The Apex netcode has never been great, and fans want answers. A lot of players have been asking about the tick rate in particular. So, what is the tick rate in Apex Legends? And is that any good?
Now, please don't misunderstand us, there's also a lot to be happy about, but in this article, we're dealing with tick rate, and Apex has quite a poor reputation here. But we'll start with the basics: what does tick rate mean, and what is the tick rate of Apex Legends?
What Does Tick Rate Mean?
A tick describes a single update of a game in real time, and it's usually measured in Hertz (Hz) as the amount of ticks per second, otherwise known as the tick rate. So if a game's online server has a very high tick rate, then information is being passed very quickly back and forth between the individual players and the central server. Or to be more precise, if a game has a 60 Hz tick rate, then in a single second, the central servers update the game simulation 60 times. You can think of this as the server equivalent to frame rate; the higher the tick rate, the better.
What Is The Tick Rate In Apex Legends?
20 Hz. As the Apex Legends devs confirmed in a recent blog post:
Our servers are running at 20Hz. This means that they simulate the entire world state once every 50ms (1 second—or 1,000ms—divided by 20)
Does Apex Legends Have A Good Tick Rate Compared To Other Games?
No, not really, almost all the biggest FPS games have a higher tick rate, besides Call of Duty. Here are how most other popular shooters stack up these days:
|Call of Duty: Warzone||20|
|Counter Strike: Global Offenisve||60|
Valorant's is exceptionally high, but as a PC-only game, this kind of tick rate is actually viable. On a crossplay game like Apex, those kinds of numbers simply aren't feasible yet.
Will They Change The Tick Rate In Apex Legends?
No, the devs don't plan to change the tick rate of their servers. As they explained in this blog post, once you factor in the frame rate on the client side and the additional problems of lag, they just don't believe it will be worth the cost to give gamers only a marginal improvement:
Put all this math together, and you realize that 20Hz servers result in about five frames of delay, and 60Hz servers result in three frames of delay. So for triple the bandwidth and CPU costs, you can save two frames worth of latency in the best-case scenario. The upside is there, but it isn’t massive, and it wouldn’t do anything for issues that are tied to plain old lag (like getting shot while in cover), ISP-level issues, or bugs (like with hit reg and slow-mo servers).
This isn't just them being cheap, it's a perfectly reasonable explanation, even if it's not the one that gamers want to hear. And it's also more acceptable in a game like Apex with its higher TTK, than it is compared to a game like Valorant, where the wrong move can get you killed in milliseconds.
It will of course, one day, get to a point where 20 Hz is simply unacceptable in modern gaming, but we're not there yet. Who knows, maybe in that future utopia we can finally get some good changes in ranked and the return of Skulltown?