Sakurai confirms Smash Ultimate Online improvements coming soon

Sakurai discusses Min MinNintendo

Smash Ultimate’s online play will be getting more upgrades in the future, according to series director Masahiro Sakurai.

In his most recent Famitsu column, Sakurai touched on the improvements that were added with the surprise Small Battlefield patch on August 4.

As translated by PushDustin and Robert Sephazon, Sakurai explained how a lot of attention was put into making the input delay for one-on-one fighting very low, however, delays in communication could cause the match to drop completely.

“Some small adjustments to matchmaking and other optimizations are still being tweaked,” the game director said.

While the specific details about these improvements have not been revealed, Sakurai says they are “largely client-side, and therefore there is a limit to such improvements.”

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Her further explained that as internet speeds have improved over the years, upgrades to online play has some risks which he will have to adapt to and review accordingly.

Most shockingly, Sakurai also revealed that the Smash team had considered using a variant of rollback netcode and had researched it. Ultimately, he decided against it, claiming the side-effects were “substantial.”

It’s unclear exactly what the side-effects were, but fans of Smash Ultimate have been eagerly hoping for some major improvements to online, so the fact that Sakurai decided against rollback netcode must sting a bit.

Additionally, while there are requests from players to see when an opponent is using WiFi, it’s apparently “not possible to refuse a player based on their connection type.”

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Sakurai also touched on the Small Battlefield stage itself, saying that with Battlefield, it’s more of a stage for four players and not one-on-one combat.

While it would have been “impossible” to add 100 Small Battlefield stage variants, one unique feature is that any music from the game can be played on the stage with over 1,000 tracks available on Battlefield and Final Destination stages.

It will be interesting to see exactly what improvements Sakurai has in mind for Smash’s online going forward and just how they will impact the experience for those around the world.