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DICE: you can never have “perfect” netcode in Battlefield 4

DICE says that due to the scale of BF4, the game can never have a perfect netcode.

Battlefield 4 netcode
BF3 was criticized (as have all other Battlefield games in the past) for its netcode, which at times could cause trouble for gamers. Players could die behind cover, there would a delay in animations and deaths, etc. And while DICE has improved the netcode for Battlefield 4, it won’t be perfect, says lead designer Patrick Bach.

Because of the sheer size and scope of a game like Battlefield 4, with all the vehicles, 64 players, destruction, DICE says that you can never have a “perfect” netcode. The netcode has to support 64 players, their movements, vehicles, weapons (where each bullet is tracked), weather effects, and more, all in real time. Therefore, there’s always something that can go wrong, according to DICE.

Speaking in a new video interview, DICE’s Patrick Bach said regarding the netcode improvement in Battlefield 4 (compared to BF3):

“We’ve done a lot to improve the netcode, but I think it’s important to understand that you can never have a game like Battlefield 4 with perfect netcode. Because of the complexity with the amount of players, vehicles, bullet trajectories, destruction, etc. you can never have a perfect netcode. Too many things can go wrong.”

He added that they are improving the netcode with prioritization and tweaks, and said that players will notice a difference in netcode compared to BF3. The game will flow better and generally play better.

Previous games in the series have always had trouble with netcodes, BF3 included. But given the scale of the gameplay, it’s impossible to make everything perfect. DICE has said that the new updates in the Frostbite 3 game engine allows them to update the game quickly with patches, which should be helpful in delivering a smooth gaming experience.

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  1. Your Friendly Neighborhood Poster
    September 6th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    A great improvement would be server side hit detection. The only downfall is players with ridiculously high latency can’t play as smoothly but why would you play on a server with 600MS?

    Then you got the pro’s of server side hit detection:
    No more dieing seconds after you’re behind cover
    No longer at the mercy of hackers having control over hit detection (as in no more hackers doing 2000% of normal damage with a single bullet, no more hackers literally killing entire enemy teams on the entire map with a single press of a button by using a ammo box, etc.)

    In my opinion it just seems like server side hit detection is over all so much more better.

    • Anonimity
      September 6th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Yes but it is much more expensive than client-side. :/

      • whatever
        September 7th, 2013 at 3:06 am

        With a publisher like EA backing them, DICE should be able to afford server-side hit-detection. It would be a lot more worth it. If they can put hundreds of thousands of dollars into marketing and making all sorts of BF4 related accessories ($25 for the strategy guide with codes for in-game content in it anyone?), they can put some of that money into actually making the game better.

        Then again, who am I kidding? This is EA…

      • HiggenZ
        May 1st, 2014 at 1:15 am

        Implying they don’t have enough money.

    • yimi
      September 6th, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      what is ms

      • Skysailer
        September 7th, 2013 at 1:14 am

        ms = milliseconds, ping i guess.

      • phobia
        September 7th, 2013 at 1:50 am

        Milliseconds 😉 He is referring to latency.

        I think I speak for a lot of players when I say I rather leave some of the fancy gimmicks out (like Suppression, Weather effects, etc.) to reduce computational complexity if that means the networking code will be better.

        • Jason
          September 7th, 2013 at 4:33 pm

          I’m with you on this one if it helps the netcode, I prefer smooth game play, wonder if weather can be set by admins?

          • David
            September 9th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

            There are plenty of FPS that are about pure smoothness and all that. BF is about being epic, having tanks, helicopters, jets, all kinds of truly different player classes all together in one game. Notice that in the full interview he says that there is no other game on the market that is as complete as BF, it’s for a reason, it’s hard. The games that you are asking BF to make sacrifices to have that better net experience, are the games without all the features that make Battlefield what it is.

            TL;DR – Battlefield is battlefield because of these features. If you take them away then it’s just like all the other FPS games.

      • MegamanEXE
        September 7th, 2013 at 2:34 am

        mili-seconds. I’d still prefer client-side detection.

      • Ev08u
        September 7th, 2013 at 5:01 am

        multiple sclerosis

      • kane
        September 7th, 2013 at 8:13 am

        “mili-seconds” as in your distance from the server

    • guest
      September 7th, 2013 at 6:52 am

      I got fed up hackers and cheats on the PC versions of the game, gave up on it with the instant deaths by aimbots.

      I am getting a PS4 this Christmas, as the accounts on PSN are much more regulated, I am sure there will be less hacking and more instabans. I’ve played the PS3 version of BF3 a lot and there have never been any hackers that I’ve experienced in the console versoin.

      • George
        September 7th, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        I don’t experience this type of hacking you speak of very often. Find servers that have good admins and streaming PB and you should have a much better experience. I also highly suggest joining a casual/competitive clan and your gaming experience will be great.

      • DuffBulletDoesntWork
        November 17th, 2013 at 6:00 am

        I haven’t experienced any hackers on BF4 on PSN yet. However. older games are absolutely rife with them. I’m not too sure how regulated PSN accounts are compared to Xbox Live accounts. I used to have an xbox live account too and PSN does seem to be a bit more relaxed.

        Also, on topic, I was just playing BF4 and dumped a whole clip into a guys chest as he was running at me. Literally the hit detection marker was on-off-on-off and of course I ended up getting killed by him. That’s some BS.

  2. mike
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:16 pm


  3. St3pp3nWolf77
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    OK so as a bottom line, there won’t be any significant change from BF3. The entertainment of being killed behind covers and walls will continue. Cheaters will have a party again exploiting the maps and killing you around the corners with one shot. But hey… we’ll have levolution.

    • guest
      September 7th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Just get BF4 on PS4 or Xbox1, there is definitely a lot less hacking and cheats. The PS4 is probably the equivalent power of >$1000 PC gaming rig, so at $400 for the PS4, it is an incredible bargain.

      • ViKrieg
        September 7th, 2013 at 8:52 pm

        The game isn’t even out yet, we have no idea if the hacking is going to be any worse or less with Battlefield 4 for ANY platform.
        Trying to convince people to get BF4 on anything other than PC using scare tactics is wrong.
        Wait and see, who knows, what if it turns out someone finds an exploit on Xbox One, or Playstation 4, and they hack it just as eaisly as tou claim the PC version will be?
        We don’t know anything, because the game ISN’T releases yet.
        So stop trying to urge people to drop support for the PC version and just settle with a console version because you say so.

      • Arithon UK
        September 9th, 2013 at 6:05 am

        A PC costs the same or less than a console, so please stop blowing smoke out this urban myth!
        You can spend 1,000’s on ANYTHING, but there’s no need, unless you’re stupidly intent on throwing away money!
        An XBone or PS4 with second controller and a few games costs more than a Core i5 PC with GTX graphics card, so drop it already.
        I’ve spent £124 maintaining three gaming PC’s since 2010, while in the same time I have had to replace two RROD Xbox 360 units and spent well over £80 on peripherals for a PS3. Consoles are more expensive. Period.

        November 13th, 2013 at 1:26 am

        ehmm, nyo

    • whatever
      September 8th, 2013 at 5:48 am

      Pretty much this.

  4. Cowkill
    September 7th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Bach also said that game stats and informations will be server side, maybe it will be the same for hitreg.

  5. jay
    September 7th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I’m glad that most of the hackers are on pc cause you can do more with a pc that’s why games are meant for consoles who cares for a little graphic difference that you can hardly tell

    • Noggsy
      November 4th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Dude you obviously don’t know what you are talking about i got rid of my 360 after i just finished crysis 2 on pc maxxed out and my friend kept nagging me to get the 360 version so i could play with him online.
      After almost cutting out my own eyes due to the hideousness of the xbox version i traded my 360 in at work the very next day the difference was huge and that was before the dx11 and ultra graphics update.

    • Zacg
      November 20th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      I played Bf4 on PC and PS3 the difference is incredibly obvious if you play both. Not even counting the PS3’s 24 player limit. The graphics are acceptable on PS3 however the graphics on my GTX 780 and AMD 8350 are so much better and at 60-120 FPS.

  6. ViKrieg
    September 7th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Why are you being so immature? How are you glad that there are hackers on PC?
    Consoles still get hacked too, yet I don’t find it funny nor am I glad.
    Fun should be universal on ANY gaming platform.
    You aren’t being any better than a PC elitist with an attitude like that.
    Grow up.
    Not too mention there can be vast differences in graphical fidelity between PC’s and consoles.
    Some more apparent than others, but still just the same, on those specific games you can clearly tell, unless you are legaly blind.
    And no, before you cry fanboy or elitist or whatever, I’m merely pointing out unbiased facts.
    Good day to you Sir.

    • guest
      September 8th, 2013 at 1:14 am

      HI ViKrieg, sorry for sounding like a elitist, but it is certainly true that there is far more hacking and cheating on PC multiplayer games than consoles due to the open nature of PC versus more closed console systems and accounts.

      To be honest with you, we are all PC gamers now, because the architecture of the next gen consoles PS4 / X1 are essentially high powered PCs sold at a bargain mass market price. The budget price point and accessbility of consoles will mean they will always sell in many more millions of units than self built PC gaming rigs ever will, and this will only benefit PC gamers in the long run, as AAA mega budget games built for consoles will be more easy to port over to PC. Of course the graphics on $2000 PC are going to be superior, but next to a $1000 PC, the graphics of a $400 PS4 will be almost identical.

      I hope both console gaming and PC gaming really do well in this next generation, as it only benefit core gaming in the long run, if they fail, we will only be left with crappy casual mobile gaming and games like Angry Birds 21, Candy Crush Saga 15, and Temple Run 52 🙂

      • ViKrieg
        September 8th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

        Hey, you’re fine man! Pointing out that there are more hackers on PC because it’s a more open platform is a fact! And this does not make you an elitist at all!
        If you read my posts, I’m never denying that there are hackers on Battlefield for PC, because yes, if you’ve played any length of time on a PC, hacking becomes more apparent, that’s just plain truth.
        My beef stems from anyone who thinks it’s actually funny, or awesome that PC gamers suffer from hackers at all, like the guy above me is saying.
        Hacking DOES happen on consoles too, albeit on a much smaller scale, but it still happens, and it doesn’t make it “great” that they get hacked too. It’s fun for no one but the hacker.
        My point in being that, enjoy games for what they are, sheer enjoyment.
        Don’t bash or hate on anyone who decides to play a game on any platform.
        We’re all just gamers in the end.
        And I’ll give you points for making your post friendly, and unbiased.

  7. DotAX
    September 7th, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Spent 350+ hours in BF3 (PC) and met only 4! hackers.

    • phobia
      September 9th, 2013 at 11:18 am

      I got 900+ hrs in BF3, and I only remember seeing a handful of hackers.
      You see hackusations in chat about every round though, perhaps that explains a thing or two… *sighs*

      • ray sheri
        October 3rd, 2013 at 9:32 pm

        over 1300 hrs and cheaters aplenty every day

        • Gary Glitter
          October 13th, 2013 at 9:29 am

          I’ve got 2000+ hrs and have seen too many hackers to remember.

          So you anti-hackusers can go do one.

          • Andrew
            November 3rd, 2013 at 4:36 am

            Always when I read comments like this I see people raging in the chat about some “hacker” who just killed them, and in reality just was a better player, caught them by surprise or something like that. People who see a cheater in every game, or every day, say that because they don’t know it better or are blatantly lying 99% of the time.

            Or maybe you just should look for better servers.

            Source: About 1000 hours played, about 5 hackers met.

  8. Red
    September 8th, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Spent 1,100+ hours on PS3 version of BF3 and met 0 hackers

  9. Dead420Days
    September 18th, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    i disagree with hit detection sever side then that would mean you’ll have to aim differently for every play whereas you see shoot hit don’t get me wrong it pisses me off to to have 100-600 ping players but admins should regulate ping (nothing higher than 100 or 50?) but i think everyone would also be up dices ass about aiming different per ping

  10. ps2
    October 1st, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Hello PlanetSide 2. Bigger maps, lots of people, lots of vehicles, lots of bullets, PERFECT netcode. DICE, please, learn from the masters.

      November 13th, 2013 at 1:30 am

      Destruction? :))

  11. Samuel Panneton
    October 5th, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    The Real Problem is the hacker who modify the ini and the game making a 5 k rig lag like playstation 1. Even if you got 120 FPS at ultra with AA when hack start everythings froze coding lag and its screwed up. I know it because of game clan experience.

    You better play a couple hours of more buy good Hardware than a hack cause hacker get million dollars to ruin Billion dollar game That would be Epic to a an Antihack Elite with a monthly subscription or Annualy to pay people to stop that things or even a Physical device that get updated directly by Dice Mountly that come when you buy the game

  12. Andrew
    November 1st, 2013 at 11:35 am

    “Players will notice a difference in netcode compared to BF3”

    Oh it’s noticeable alright!
    I am gaming at 60-80 ping on average against players with 10-60, just like on BF3, however whenever I turn a corner or get to a close-quarters encounter with an enemy soldier, I am lucky if I manage to let off two shots into the guy before I’m dead.
    Along with that, shooting at a person requires 8+ hitmarkers to kill, regardless of weapon, however I get barely 2 hits on myself before dying.
    I win these encounters easily in BF3, or at the very least stand a better chance and let off several shots to try and earn my kill, but this is just beyond ridiculous! Because of a piss-poor netcode, I am dead by the time I even realize the guy saw me, while only a few hits are registered on my end.
    Battlefield is the only shooter I play and I was super excited for this installment, but multiplayer infantry is simply unplayable without camping like a cheap bitch.

  13. ArmaGetItOn
    November 5th, 2013 at 5:53 am

    “He added that they are improving the netcode with prioritization and tweaks, and said that players will notice a difference in netcode compared to BF3.”

    We noticed a difference alright! The netcode is noticeably 3 to 4 times worse than BF3 in BF4.

  14. ouroesa
    November 6th, 2013 at 3:59 am

    “amount of players, vehicles, bullet trajectories, destruction, etc. you can never have a perfect netcode”, have EA not heard of a little free game called Planetside 2?

  15. Swagtard
    June 8th, 2015 at 11:32 am

    of course you can have working netcode

    other games have working netcode too

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