I’ve been having a rollicking good time with Ubisoft’s cops-versus-other-cops game Rainbow Six Siege [official site] over the past few weeks, but if you were to take a cross-section of random internet people’s opinions you might think I was the only one having fun. Complaints, complaints, complaints, as far as the eye can see, and all centered around one stat: tick rate.
Well you can stop complaining, or at least find a different excuse. Patch 1.2 fixes the issue.
If you’ve spent the last month not browsing the Rainbow Six Siege subreddit, let me fill you in. Tick rate is a measurement of how often your computer and a server communicate with each other to update your position. It’s measured in hertz, or “times per second.” In other words, a “10 tick server” updates at 10 Hz or ten times per second.
With me so far? Great. Higher tick rates are better because they update more frequently and thus give a more accurate picture of the battlefield. Low tick rate can lead to problems where, for instance, you’ve disappeared around a corner but someone still shoots you because the server doesn’t know you made it into cover. It’s frustrating.
Most shooters land around 50 Hz, or fifty times per second. Top-tier competitive Counter-Strike is played on 128-tick servers. Rainbow Six Siege launched with 30-tick servers and—for whatever reason—a Reddit rumor started that they were actually 10-tick servers.
Either of those would be abnormally slow for a high-stakes game like Siege where a single bullet can mean the difference between life and death. People were upset.
The good news is that as of yesterday’s patch 1.2, all regions are running on 60-tick servers. A few regions had already been bumped, but now it’s official. And you can even set your preferred data center, though you’ll currently have to go outside the game to do it.
Whether we’ll see an end to the complaints? I doubt it. Not yet, anyway. Given the issues I’ve seen in matchmaking, I have a sneaking suspicion tick rate’s been used as a scapegoat for some actual, deeper issues with the game’s netcode. But to be honest, I don’t really care—I’m having fun with the game regardless.
Other than tick rate, patch 1.2 is just miscellaneous improvements and bug fixes. “Refining the quality of PVP matches with more evenly matched opponents,” “Increased match quality by ensuring players using the same data center get matched together, leading to better ping,” and so on, though there are still plenty of issues Ubisoft plan to address in the near future.