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Counter Strike 2: What is Tick Rate


If you’ve been playing Counter Strike for a while now, then chances are you know about the high number of players who have been asking for a tick rate increase for years now. Well, while they didn’t exactly get what they asked for, they got something so much better.

Tick rate pretty much means the number of times a server refreshes in a given time period. If you have a low tick rate, then there’s a high chance of certain actions being lost if they occurred in between ticks. Counter Strike 2 aims to change this by getting rid of ticks entirely and making it so the servers know the exact moment something happens.

We’ll be going through what tick rate is, as well as what Counter Strike 2 is doing differently to combat all the issues with traditional tick rates.

What is Tick Rate

Tick rate refers to the number of times a server refreshes in a specific time period. Every time it refreshes (or ticks), all the input commands made are registered by the game. The higher the server tick rate, the faster a player receives input updates from the server. A higher server tick rate makes an online game feel more accurate and responsive to the player.

Unfortunately, when it comes to CS:GO, the tick rate has been stuck at a rate of 64 for years now (though it’s possible to play on 128 if you use third party servers like Faceit or ESEA) despite the playerbase asking Valve to bump it up for a while now.

The reason so many players want the tick rate to be increased is that sometimes, although rather rare, it happens that a player inputs a command, but because the input time is between ‘ticks’ it doesn’t get registered and pretty much gets lost. While this wouldn’t mean much in any other game, in a fast paced FPS game like CS:GO where every small movement counts, it’s a huge deal.

Imagine if you’re about to throw a game winning grenade, but because of the mouse movement input being lost, you end up throwing the grenade somewhere else. This can apply to a game winning shot, or any other crucial action as well.

How Counter Strike 2 Moves Beyond Tick Rate

Now, what does Counter Strike do that bypasses this problems? Does it increase the tick rate? No. Instead, Valve has found a way to get rid of ticks entirely with their sub tick update architecture.

In this game, regardless of the tick rate, the server will know exactly when a player motions forward, or fires a shot, or performs any other action. In simpler words, there will be certain actions that will be tracked independently, with them not relying on ticks at all.

Because of this, your moving and shooting will always be equally responsive, and as long as you aim your grenade properly, it will always land where you want it to land. There will be absolutely zero chances of your inputs being lost because of ticks ever again. Truly a game changing feature. As they say, what you see is what you get.

What’s next?

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