Yes, Red Dead Redemption 2 Does Have Large Input Delays

Yes, Red Dead Redemption 2 Does Have Large Input Delays

A tech animator at EA Motive, the studio behind Star Wars Battlefront II, has released a short video on Youtube highlighting the input lag in the recent AAA releases this year. This includes Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassins Creed: Odyssey, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Destiny 2.

It’s unsurprising to anyone who has already played Red Dead Redemption 2 that the new Rockstar title has the biggest input lag of all the titles trialled. Most of us have stories from RDR2 where something wacky occurred due to pressing the wrong button or missing the timing, know we know you aren’t completely to blame.

Destiny 2 had the quickest response times of the whole group, only having one frame between full stick deflection and any kind of response. This is pretty impressive up against RDR2’s 11 frames.

Odyssey and Spider-Man were only just higher than Destiny 2, while Uncharted seemed to have a big delay in camera motion and controller input.

Since TVs have a huge influence on input lag, it’s worth noting that all of these tests were done on the same system under the same conditions.

Source: Youtube

It’s not completely scientific, but the test does give us a good idea of where these games sit in terms of input.


  • starting to slowly get into this game but gee it makes it hard for me when its the worst controlled game I’ve played in a long long time

    • I really can’t agree with ‘worst controlled’. Seems really hyperbolic. There’s definitely some delay but it seems to fit the game to some degree with Arthur being a big clunky dude. But even then, taking that into account, there’s other games that have been far, far worse in the past and even present. By editing the controls in the settings, you can definitely change this, look on youtube for how to change the delay, such as the deadzones, acceleration timing etc. From the start, with default it’s pretty sketchy but with some tweaking? It becomes excellent.

      • I’m sure you will think of one but i cant think of a game, especially a game of this stature, that has had worse controls. Also, due to the stature of the game people are very accepting. If this was a run of the mill type game i can guarantee most people wouldn’t give it the time of day. I can promise you i wouldn’t still be playing it.

      • I genuinely gave up on the game due to its terrible controls. They’re atrocious. For a game of this scale, with the amount of effort they put into it there’s no reason the controls should be this awful.
        I’ve heard you can tweak them to make it passable, but the default SHOULD be fine.
        I’m going to give it another go but as it stands the game is far more frustrating than fun and a huge portion of that are the heinous controls. As hyperbolic as it sounds I agree with wonderingaimlessly it is the worst controlled game I’ve played in a long time. If I hadn’t spent 105NZD on it I would uninstall it right now.

        • You can tweak them to make them great. Its wholly customisable.

          Star Fox Zero had abysmal controls. Worse than this. Thats one. Will post more after work.

    • That’s exactly what it is. Go into there, fiddle with them and you can set it to be pretty damn decent. I’ve done it with some advice from some youtube clips. Makes aiming fast, fluid and neat. On foot controls also become much better too with rotation and response becoming so much better. RDR2’s biggest sin at this point, is they leave WAY too much unexplained, and this was one of those things.

    • If you turn deadzone all the way up and acceleration all the way down, it makes the controls feel so much more responsive and tighter. I couldn’t stand the default values that they had the settings on, not sure how Rockstar thought it would be a good way to ship the game.

    • In the video, he is fairly consistent in taking ~ 5 frames to go from initially touching the stick to full deflection. If all the games had the same response time but just used different dead zones leading them to detect the input at different times, we’d expect at most a 5 frame difference in overall response times.

      The difference between RDR2 and the “average” games is far higher than that though.

  • Does this author understand what ‘frames’ and ‘seconds’ are?

    This is a weird idea for a comparison video, RDR uses a very deliberate animation system so that the characters move like that and less like you’re zipping a collision capsule around with some interruptible animations to ‘feel more responsive’ (which is entirely appropriate for a different style of game)

  • Also character response time to joystick movement doesn’t mean it’s input lag.

    Where is the test of button press to shoot to check input lag?

    • Yeah. I’d be interested to see if they timed it against menu options, for example.

      This seems a lot more like when Witcher 3 first came out and Geralt was kinda sluggish to control – a criticism that eventually saw an alternate movement option patched in.

  • “Destiny 2 had the quickest response times of the whole group, only having 1 second of frames between full stick deflection and any kind of response.”

    …I’m sure you just meant “frames” instead of “seconds of frames” there, author. One whole second of input lag in a third-person shooter is grounds to consider your game an abject failure.

  • … to which Rockstar would probably say, yeah, he’s an old cowboy not a superhero, space-vigilante or legendary assassin.

    • With that said, he finishes off the video with a graph that shows an Activision published game in the #1 spot. It also has enough information for anyone to reproduce the results or add extra games to the comparison.

      If it was a marketing video, surely it would end with a private build of the latest EA game that no one has access to (and might not represent the final product) trouncing all the competition?

  • This isn’t input lag, the correct way to measure that is with a binary button press and not analogue inputs anyway. As others pointed out, this is deliberate. It only affects character movement, no effect on shooting or camera rotation or navigating menus. It’s there to give the character a sense of physicality and weight, that when you tell him to do something he doesn’t move right away.

    This isn’t a twitch shooter, Arthur Morgan is an aging man that was never all that spry to begin with. Dead eye’s about the only thing he does actually do fast.

    • I understand that – the Arma series has been the same because there’s a physical player presence as opposed to a camera with hitbox abstraction – but it still makes movement feel very weird and ‘floaty’. The same complaint exists in all the GTA games. While it isn’t a twitch shooter and I don’t expect Doom camera controls, the collision detection is what make it worse than it probably is. It feels like I get stuck a lot of the time and makes the game feel way less fluid than it should.

      Yeah, Arthur Morgan is an aging man and can’t do Assassin’s Creed acrobatics. But sometimes it feels like the real battle is navigating a building interior and getting him to go where I want him to go, and that’s not a concession to storytelling.

    • While this is true, the sense of physicality should be expressed through animation, not through delayed input.
      Arthur should animate his age induced lethargy. Since he doesn’t even flinch until a dozen or so frames after input even starts, regardless if the input is binary or not, it’s quite obvious that it’s just input lag. But yes a binary input would’ve been a bit more concrete on an exact number of frames, maybe the gun holstering or fisticuffs buttons would’ve been a better choice.

  • Someone with ties to EA publishing negative (albeit true) traits of this years triple A titles without any EA titles on the list?

    I feel like this is their way to stem a tide for the coming anthem… Like “Hey guys look at all these problems with the games you love! *whispers* Anthems gonna have these issues too so yeah…”

  • Every time I play any other shooters, of any type, I always just want to go back to Destiny and do, all the time.

    For all the rubbish and misteps Bungie should always congratulated for their combat. It is always on point. My character always feels like she is doing exactly want I want her to be doing. Except their melee hit registration in pvp, that has always been wonky.

    watching this explains why I am having trouble getting into RDR2 for all the brilliance in the world, combat is frankly terrible, made worse that I was coming from he very snappy Odyssey.

    • The Destiny franchise has been an insulting exercise in frustration, disappointment, hubris and arrogance from day one, but I will always support whoever at Bungie was responsible for the shooting.

      They just nailed it. 100%. It feels good to aim and pull the trigger. The feedback is immediately, deeply satisfying. And the PC port could have been a disaster, trying to emulate the sluggishness of analog-stick movement the way the original flopped Halo PC port did, but they opted not to; it’s still amazing to control, an exceptional port.

  • Destiny 2 had the quickest response times of the whole group, only having 1 second of frames between full stick deflection and any kind of response. This is pretty impressive up against RDR2’s whole eleven seconds.

    Unless I’m misunderstanding, shouldn’t that be 1 frame for Destiny and 11 frames for RDR2? There certainly ain’t 11 seconds of lag on controller input.

  • Unsurprisingly, if you created a list out of these 5 games in terms of how realistic the game is trying to be and a list of input lag from high to low… You’d notice an uncanny resemblance.

  • And with the average delay of most consumer TVs people are playing on, these delays will not be noticeable at all.

    What I’m saying is, the settings in game do in fact, make it a lot better.

  • Maybe the tech animator can take everything they’ve learned from playing other AAA titles and actually make a good game themselves.

    I love my cowboy role-playing but the control’s in RDR2 aren’t necessarily bad it just needs to be played slow (Arthurs Walk) RDR2 is basically just a reskinned GTA5, same systems and mechanics.

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