Unlike offline games, online games such as rocket league base a large chunk of their gaming experience on the quality of internet connections and the reliability of the game servers. Often, an unstable connection or problems in receiving data from the servers can neatly affect users’ gaming experience.
Have you ever heard of rubberbanding? How about experiencing ball jitters? Has it ever happened that you drive the ball all the way through your opponent’s goal and randomly teleport yourself in different areas of the field? If the answer is yes, you might be suffering from packet loss.
What is packet loss?
When you access the Internet or any network, units of data called packets are exchanged. If one or more packets fail to reach their intended destination, the phenomenon known as “packet loss” occurs. For users, packet loss manifests itself in the form of network outages, slow service, or even total loss of network connectivity. Any application can be prone to packet loss. Still, the most likely victims are applications that rely on real-time packet processing, such as video games.
Causes of Packet Loss
Packet loss can be caused by various problems; the most common are described below.
- Network congestion: Network congestion, as the name suggests, occurs when a traffic-congested network reaches maximum capacity. Packets must wait their turn to be delivered. Still, suppose the connection slows down enough that it cannot hold any more packets. In that case, the incoming packets are simply discarded or ignored, so the network can recover. This happens when you have too many devices connected to a single internet network.
- Network Troubleshooting: Defective or outdated network devices, such as firewalls, network switches, and routers, can significantly slow traffic. A computer can experience delays, packet losses and general interruptions in connectivity if, for example, the WiFi card is outdated or needs a software upgrade; in this case, it is necessary to review and update the hardware to handle the increased throughput.
- Software bugs: Software bugs are another common cause of packet loss. Network errors may occur if there are any updates to download on a game. Sometimes restarting the game or computer can fix these problems, but the software needs to be updated more often.
Performance and Network Graphs
If you are experiencing performance or connectivity issues, you can enable in-game graphs to display useful details that can help you narrow down the problem. Performance and Network Graph can be used to check FPS count and In-Game Packet Loss or slow internet connection. Thanks to the last update, this method works both on Epic and Steam.
Enabling the Performance and Network Graphs:
- Open the Settings menu in Rocket League
- Select the Interface tab
- Choose the graph type from the Performance Graphs drop-down menu
- Select “Network Graph (Short or Long)”
This option will display network statistics over a short or long amount of time.
Fix packet loss in Rocket League
The Rocket League services can have some problems, causing packet loss in the matches lobby. Most of the time, the problem seems to resolve itself without any apparent solution because often, the problem is related to the game servers. However, sometimes players may experience constant packet loss.
In the following steps, I will list some methods to help resolve packet loss on rocket league.
Input Buffering Settings
Input Buffer is how many frames of client input the server currently has queued. Higher values may increase input lag, rubber-banding, and latency.
In this section, we will analyze the different options available.
Consider changing the input buffer settings from “default” to “CSTS” or “STS”.
STS (Sim Time Scaling) – This allows the game server to instruct your client to speed up or slow down an input stream.
CSTS (Continuous Sim Time Scaling) – A more aggressive version of STS. It uses a continuous feedback loop to increase game speed.
Both STS and CSTS are good strategies for latency mitigation. These may be more effective for players with connectivity issues (Spotty Wi-Fi, etc.).
Reboot your wireless router.
Often connection problems are related to a malfunction of the router that can easily be solved with a restart.
- Unplug your router or modem from its power outlet (don’t just turn it off).
- Wait 15-20 seconds, then plug it back in.
- Allow the device a minute or two to turn back on.
Also, consider using a wired connection instead of WIFI. It may seem simple, but doing this can solve many connection problems.
Select the right Server Region.
Selecting the correct region from which to play is essential to be able to have in-game performance that allows players to play without problems
- Select Play from the Main Menu.
- Select Casual or Competitive.
- Select the Regions button in the top right.
- Select your region.
Close Programs in the background with Task Manager.
Often some programs left running in the background require a large chunk of our internet connection, making our gaming experience problematic. To get a good internet connection, it is often necessary to close these applications.
By pressing the key combination CTRL + SHIFT + ESC, you can open the Task Manager. This window allows you to see all possible information about your processes. By checking the “Network” column, it will be easy to understand which applications require large volumes of data and consequently close them to have a better gaming experience.
Forwarding the Rocket League ports.
Think of your router as a huge electric fence or wall, with a few doors to keep you safe. Your router is preconfigured with some ports open to allow you to access the Internet, but the others are closed. So to access your email server or game server, you will need to open extra ports in your router so that external traffic can enter. This is called Port Forwarding. For this method, we have created a useful guide on how to port forward rocket league.
Personally, my two favorite methods are closing programs with the task manager and restarting the router. Every time we turn on our PC, numerous programs are running in the background. These programs can be, for example, the launchers of various software such as the Steam or Epic launcher. This software requires a large percentage of our connection bandwidth and often slows down my game by causing connection drops or lag in the game. It is also sufficient to restart the game to fix the problems. But often, one of these methods is enough to solve any problem.