the game that multiple players are interacting with are relatively synced up across clients. That doesn't require a low ping to work well.

    Let me also say that I'm sure I've said things that might seem wrong, but there's a lot ... A LOT... of variables involved, so mileage may very. This is just a basic sum up.

    Let me also say this top the OP. Just pick a number and play test it a bunch. Whatevs. :) If it's high, change it, low, raise it. Screw thinking about it. Just fake it!
  6. ChristyGamer


    Nov 21, 2017
    HI AxisRob YOu can do these things to slow down the latency
    First Step
    Fristly, since the concern of low latency is related to online gaming, having a proper internet connection is a must. Make sure that the ISP you select is reputed for a stable internet connection. Having anything above a 2MBPS connection is a GO, GO for online gamers. That way, not achieving a low latency won’t be blamed over the poor ISP.

    Second Step
    As discussed above, if you are not getting low latency, don’t go blaming the game servers. An important thing to do is make sure if it is only you that is not having a low latency or are there others as well facing the same problem. If others are also not playing at a low latency then apparently there is nothing you can do about it. However, as earlier said, 90% of the times this is not the case and it would only be a single person’s latency problems. Now is the time to move further.

    Third Step
    Make sure that there is not anything running in the background. Eversince, the intervention of torrents in our lives, things got easy, but they also brought some bad things along with them. Apart for a threat to virus and hacks, a common problem is that people usually don’t bother closing their torrent applications. These bandwidth consuming applications leech the bandwidth in the background without you knowing it. Close any of these applications that might be running in the background. This makes sure that the entire bandwidth of your computer is being dedicated to your online game.
    Gamer @ Ben 10 Alien Force