It's Not Just You Wondering Why Apex Legends Feels Laggy

If you've been playing Apex Legends and been left thinking "there's something not quite right", you're not alone. It's the netcode.

You'd think a game made by Respawn, alumni from great multiplayer titles such as the original Medal of Honor, Call of Duty and the Modern Warfare series, and one built on the solid framework of the Source engine, would be rock solid. But Apex Legends works a little different, as an analysis from YouTuber and networking geek Battle(non)sense found.

The first major knock against Apex is that it downloads more, on average, over the course of a game than most other major shooters:

There's also a ton of general lag in general gameplay. In tests with two PCs that both had a ping of 24ms to the server, Apex - and this was towards the start of the game, when most players are still alive - had a higher average delay than almost every major shooter. It was also the most inconsistent, with some huge differences between the shortest and longest delay while moving, firing and taking damage.

But perhaps the most critical flaw is the game's tendency to always confirm a hit on the client side, irrespective of how bad a player's ping is. If a player has an especially high ping, they would traditionally have to lead their shot to account for the delay between them shooting and the server registering the shot.

Apex, however, will always favour the client. So if you have a good ping and try and run behind a corner, and someone with a dodgy connection sees you and shoots, it doesn't matter if you were already behind the wall by the time the high ping player gets data to the server. The hit will still land, which explains why you might have died or been knocked down despite being well behind cover.

It's all covered in the video above. There's also a nice trick whereby you can force yourself to connect to one of five data centres in Sydney (two of which are hosted by Google) by waiting at the start screen for a minute, pressing the ESC key, then Cancel, and then choosing the Data Centres option that appears at the bottom. You can make the menu appear on consoles as well by waiting a couple of minutes on the start screen, entering the Accessibility Settings, quitting, and then pushing in R3 on PS4/Xbox.

No servers in Perth or Melbourne, but at least we've got something local in the region. Even if there are times where it never feels like it.


Comments

    Hmm I've seen some rubber banding, but assumed my squad mate was having some high ping issues. Overall it hasn't been a problem though.

    Had no idea Titanfall and Apex Legends ran on the Source Engine. It's no surprise the netcode is a bit dodgy.

      Its a bit hit and miss, Source netcode often feels great as a shooter, not so much on the receiving end. Just feels like that lineage is continued.

      It's not dodgy so much as it is just old. Source is a fork of Quake, and while a lot was rewritten since, there's still a whole whack of Quake code in there that's a couple decades old.

    Ahhhh, this explains why I couldn’t get much enjoyment out of the game.

    I first thought it was just the high recoil of weapons and high TTK, and I would get used to it. But it all just felt “off” and janky.

    I’ll give it some time and return, hoping Im not too far behind the skill curve by then...

      I'm the same. Friends have laughed at me because I just can't get comfortable in game. It's clear now this is why.

    Nonetheless, I still can't believe how much I am enjoying this game. And I hate online 99% of the time.
    The 3 man squad is a good size, it's not too hard to organise another two mates.

    The fact that people are getting an advantage by connecting to the wrong is just sad RIP EA's stock.

      the wrong what?

    Flaw? That's a feature! It freakin sucks playing a server based game and having all your actions rendered null and void because you happen to live further away from the server than everyone else. Now I want to try this even more.

      It is a flaw, the game shouldn't punish other players if you have above 100 ping.

        By the same token shouldn't it also not punish them if they have a higher ping?

          It should punish you if you are over 150-200+ ping, which the mjority of players (even in Australia) are under. Its abusable and results in problems like what people experienced in Overwatch close to launch before the change away from shooter gets priority.

          Apex has enough issues as it is, it doesn't need to be allowing you to be shot well into cover because someone on their dumpster fire wireless internet in whoop whoop or another region decides to join.

            So you're saying that anyone without amazing ping is recommended NOT to buy this game. Thanks.

              Its free to play

                Doesn't matter whether its free or not. You're saying people with bad ping shouldn't play. That's terrific thanks.

                  If you as a shit internet player have a negative effect on other people in a game you should probably not fuck it up for everyone else. I live outside Alice and can achieve 78ms to Sydney servers going through Darwin first; if you cannot get your latency under 200ms you should probably play single player games.

            But by the same token they're at just as much disadvantage because your shots on them are counted as legit when they believe themselves to be behind cover from their perspective? So in the end both sides are evenly disadvantaged, versus the other model where you have asymmetric disadvantage between those who live closer to the server and those who don't.

              No they aren't unless they over extend, its called peekers advantage. Go watch battlenonsense's old Siege tests to understand how shooters priority favours high ping players.

              A mate of mine flooded his net last night through maxing his upload and he could literally peek and go back to cover with us only able to see the very edge of his model because the lag compensation smooths your position at high latency.

                Worse yet watch the old Tarkov video to see what it means when a player pushes a corner aggressively that you are holding, you can die before the enemy model even breaks away from the corner.

                  Got a link for any of those? At a cursory search I'm not sure which one I'm supposed to be looking at. From the sounds of things though that seems more like a problem with dealing with packet loss than latency, and the game being weird about handling quick movements (or maybe just being overly generous with allowing a poor connection over just dishing out a connection error?).

                  @mrtaco Its not, remember back when Modern Warfare 1 was hailed as having great netcode because it used latency compensation to make people look a little less janky when they were running around with high ping? Well that stuff is common now, its just a matter of how smooth they want it as it causes issues with pawn placement when you change direction quickly.

                  A really strong latency compensation system will shorten movements as it gets updates, so if you peek a corner and head back it willsmooth your movement by shortening the period you went out (or if the netcode is exceedingly shit you might move out further and then teleport back).

                  Tarkov's horrendous netcode before 0.8 (not that its much better now)
                  https://youtu.be/6tfwdnY5cDg

                  His Siege video which touchs on how bad peekers advantage was before the changes to netcode
                  https://youtu.be/vBZj4c_j9Qs

                  And you can find the Apex above showing how this is an issue.

    What about all the other stuff from other Fps games (that I clearly have no idea about) like server tick rate?

      The game is essentially running at an incredibly un-optimised 20hz. At the start of the match you are getting more, but its not effective data, just bloat and redundancies. Increasing the tick rate won't fix anything because the games net code is fundamentally flawed.

    I found after last week's patch that the game runs a lot smoother on PC than it did before. On my system it felt laggy and weird prior to the patch, and even though NVidia was reporting it as running a stable 60fps it... didn't feel like that at all. After the patch it feels a lot smoother and more consistent to play.

      Performance wise its better, but there are even more people than usual seeing issues like bullets fly through enemy models and damage numbers in game not aligning to recorded post game stats.

    I have noticed slight rubber banding, its only been really bad once, and one of my team is in china, so we always have to expect abit of lag

    I've definitely experienced the getting killed when im clearly inside the building, as well as some of my bullets appearing to hit but not doing damage. Overall its a bit frustrating when you lose because of things that aren't in your control.
    The game is still pretty great but i really hope they can improve this or i feel like ill burn out on the game quite a bit sooner.
    At least its not destiny 2 crucible with its peer to peer system, THAT is a clusterfuck.

    I cant say ive died behind cover in this game yet unlike battlefield which happens ALL THE TIME!

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