League of Legends

Riot introduces LoL Client Cleanup Campaign to finally "fix the client"

by Andrew Amos
Riot Games

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Riot has once again promised League of Legends players they are going to “fix the client” for good, introducing the Client Cleanup Campaign to help hit “two specific, long-term targets for client performance.”

The League client has been a massive issue for Riot over the course of the last few years. After rebuilding it from scratch, and initiating the Client Strike Team back in 2017, it's only gotten worse as time wears on.

However, Riot are looking to finally stomp out the issues once and for all, and they’re making sure the players can hold them accountable.

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The Client Cleanup Campaign for League will be a fully-transparent process over the next six months to make the launcher better for all users.

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The client rework back in Season 6 didn't solve many issues, so Riot is starting from scratch in Season 10.

Revealed in a March 2 developer blog on the League website, communications lead Ryan ‘Cactopus’ Rigney broke down what players should expect over the course of Season 10.

“Over the next six months or so we'll ship a number of changes and improvements to the League client's backend infrastructure, he said.

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“To track our process, we'll be sharing specific targets for two main client performance metrics: client bootstrap time (how long it takes for the client to boot up) and champ select lock-in time.”

“In the process of improving these metrics, we'll also be tackling things like bugs, crashes, etc. Put simply, our goal is to fix the client.”

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Champion lock-in times are currently eight times higher than Riot wants.

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Riot has set themselves a target to get champion select lock-in response time down to 100ms for 90% of players, and client loading times down to 15 seconds for 90% of players. On top of that, they’ll be “systematically” fixing other bugs.

“Today it takes as long as 40 seconds for many of you to get through bootstrap,” he said. “Lots of things throughout the client like notifications, the friends list, and the collection tab are affected by the plugins and apps that start up during bootstrap.

“So although our stated long-term goal is to get bootstrap time down to 15 seconds for the 90th percentile player, we think that in the process we'll also be addressing a bunch of bugs and inefficiencies that have an impact throughout the client.”

The changes for the client bootstrap will be coming first, with a complete overhaul of the champion select backend infrastructure on the way for later this year.

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Players should notice an improvement in the client's performance from mid-2020.

“We'll have to fundamentally change the way our champ select backend infrastructure works,” said Cactopus. “We're going to rework how all data is passed through from server to client during champ select, which will take some time.”

While there’s a long way to go, League players should expect a better client experience by the end of Season 10.

“It's unclear how close to good’ we'll be when we finish this six-month process,” he said, “but when we get to the end of it, we think we'll probably have made a ton of progress and discovered clear next steps.”