Apex Legends, the latest entry in the battle royale genre, has very quickly earned a solid reputation. The game is being praised for its new features such as the amazing ping system, but on the networking front, there are numerous issues. Popular network analyst Battle(non)sense had a look at Apex Legends’ netcode, and the results were surprising.
Apex Legends Netcode Analysis
First and foremost, Respawn’s battle royale does not include a built-in network monitor. Not only does this make it harder for players to troubleshoot their connection issues, it also limits their ability to provide developers valuable feedback. At the very least, the addition of a few network performance icons, such as latency and packet loss, would notify players of the situation.
Moreover, Battle(non)sense found that, while the client tick rate is mostly stable, the server tick is quite the opposite. The client tick rate averages at 58 Hz, but the server tick rate bounces around with an average of 31 Hz. Comparing these statistics to other battle royale games, it’s clear that there are major issues with Apex Legends’ netcode.
So, how does this affect players? While testing interaction between two players at a ping of 24 ms, Battle(non)sense found delay times to be extremely bad. Both damage and gunfire delays are quite high, but the massive difference between the two is what’s worrying.
Again, Apex Legends’ network performance falls behind when comparing it with that of other battle royale titles. Unfortunately, testing on different servers and using other weapons had no effect on the delay numbers seen above.
Apex Legends allows players to easily hop between servers thanks to the data center selection menu. When you take into account the game’s lag compensation, or lack thereof, this is very alarming. When a high ping player shoots an enemy, their shot will always register.
Unlike Battlefield 1 and Battlefield 5, Apex Legends players do not need to lead their shots when playing at high ping. Obviously, this negatively impacts the gameplay experience of those playing at a reasonable ping. Hopefully, Respawn Entertainment is successful in improving Apex Legends’ network infrastructure.