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The power of strong game servers, especially that of a 128Hz one is no joke. For some, this may just be confusing technical talk, but in reality – the effects of a 128Hz server standard for a video game are drastic. In this article, we’ll be explaining the impact and importance of the servers in Valorant.
What is a Tick Rate?
Let’s get this out of the way – Hz = Hertz, or more commonly called a “tick”. A server’s tick rate is dependent on the number of times that the server reaches the client every second (and gets a ping back). Valorant will be utilizing a dedicated server system, where an independent server will be hosting the game you play. Simply put, a tick rate is the number of times your PC will be sending information to the server every single second.
What does a higher Tick Rate do?
Valorant is touting some pretty impressive optimization, even going as far as stating that computers dating back a decade can run the game at a stable 30 FPS and that all modern PC’s will run the game at 60-144FPS. With a goal to get players to that 144FPS sweet spot, this requires higher performance servers to guarantee maximum competitive integrity.
Let’s use the current industry standard as an example. In Counter-Strike, Valve uses 64Hz servers in matchmaking. This wouldn’t be much of an issue – if CSGO ran for most people at 60Hz. However, this is not the case, with many players opting for 144Hz monitors and rendering at over 200 FPS.
So, if you’re playing the game at a higher refresh rate than the server, you’re going to have information that the server does not get. Hence, those “magical” bullets you never had hit a player. Here’s a good example, from Reddit of all places.
As you can see from the above example (while a bit drastic), the server sees significantly more at higher tick rates. The server is significantly more precise, ensuring as much action as possible is logged. (Note: The example used above was originally used for exemplifying the tick rate of Modern Warfare private matches on console).
Why Isn’t Everyone Using the Power Of 128Hz Game Servers?
Simply put – expenses and purpose. Console games are restricted to 60 FPS, so naturally, any tick rate above 60 is unnecessary. Additionally, many companies opt to set the tick rates to that of half of the frame rate, or 75%. Halving the tick rate to that of the FPS alleviates a drastic amount of overall server strain, providing openings for more servers to run – and depending on the server quality, it could also make servers run smoother.
While high tick rates are all-around positive for gameplay, the quality of the servers themselves and the efficiency of the netcode are as important. With Riot Games (“Riot”) touting under 35 ms ping for players in major cities, we think we’re in good hands.
Sparing No Expense
As we’ve stated, running a server at high tick rates is currently uncommon due to cost and purpose. Riot very well could just half the tick rate to 64 – saving money and hosting more servers as a result, but that would be counter-intuitive to their overall goal of maximum competitive integrity. This move is a powerful statement on Riot’s commitment to the player experience. We could see this arise in other games now that the bar has been raised. Stepping away from the future, there is one thing we know for sure – gameplay feedback in Valorant will definitely be at the top of its class.
For more Valorant news, stay tuned to our Twitter or join our community Discord. For more on Riot’s commitments to positive player experiences, read our article – VALORANT Hitboxes To Stay The Same Across ALL Characters.