This game has been out for over 4 months now and the multiplayer is still borderline unplayable. This may only be a problem for non-US players (I am from the UK) but the game quality in terms of lag, latency, players dropping, host migration, bad skill matchup, etc, is absolutely disgraceful. I’m lucky to get a single good quality game every 20/30 games.
I wanted to get some evidence to back this up, so I did some testing over 20 games to see how the latency in game varied (I tested 4 times per game and took an average) and also made notes about other things that happened. I also performed 4 speed tests per game (and took an average) on my laptop to UK servers for ping comparison. These are all in H2A, its similar to what happens in other playlists as well but for the sake of testing I kept it to a single playlist.
Game 1: Average latency 424 ms, Speedtest average ping 79 ms
Game 2: Average latency 288 ms, Speedtest average ping 45 ms
Game 3: Average latency 127 ms, Speedtest average ping 46 ms
Game 4: Average latency 340 ms, Speedtest average ping 45 ms
Game 5: Average latency 160 ms, Speedtest average ping 58 ms
Game 6: Average latency 476 ms, Speedtest average ping 89 ms
Game 7: Average latency 439 ms, Speedtest average ping 72 ms
Game 8: Average latency 405 ms, Speedtest average ping 74 ms
Game 9: Average latency 369 ms, Speedtest average ping 68 ms
Game 10: Average latency 380 ms, Speedtest average ping 102 ms
Game 11: Average latency 408 ms, Speedtest average ping 65 ms
Game 12: Average latency 429 ms, Speedtest average ping 35 ms
Game 13: Average latency 434 ms, Speedtest average ping 34 ms
Game 14: Average latency 366 ms, Speedtest average ping 44 ms
Game 15: Average latency 320 ms, Speedtest average ping 47 ms
Game 16: Average latency 484 ms, Speedtest average ping 48 ms
Game 17: Average latency 445 ms, Speedtest average ping 87 ms
Game 18: Average latency 182 ms, Speedtest average ping 85 ms
Game 19: Average latency 424 ms, Speedtest average ping 95 ms
Game 20: Average latency 430 ms, Speedtest average ping 46 ms
In 11/20 games there was some form of “lag” (ie a player teleporting, double grenade, failed reload or bullets re-appearing in the clip etc)
In 8/20 games there was a host migration
In 14/20 games there was over 30 points difference between the teams (ie a poor skill matchup, often related to the high latency)
In 12/20 games players either quit or were dropped (I don’t know how to tell which but these often coincided with the host migrations)
In 6/20 games I had team mates from USA (nothing against them at all but this might explain why latency was so bad)
So there are several things wrong with this, including but not limited to:
- Why are host migrations occurring so frequently if we are meant to be on dedicated servers? I understand there is a P2P fall back but why is it employed so often when clearly the game quality is suffering because of it?
- The game latency is usually 300ms-500ms when my ping to UK servers is usually 40ms-90ms. How is this difference so big? There is no way games can be on dedicated servers and have such high latency. It seems as though the majority of games are on P2P (and often shoddy hosts at that).
- I have no problem whatsoever playing with americans, but perhaps the reason the latency is so high is because I’m being put in games with either a US host or US server. Why is this needed?
Furthermore, I performed a similar test in Titanfall to see whether it was an isolated problem. Titanfall has a dedicated server selection screen which shows your ping to the various servers. Incidentally, it usually shows my ping as 60ms-100ms to the North Europe and West Europe server. My Ping to the east coast US servers is usually 300ms-400ms. I tested 10 games and my latency in-game was 80ms-110ms (as expected, similar to what the server selection screen showed), 1 instance of lag, and no host migration (obviously).
It seems so clear to me that the MCC dedicated servers are either a lie or aren’t being employed in europe. How hard can it be to get this right in a first party game where clearly Titanfall (not even first party) shows that it is entirely possible?
I’ve been a fan of halo and have stuck with it through thick and thin since CE. I would even go as far to say that the only reason I have an xbox is because of halo. What should have been a flagship game that could have really saved the Xbox One has been a bit of a disaster from launch. Matchmaking search times have improved with all the patches, but the game quality is still too low. Every time I give it another chance and try to play again I feel more and more frustrated and its pushing me away which is really sad. And I know many others who feel the same, several of which have traded the game in and some have stopped playing the Xbox One altogether in favour of PS4.
Please give us the option to choose our dedicated servers for multiplayer games. Giving us the option to choose would remove all doubt about whether we are on servers or P2P. Even if we have to wait longer for games why not give us the option to avoid P2P altogether if we want to? I would much rather play one game an hour on a good server than only wait 2 minutes for a rubbish game on P2P or a foreign server. Why not give us the option? People who don’t mind P2P and want quicker games can continue as they are. You would improve the game quality for everyone who wants it without having a negative impact on anyone. Everybody wins! This is a no brainer and frankly it is ridiculous that this hasn’t happened yet.
tldr - MCC clearly doesn’t effectively employ dedicated servers in Europe, see evidence above. Give us a “Select dedicated server and never play P2P” option like titanfall to prove me wrong and improve game quality for those who don’t mind waiting a bit longer for their game. This is easy to implement and will never affect anyone negatively.