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A theory about the “lag” affecting Xbox (and other platforms) since v7.00

FortniteBattleRoyale4 - A theory about the "lag" affecting Xbox (and other platforms) since v7.00
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Copied from this comment, under the post called "Whenever I use my hoverboard it has a huge lag spike."


This happens on PC too. I don't think it has to do with the server, though… this bug happens when things first appear on the screen. Everyone mentions the hoverboard and TEDDY, and I've also seen it with weapon models, textures, and even HUD graphics.

Remember these patch notes about loader improvements?

* Fixed a potential performance degradation when loading content. * Improved the data layout on Xbox One to improve loading times generally and reduce building streaming issues in Battle Royale. 

My theory: those "fixes" are broken, causing the client to randomly get stuck when it loads content from disk, and it loses sync with the server until the content loads, which feels just like network lag but isn't. Since they were targeted mostly at Xbox, the problem is most severe on Xbox.

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  • Some aspects of gameplay are simulated on the client and synced with the server (like movement), and when an item involved in that simulation takes too long to load, the client gets out of sync until it's ready.
  • The hoverboard doesn't affect your movement until it loads. If its model gets stuck loading, you still see yourself walking around, because the hoverboard won't affect your movement until it appears.
  • But the server doesn't need to load your hoverboard model (or just doesn't have this bug), so your movement is affected immediately, as it should be. To the husks and everyone else, it looks like you just hopped on your board and started zooming around like a madman.
  • Once the loader gets unstuck, the client syncs up with the server, and you see yourself snap over to where you actually are.
  • Everyone has been calling this lag, because the client losing sync with the server and snapping back into sync is the same thing that happens when there's a network problem. But you can tell the difference because (1) the net debug overlay shows a normal ping and no packet loss, and (2) one of the models that should be on/near your hero isn't visible, like a hoverboard or weapon.
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Am I right? Let's find out. If you're experiencing this on Xbox or another platform, please keep an eye out for any other content that takes a long time to load.

  • Weapons don't appear when you switch between them?
  • Weapon icons sometimes missing from your inventory or HUD?
  • "Lag" is worst when you first start the game, enter a mission, or activate an ability?
  • If you also play BR… the island is blurry or chunky while you parachute in?

These won't all cause the in-game symptoms of "lag" (like suddenly teleporting or taking damage), but they all point to a common cause.

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