Apex Legends players have been calling for an upgrade to the game’s 20Hz tickrate servers for a while, and Respawn laid out exactly why people shouldn’t be expecting a jump anytime soon.
Players have been filing complaints for Respawn to invest in 30-60Hz servers like other online shooters, especially when issues with hit registration and the like start plaguing the battle royale.
It’s because of issues like these that the studio published a huge explainer of ‘what makes Apex tick’ to give these issues their proper space and enlighten us as to what’s happening in the game’s backend.
In it, they touched on why the upgrade wouldn’t “result in a meaningfully different experience” even though people like to claim that Apex Legends would have much smoother gameplay with higher tickrates.
“The tickrate of a server is the number of simulations that the server runs per second,” Respawn explained. “This mostly means that at the end of every tick, the server saves the world state and replicates it to all clients. This includes a lot of information that allows our weapon, map, and Legends’ design to be of the highest fidelity. ”
Unlike Apex, a lot of games don’t “compute full world states on each tick,” which already makes every tick in the battle royale complete more processes than other titles by comparison.
Taking that into consideration, when you factor in the bandwidth costs that would naturally come with higher Hz, it starts taking a toll on how players would otherwise experience a match.
In explaining the ‘upsides’ to increasing Apex Legends from 20Hz to, say, 60Hz, the devs laid out all the math for people that want a complete picture of how the upgrade would actually affect the game.
“20Hz servers result in about five frames of delay, and 60Hz servers result in three frames of delay,” Respawn explained. “So for triple the bandwidth and CPU costs, you can save two frames worth of latency in the best-case scenario.”
Instead of upgrading Apex Legends server tickrates, Respawn are more interested in “more efficient improvements” like solving problems that directly contribute to reducing latency, getting rid of problematic servers, and more.