Riot Details Valorant Netcode: 128-Tick Servers And Their Own ISP

In a new developer video, Riot reveals what it's doing to fight "peeker's advantage" and laggy matches.

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Riot Games' new shooter Valorant is only in closed beta, but the game is already tearing up the charts on Twitch. As part of a continued rollout of updates, Riot has uploaded a developer diary that examines how the studio is putting a great degree of care into the game's netcode, which is often a sticking point for hardcore first-person shooter fans.

In the video, technical director Dave Heironymus and technical engineering lead David Straily demonstrate the contrast between 64-tick servers and 128-tick servers by using hitboxes to show the difference between how the client and server see any given gun-shot. They also discuss how laggy netcode can lead to what they term "peeker's advantage," where a player peeking around a corner has more time to attack an opponent that they see due to the latency between their client and the opponent's client.

The developers also mention Riot Direct, which is a program that they describe as "Riot's own ISP." Essentially, over the past few years, Riot has made a concerted effort to make deals with existing ISPs and communications companies like Zayo Group in order to make their games work better at a network level. While the video doesn't go into much detail, there are several blog posts that discuss the technical details on Riot's site.

Often described as a mix of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch, Valorant is poised to be the next big thing in the FPS space. Currently, to get an invite to the closed beta, players must link their Riot account to Twitch, watch "drop-enabled" streams, and hope for the best. This led Valorant to break the single-day viewership record for a single game, with 12.2 million total hours watched.

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