So far, the vast majority of Overwatch players have nothing but positive things to say about the game. It’s, in a single word, great. However, dig a bit into the core community of players, and you’ll find those that take major issue with the game’s tick rate. They’re calling it a big problem.
What the heck is tick rate?
Fair question, internet stranger. On the competitive shooter scene, tick rate is an important spec that applies to server-based multiplayer titles. It is, put plainly, the rate at which a server updates every second. The server keeps track of all the motion and action that goes down in game across all players. The tick rate, then, is the refresh rate for keeping tally. Counter-Strike: GO, one of the preeminent shooters, boasts a tick rate of around 64hz. That’s the standard.
Overwatch‘s tick rate? 20.8hz. The higher the rate the better, and Overwatch is falling short big time.
The big issue is that Blizzard hasn’t really responded to all the fan probing regarding the tick rate. There’s a big thread up on Overwatch‘s exceptionally popular subreddit about this very issue. The Tick Rate can be tweaked in Custom Games for folks with large enough parties or a tournament, but it cannot be changed for the more popular Quick Match mode and it wasn’t present in the Competitive Mode when that rolled during the beta.
The counter to all of this is the client-side latency can trump the increased tick rate. If you’re playing a match with players from around the world, your lag is going to be a bit higher regardless of connection quality. That increased lag will undo the benefits of a better tick rate.
Blizzard has talked about Netcode, as seen in the video below, but fans want to know if this tick rate stuff is going to be handled. They want to know, now.