Both Dragon Ball Fighters Z and Samurai Shodown delighted fans during Evo 2022 by revealing that they will soon have rollback netcode.
Since it’s the biggest event for the fighting game community, it’s only natural that publishers and developers would choose Evo 2022 as an avenue to connect with their fans. That’s exactly what Bandai Namco and SNK did today when they announced some pretty sweet news about their games.
For SNK, the developers dished out a very special but brief trailer that announced that Samurai Shodown will eventually feature rollback netcode sometime next year through a free update.
Meanwhile, Dragon Ball Fighter Z Producer Tomoko Hiroki took the spotlight when he went up the stage during the DBFZ grand final. He announced that Bandai Namco has decided to adopt rollback netcode for the game, although Hiroki did not specify when fans can expect this change to happen.
For many players who compete online, this news is a big deal. In classic netcode, players experience a considerable lag between their button input and the action happening on their screens. This is because the game would wait for the button input to also be recognized on the other side – i.e., on the side of their opponent – before the action happens simultaneously – on both players’ screens. This ensures that the game’s movements are all represented accurately, but this comes at the expense of the game feeling very heavy and delayed when playing online.
With Samurai Shodown and Dragon Ball Fighter Z adopting rollback netcode will make the online play feel much more smooth for both games. With rollback netcode implemented, the game’s AI will instead predict a player’s next actions and display it immediately on the opponent’s screen – removing the need to wait for actions to arrive before implementing on both screens. If the prediction turns out to be wrong, the game will just roll back the action – hence the name – canceling the action and moving along the correct action on whatever frame the movement should already be at that time.
While this rollback netcode could sometimes feel floaty because there would be some infrequent “teleportation” or jagged movement when the prediction proves wrong, it’s a smaller inconvenience for many players. After all, they’d rather have a little bit of jagginess if that means smooth and responsive controls, and the last two factors prove to be among the most important things a fighting game player wants in their fighting game.