Battlefield 4 Player Testing Results in New Update Improving Netcode

DICE releases the first patch to make use of code tested in the Community Test Environment.

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DICE continues to work on fixing Battlefield 4, the latest evidence of which can be seen in a newly released patch improving the game's online performance.

The new update is now available for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases coming "later this week." One of the changes included in the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 versions of the update is what's called the "High Frequency Bubble." This allows the game to receive updates from the server more frequently for things going on "within a certain radius of the player." According to a DICE blog post, "This normally results in a smoother, more 'correct' player experience."

By default, this option is turned off in this initial patch. You can enable it from the Options menu, and depending upon your Internet speed, you'll have three different settings for doing so. (If your connection is at least 1 Mbit/second, you should be able to make use of the "High" setting.) Those who rent servers on PC will be free to enable support for High Frequency Bubbles; on Xbox One and PS4, all 48-player servers will have the feature enabled right out of the gate, as well as "a small set" of 64-player servers. DICE hopes to turn the feature on within 24 hours if all goes well.

The video above demonstrates what the High Frequency Bubble makes possible--put simply, what you see on screen more closely represents what's actually going on. There will be less of a delay between the time a player jumps or shoots, for instance, and when another player sees that action take place.

This is the first patch to be released that makes use of improvements tested in the Community Test Environment. The CTE launched last month as a platform for allowing DICE to test new fixes and improvements with a larger group of people--specifically, PC players who opted in--than it otherwise would have access to. DICE recently promised that the announcement of Battlefield Hardline wouldn't impact continued support for Battlefield 4 and announced that a "major update" for the netcode was in the works.

"The number of changes possible in this update would be difficult to pull off without the continued support from our community, both through direct constructive feedback and telemetry data gathered on the CTE," DICE said. Battlefield 4 players on PC with a Battlefield Premium membership are free to register for the CTE at the official website. The developer plans to continue making use of it as it works on more improvements.

A full list of changes in the new update for all five versions of the game can be seen here.

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