Thursday February 07, 2019

How Hit Registration Mechanics Work in Hunt Showdown

The Hunt Showdown developers have penned a highly technical article called "The State of Hit Registration in Hunt" that explains how hit registration works in Hunt and video games in general. They describe in great detail how network latency in the client and server relationship can create shot validation issues as the client is never on the same page as the server due to latency. Then take into account that there is a second client in the mix at the same time, and this creates a situation where opposing gamers can experience different scenarios play out in real time.

The solution to this issue is for the server to use hit validation; as the server essentially becomes a referee and it has to choose who wins the battle. The server runs a set of calculations to determine if the shot was valid by looking at the past history of the world state. The hit validation system is skewed in "favor of the shooter", but sometimes legitimate shots are invalidated as shown through video footage examples contained in the article. This is a great article to read through multiple times to grasp how hit registration in video games works!

Your ping, which you can measure via your game performance stats, is the amount of time a message takes to go from your client to the server, and then back to your client. This latency--which is caused by ISP infrastructure, distance, hardware connection quality, and other factors--is not a problem that any one game can solve. It's something that all game development teams have to account for, and we all have strategies for minimizing its impact.