Dragon Ball FighterZ and Samurai Shodown are getting rollback netcode

Image for Dragon Ball FighterZ and Samurai Shodown are getting rollback netcode
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Annual fighting game tournament EVO returned as an in-person event for the first time since 2019 this year. As well as the competitions, including the first MultiVersus tournament, EVO 2022 included some welcome quality-of-life announcements from Bandai Namco and SNK: rollback netcode is coming to both Dragon Ball FighterZ and Samurai Shodown.

SNK broke its news via a brief but flashy Samurai Shodown trailer that told players to EMBRACE DEATH and EMBRACE ROLLBACK, which will come in an update next year. Bandai Namco simply brought out producer Tomoko Hiroki during the Dragon Ball FighterZ grand final to announce that "we have decided to implement rollback netcode to Dragon Ball FighterZ," which the crowd certainly appreciated. 

Rollback netcode is a big deal in the world of online fighting games, and a feature frequently demanded by their community. With traditional delay-based netcode, button presses aren't acted on until they're received by your opponent, which means both players see the same thing at the same time but experience lag between input and action. With rollback netcode each player sees their moves immediately, while seeing a simulated prediction of what their opponent's doing that will be corrected if it proves wrong. Hence: rollback. 

Sometimes a rollback just means skipping the first few frames of an attack animation, and sometimes it can result in noticeable teleporting, but it's still preferred over the mushy feel of delay-based input—especially when network delays can fluctuate unpredictably, resulting in choppiness. 

Rollback netcode has been implemented in a wide variety of games like Killer Instinct, Injustice 2, Lethal League, Street Fighter 5, and Them's Fightin' Herds. Even Spelunky 2 uses it. Notable holdouts include Tekken 7 and Soulcalibur 6, though perhaps its addition to Dragon Ball FighterZ means it'll come to future games in Bandai Namco's other fighting game series as well. 

We may not have to wait long to find out, as EVO 2022 also made time for a teaser for a new Tekken game.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.