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How tick rate affects your game?

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Not long ago the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive subreddit published a study on the impact of tick rate on shooting. It turned out that there is a difference between servers with 64 and 128 tick rates! CS.MONEY tells what it means and whether you should blame the “wrong” tick rate for your mistakes. 

What is tick rate?

Tick rate is the frequency at which a server updates game data, which is measured in hertz (Hz). For example, Battlefield 4 has servers with frequency rates of 20, 40, 60, or more hertz. If such servers were in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, then we would say that they have a 20, 40, and 60 tick rate, respectively. 

Valve’s official matchmaking servers are updated 64 times per second. Third-party services provide access to servers with a doubled update rate – 128 times per second. These are the two main tick rate values. In extremely rare cases, you can find Counter-Strike: Global Offensive servers with a different tick rate. Most often they are launched for research purposes.

What does tick rate affect?

The higher the update rate, the more responsive the game is. This concept includes smoothness of movement, registration of hits, and other parameters. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive the server’s tick rate also directly affects the gameplay.

The main difference between playing on CS:GO servers with a 64 and 128 tick rate is in the use of grenades in jump throws. While such a throw, the grenade’s flight path will change depending on the tick rate. This is a known fact that has been proven by the game community. 

The difference in tick rates also affects other aspects of the game. Due to the fact that 64 updates per second are already quite a lot, switching to servers with the update rate of 128 times per second does not affect the gameplay. Moreover, it is impossible to notice the difference. 

This conclusion was made by the Reddit user kinsi55. He tested 760 volunteers who played on servers with a 47, 64, and 128 tick rate. The testers were not aware of the server parameters and could not use in-game tools. According to the results of the test, it turned out that the players were unable to determine the server’s tick rate by the quality of the in-game process.

Impact on shooting

Despite the fact that determining the server’s tick rate is impossible without using special tools, the influence of this parameter on the gameplay cannot be denied. ZooL has done specific research based on the M4A4 firing. The point of the experiment was to shoot in a fully automatic mode with the fire spread disabled and the display of hits on the server-side enabled. As a result, it turned out that the M4A4 becomes more accurate with an increase of tick rate.

So does this mean that a higher tick rate makes weapons cooler and more accurate? Not quite. In fact, shooting on servers with 64 and 128 tick rates shows a minimal difference in the gameplay. ZooL only detected a small deviation in shooting at a distance of more than 22 meters! 

If we take into account other factors such as the natural fire spread, mistakes of the recoil control, the movement of the shooter and the target then it turns out that the difference in shooting on servers with 64 and 128 tick rates is very small and it’s extremely rare that it can cause a miss. 

How can I determine and change the ticket rate? 

The easiest way to determine the tick rate is by using the net_graph 1 command. It displays information on the connection and the game performance including the tick rate. You can find its value in the third line.

This can only be useful when playing on community servers. Valve’s official matchmaking is always performed on servers with a 64 tick rate, and popular third-party platforms such as FACEIT or ESEA always use servers with a 128 tick rate.

To train with the desired tick rate, you can launch the game with the appropriate command -tickrate 128. It must be entered into the game launch parameters. To do this, open the Steam library, right-click on CS:GO, and select the settings item in the drop-down menu. In the window that opens, you need to click on launch parameters settings and enter -tickrate 128 there with a hyphen in the beginning.

After that, the game, when the bot mode is selected, will create a server with a 128 tick rate. The command will not in any way affect the matchmaking or the ability to connect to it, nor will it change the Trust Factor value.

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