Tick rate is one of those expressions that is used a lot on the internet when criticizing games, but relatively few people know what it really means. Actually, the tick rate is a simple measure of how often the central server updates the game for players.
Fortnite’s tick rate is an incredibly divisive topic at the higher levels of play, with some players swearing it makes a big difference in the final stages and others claiming it’s not a problem.
Fortnite’s Tick Rate
If you look at the official Epic numbers, the tick rate for Fortnite is stable at 30 Hz. This is about half way up for online shooters, well below what you’d see on PUBG or Counterstrike, but overall a bit above what you’ll see in Battlefield or Overwatch.
It should be noted that the tick rate has improved a lot from where it was when the game started, which is at a measly 8 Hz. It is entirely possible that Epic will choose to raise interest rates again in the future if it makes sense.
Why Did Epic Choose this Rate?
For some players, anything below the highest possible tick rate is a little offensive. However, Epic has refined the game in a very special way.
It is very likely that the 30 tick rate was chosen so that it could be the same on all devices that can play.
Remember that Fortnite does something that virtually no other game on the market does – it allows players from all major gaming platforms to play together. The tick rate was most likely chosen because it allows for a similar gaming experience across the board.
However, if you’re going to point out the biggest tick rate issues, you’ll want to see the final stages of the Fortnite game. In the average game, there are still quite a few players left in the last circle, something that can lead to serious problems if the game isn’t tuned very carefully.
Coupled with the fact that these players can run on completely different hardware, it would make sense that Epic’s biggest concern is keeping it relatively stable when it gets to this point.
Unfortunately, some point to Fortnite’s endgame as the main reason why the tick rate is too low. Since average players don’t notice the tick rate that much, only experienced players will really feel the impact of a lower rate.
Since these are the players who generally stay on their feet when the circle closes, it is these players who are most affected by a performance difference of even a millisecond.
If there are any legitimate complaints about tick rates in the community, it probably comes from these players. The tick rate in Fortnite is ultimately not something that will affect the majority of players.
However, if you’re really interested in the technical mechanics of the game, you might want to spend some time thinking about why this current tick rate was chosen.
Epic is clearly working to make the game work at its best in its many different forms, so the changes are almost certain as the company continues to improve the technology behind the game.