Modern Warfare netcode is allegedly worse than Black Ops 4

The Modern Warfare netcode may be the latest controversy in a rather long series afflicting Activision’s upcoming shooter. With the beta out of the way, some players are now expressing their concerns over lag and how it affected their experience.

A robust network infrastructure is crucial for the success of any multiplayer shooter such as Modern Warfare. However, a recent test is pointing to a significant backstep for Infinity Ward’s game when compared to last year’s release, Black Ops 4.

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Based on his experience with the Modern Warfare PC beta, YouTuber Battle(non)sense shared his thoughts, and these were far from laudable. He starts by discussing how the beta only used dedicated servers, something that is a clear advantage over listen servers, which must communicate with remote players over the internet connection of the hosting player. Most Call of Duty games use listen servers as well, so it’s likely that they will be available in time for the official launch.

One of the issues with the Modern Warfare netcode is that the ping values shown in the overlay and the scoreboard are incorrect. While Battle(non)sense was seeing a ping of around 28ms, the game only displayed a ping of 7. Naturally, many players shared their thoughts on this bug, saying that they suffered from lag issues that were inconsistent with the lower ping that the game showed them.

While the video covers other subjects and even touches upon DICE’s Battlefield games, the more interesting part comes at around 5:00, with a network lag test on dedicated servers between two players with a ping of 28ms. The Modern Warfare multiplayer netcode is tested in Domination, Domination 20, and Ground War, for the Damage, Gunfire, and Movement variables.

Modern Warfare netcode multiplayer comparison

It’s when these figures are compared with Black Ops 4 that the changes are noticeable. The Modern Warfare netcode is clearly inferior to the one from 2018’s Call of Duty game. However, when other competing shooters enter the scene, the outlook becomes worse, with Fortnite Battle Royale, Overwatch, and even Battlefield 5 boasting vastly superior performances.

Battle(non)sense offers an explanation to why you didn’t always feel the delay during the Modern Warfare beta. He says that the core of the game is built around the shooting experience, so when you are shooting at other players, the response is almost immediate. It’s when you are on the receiving end of the shots that the issues arise, with players reporting being shot while behind cover, or why there are discrepancies between your actions and what you see on the killcam.

Modern Warfare releases on October 25, 2019, giving Infinity Ward mere weeks to improve on these issues. With the loot boxes and PS4 Survival mode exclusivity, it’s not like the game needs more controversy.