Arc System Works has confirmed that BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle rollback netcode is coming later this year. The update, which will hopefully sharpen up online matches and stop players blaming losses on lag (as if), will launch in April, with a beta test period coming next week.
How will BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle rollback work?
Per a press release, Arc System Works is planning to add BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle rollback in April 2022. We first got word that this would be happening back in December last year, but now we've got a concrete release window for it (although no specific date as of yet). The update will roll out for Steam and PlayStation 4, and there's no word on whether Nintendo Switch players can expect it on their systems yet. Looks like you'll have to cope without it if you're playing Cross Tag Battle on Switch.
As Arc System Works says, rollback will come in handy for "control inputs" and helping players to battle one another smoothly across multiple different regions. If you want in on the beta test for rollback, you'll need to be running the Steam version of Cross Tag Battle. It's likely more information will be handed out regarding how to access that beta closer to the time, so we'll bring you more on that as soon as we get it. Unfortunately, if you're playing the PS4 version, you won't be able to access the beta for this feature.
What is rollback netcode, and why are more and more games using it?
Rollback netcode is a technical term for the way in which online multiplayer games parse inputs between players. When a game uses rollback, it'll virtually eliminate online delay by trying to predict the inputs you're about to use. It'll then send those inputs to players. However, if the game is wrong and you don't use the input it thinks you're going to, it will "roll back" (hence the name) to a previous state. This is usually such a lightning-fast procedure that you don't spot it happening, so it results in a smoother online play experience. Rollback is the standard for games like DNF Duel and The King of Fighters '98, while other titles like Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and Rivals of Aether are either considering it or trialing it in beta.
With so many fighting games now adopting rollback as standard, titles that launch without it are immediately subject to criticism from many members of the fighting game community. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate famously doesn't feature rollback; series creator Masahiro Sakurai said implementing rollback would create "substantial side effects". Given the beneficial effect it has on fighting games like Guilty Gear Strive, though, it's hard to imagine a fighting game launching without considering rollback now. We'll bring you more on this as soon as we get it.
Are you looking forward to BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle rollback netcode? Let us know in the comments below!