- Dec 11, 2018
With pretty much the entirety of the fighting game community shifting their focus to online play for the time being, titles that already had some of the best online experiences around have seen some resurgence in popularity within playerbases.
Skullgirls is often regarded as one of those fighting games with the best online play around with its GGPO rollback netcode though it's now currently in the process of receiving a new upgrade to those systems for players on PC.
Earlier this month, Lab Zero Games took to the Skullgirls community page on Steam to announce they had released a beta update for the 2D fighting game meant to make poorer quality connections better and has been adjusted multiple times since.
The netcode improvement was something first created by a community member for the game before being implemented by the developers themselves officially though you can't play it currently by simply booting up the game on PC.
To access this new GGPO update, players must first open up the properties for Skullgirls on their system and go to the beta section. Then they must type "goodgamepeaceout" in the dialogue box, select "Check Code," and opt into the ggpotest option on the menu.
What does this improvement do? We'll let Lab Zero explain it for themselves.
What does the Skullgirls GGPO update do?
Normally, when GGPO detects that your game is ahead of the other player's inputs by too much, the game will wait for a small amount of time during which nothing happens. That's standard. However, Skullgirls has frameskip - that is, it runs faster than normal by 'skipping' rendering one frame out of every seven. So instead of simply waiting, now when GGPO detects that your game is ahead, it will simply not skip frames sometimes, rather than waiting, to slow down little by little and allow the other player to catch up without interfering with gameplay.
This essentially boils down to fewer dropped inputs caused by the game dropping frames during a rollback and also apparently helps address dropped or messed up sounds during sync as well.
As of April 26, the developers say this update is nearing completion for use in the standard version of the game though no time table has been set in stone as of yet.
While this is exciting news for PC owners of Skullgirls, console players will likely not have the opportunity to see this update make its way over to other systems due to the required costs of updating a game on PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
The game is also a legacy title for Lab Zero at this point, a small team themselves, who's primary focus the last few years being work and support for their RPG title Indivisible.
There's also the mobile version of Skullgirls available which will soon reveal a new character who is currently not playable in the fighting game itself.
Skullgirls is generally seen as among the best online experiences of modern fighting game titles along with others like Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat X / 11, so it's probably worth looking into if you're looking for great examples of rollback netcode in the FGC.
You can find more information about the continuing updates for the game's beta on Steam.