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The real winners of Evo 2022? Crossplay and rollback netcode

If a game developer did not tease a new game at Evo 2022, it most likely confirmed the addition of crossplay and rollback netcode to its fighting game. As announced during the fighting game tournament, recent fighting game hits like The King of Fighters XV and Guilty Gear Strive will expand their audience with crossplay support, while even games that came out years ago are getting improved rollback netcode for online play.

SNK’s Samurai Shodown and the current-gen versions of Dragon Ball FighterZ, will get rollback netcode in 2023, several years after their respective launches. Over the weekend, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax got rollback netcode as well, and upcoming fighting games in the pipeline like Street Fighter 6 have it too. It might sound like technical jargon if you’re not a fighting game aficionado, but it’s the kind of announcement that makes die-hard fans cheer.

Following Evo 2022, it’s clear that developers who aren’t adding rollback netcode and crossplay to their fighting games are behind the times and their games won’t have the same appeal as the countless others that are taking the proper steps to improve.

Nakoruru and Earthquake prepare to fight each other in Samurai Shodown.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Crossplay and rollback netcode explained

For years, fighting game fans called for games to implement crossplay and swap out delay-based netcode for rollback netcode. But what exactly do all of those terms mean?

Crossplay is an easy-to-understand boon for any online title. Players want to play and compete with their friends no matter their preferred gaming platform. This sentiment is true for fighting games, and this approach ensures that the hardcore community won’t feel tied to one platform out of necessity. Implementing the necessary online infrastructure and account systems to support crossplay is a tall task for developers, but it’s a challenge that studios like SNK and Arc System works are clearly OK with undertaking to maintain their communities. Still, those cross-platform connections mean nothing if the netcode isn’t good.

The type of netcode a video game uses determines how it handles networking and connectivity online. In the fighting game genre, quick response times are very important, and desynchronization during online play can determine whether or not someone will win or lose. Historically, many developers used delay-based netcode for their online fighting games.

King of Fighters XV screenshot of Leona and King of Dinosaurs fighting.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As its name suggests, delay-based netcode delays player inputs so they can happen at the same time. That means if a player with poor internet conditions desyncs, the game will still delay the actions of the player with no connection issues. In competitive fighting games, every frame matters, and the delay-based netcode approach causes several frames worth of unresponsiveness online. Delay-based netcode could potentially ignore critical frames that candetermine whether or not someone wins a match, so it’s no surprise that fighting game fans don’t like this netcode approach.

Rollback netcode, on the other hand, is a much more effective solution to the desynchronization problem. Instead of delaying a player’s action, rollback netcode predicts what the other player will do and either continues with that action if correct or teleports the opponent to the proper position when their connection comes through. While delay-based netcode punishes players with a good internet connection, rollback netcode doesn’t. Games with rollback netcode feel smoother to play and more accurately portray the response times of pros playing them. I recommend watching these videos from Core-A Gaming and Code Mystics for a more visual breakdown.

Rollback’s renaissance

After the COVID-19 pandemic began and fighting game tournaments went online, the strengths of games with rollback netcode and the weaknesses of those without became immediately noticeable. Since then, the positive impact of rollback netcode became undeniable, so developers couldn’t help but take notice and improve their games. Although physical tournaments like Evo 2022 are returning, the online competitive scene is still critical to the fighting game experience. As such, fighting game developers would be wise to keep these features in mind going forward.

Two characters fight in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Looking into the future, fighting games on the horizon emphasize these features. MultiVersus has strong staying power thanks to those features. Street Fighter 6 will have both rollback netcode and crossplay at release. As SNK implemented these features in its most recent fighting games, crossplay seems likely for the next Fatal Fury/Garou game that was announced this past weekend. All eyes are on the next Tekken to see if it will have rollback netcode and crossplay upon its release.

Whether it’s a new indie team making a name for themselves or a storied studio continuing a long-running series, fighting game developers need to accept that crossplay and rollback netcode are musts for a fighting game to stay relevant in 2022. Games like Dragon Ball FighterZ and Samurai Shodown might even see a bit of a renaissance after getting rollback netcode next year, so it’s a great way to keep old games alive too.

Completely reworking online infrastructure is no small task for developers, but fans clamored for years that crossplay and rollback netcode are vital in great fighting games. Now, the bevy of crossplay and rollback netcode announcements at Evo 2022 proved that developers all around the world have taken notice. There’s no going back for the fighting game genre, and that should be nothing but a good thing for players, competitive and casual alike.

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Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Starfield: Red Mile location and how to survive
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This interpretation of the classic Pinocchio is nothing like the friendly (if a little creepy) original. Your puppet brought to life is sent out into a world of dangers around every corner, and only your weapons and reflexes will see you through. Lies of P is a Soulslike, after all, so finding and testing out new weapons is all part of the experience. That and dying, of course. Still, if you want to avoid doing the latter as much as possible, a strong weapon will come in handy. This game uses a system where you can customize your arsenal by swapping out the blades and handles, giving you tons of possibilities, but we'll focus on which weapons are the best out of the box in Lies of P and let you do the tweaking from there.
The best weapons in Lies of P

Puppet Saber
Because you can get the Puppet Saber right at the start of Lies of P, you might write it off as something that's only viable in the early game and should be dumped ASAP. That's not the case, as this fast-hitting sword can stay competitive at least until the midgame. It has a good range, is fast, and has a great charge attack you can use to zone enemies with. It scales at rank C in both Motivity and Technique, and comes with the fable art of Storm Slash, which unleashes a flurry of strikes on a target ahead of you. The other art it packs is Concentrate, which gives you a temporary attack buff.
Salamander Dagger
If you are going for a build focused on doing a lot of quick hits rather than long, heavy strikes, daggers like the Salamander Dagger are your best friend. This dagger's real advantage is that it deals fire damage, which many enemies are weak against. It scales at a B in Advance, C in Technique, and D in Motivity. It also has the Ignite ability to give it even more firepower (literally), and the guard ability of doing a fast stab before automatically retreating.
Booster Glaive
There aren't a ton of area-control weapons in Lies of P, which makes the Booster Glaive stand out as a unique pick. You get good range, and the arc on each swing is perfect for crowd control. In tighter, more linear spaces, you can use the charge attack for a forward thrust. This is a Technique weapon, scaling at B, but it also has D scaling in Motivity. It shares the Storm Slash skill with the Puppet Saber, but also has the Patient Slash, which lets you charge up one large, powerful strikes.
Acidic Crystal Spear
Despite the word "Spear" being in the weapon's name, the Acidic Crystal Spear technically falls under the Dagger category of weapons. Regardless, this has the looks, range, and feel of a spear. It can do fast, poking attacks, and will deal acid damage on each strike as well. You get great A-level scaling with Advance, as well as D level in Technique and Motivity. The Radiate art is just like the Salamander Dagger's Ignite, only for acid, and Single Stab is a more powerful forward lunge attack.
Two Dragons Sword
With a name like the Two Dragons Sword, who could resist at least trying this katana out? This boss weapon gives you all the flair and speed of a katana, but it unfortunately cannot be disassembled or modified. Still, with A scaling in Technique and D in Motivity, you won't be wanting for much with this blade. Your two skills are Link Emergency Dodge, which has you dodge forward and gives you the option to use a Fable slot to do two follow-up attacks, and Wind of Swords, which unleashes a torrent of swords in an area of effect.

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The best Wishstones in Lies of P
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Whether it is a FromSoftware game or a title from another developer, like Lies of P, each entry in the Soulslike genre adds a few new mechanics to stand out and bring a new flavor to the formula. On the surface, you might expect the whole Pinocchio thing to be enough for this game to stand out, but the team took things a few steps further. Aside from a unique take on the weapons system and lore, Lies of P has special items called Wishstones that can grant you powerful buffs. These stones can only be obtained by trading Golden Coin Fruits with a specific NPC, and are consumed upon use. To make sure you're able to maximize the benefits, here are the best Wishstones you should be using in Lies of P.
The best Wishstones in Lies of P

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Recovery Wishstone
This is the first Wishstone you can get and is one you will probably want to keep at all times. The function here is simple: to passively restore your health for a short amount of time. Since Pulse Charges are so valuable, and you will run out very fast while exploring new areas or fighting bosses, this is a fantastic backup healing option. You do still need to play carefully, and time it right to make the most of it, but more healing is always needed in Lies of P.
Friendship Wishstone
While Lies of P doesn't allow for co-op like some other soulslike games, it does still have a summoning system where you can bring in NPCs to help you take down the cast of challenging bosses. These summons are called Specters, who will do their best to help, but they typically don't last all that long in a fight. If you're willing to use a Wishstone slot, the Friendship Wishstone can keep your loyal companion in the fight longer by giving them a bit of healing.
Courage Wishstone
Fable Arts are your more powerful, weapon-specific moves that consume a part of your Fable Bar to use. This makes it so you can't simply spam your most powerful attacks all the time, but sometimes you need that extra damage output to ekeout a victory. The Courage Wishstone makes that Fable Bar recharge much faster, allowing you to unleash those powerful moves more often.
Frenzy Wishstone
Back on the Specter side of things, these helpers are lacking when it comes to survivability, so you might as well make them pack a stronger punch to pull their weight before getting crushed. This Frenzy Wishstone fires them up to deal more damage. They won't be able to solo a boss for you or anything, but in a game like this, every single point of damage can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Provocation Wishstone
What if you're feeling a little more ... cruel toward your Specter? There's no shame in it since they're only there to serve you, after all. With the Provocation Wishstone, you can put all the aggro onto your Specter, giving you some breathing room to heal, restore some Fable Arts, or just catch your breath. It also gives them a little defense buff so you don't have to feel too bad about it.
Explosive Wishstone
You might feel a little worse about using the Explosive Wishstone, however. Once activated, any time your unsuspecting Specter gets hit, they will explode and deal a nice chunk of damage to anything caught in the blast. If you're unsatisfied with what Specters can do for you normally, why not just turn them into a bomb?
Advance Wishstone
This Wishstone is the equivalent to the Courage Wishstone, only instead of boosting to your Fable bar, this one will help restore your Legion meter. Your various Legion arms are perhaps your greatest tool in Lies of P outside of your standard weaponry, but there's also a material cost. Unlike Fable, Legion does not replenish itself over time naturally and only comes back when you reach a Stargazer or use another consumable. You can bypass this limitation to get a few extra uses out of it with the Advance Wishstone, which gives you a little chunk back free of charge. This is best for builds that utilize Legion Arms more often, so it won't be a top pick for everyone.

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