Update: Here’s a welcome update to this story: Street Fighter 6 will have cross-play functionality as well as rollback netcode (as per Maximillian Dood on Twitter).
While the extent of cross-play hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’s still great to hear. Cross-play means that you’ll be able to play against people on other platforms. We assume that PlayStation users will at least be able to match up with those on PC — but Xbox could also be included. Hopefully we get some full confirmation soon.
Cross-play is a big deal for fighting games, because it keeps the online community together regardless of platform. In turn, this makes it easier to maintain a healthy playerbase.
Original Story: Quite possibly the news that fighting game fans wanted to hear: Street Fighter 6 will use rollback netcode. The news comes via GameSpot editor Tamoor Hussaindirect from the Summer Game Fest in-person event that’s currently ongoing.
Hussain writes on Twitter: “Street Fighter 6 uses rollback net code. Lots of people are asking.” Good to know!
If you’re sitting there wondering what rollback netcode even means, we’ll try to explain without going into the technical details. Rollback is essentially the best type of netcode that competitive-leaning games can have; it generally means that online matches tend to run much more smoothly. Even if you’re playing against someone on the other side of the planet, rollback should help to some degree.
(If you do want an in-depth explanation of why netcode is so important to fighting games, we would recommend this article from Ars Technia.)
But Street Fighter 6 having rollback is just the first step — it also needs to have good rollback, and that comes down to how well implemented Capcom’s netcode actually is. In our humble opinion, 2021’s Guilty Gear Strive is the current king of fighting game netcode, so Street Fighter 6 is probably going to be measured against that when it releases next year.
Still, this is positive news. At this point there’s no real excuse for fighting game developers to skimp on good netcode — not when online play has become such a core part of the experience (especially with factors like the pandemic putting an end to in-person tournaments for so long).
Here’s hoping that Capcom delivers!