PlayStation 1 Emulator “Duckstation” Can Now Employ GGPO/Rollback Netcode

You can now play games like Tekken and Bloody Roar with 6 frames of rollback.

Story Highlights

  • PlayStation 1 emulator DuckStation can now use GGPO/rollback netcode.
  • You can play games like Tekken and Bloody Roar online on the PlayStation emulator now.
  • However, you will have to encounter 6 frames of rollback.
  • DuckStation is also launching on Fightcade soon

DuckStation, an emulator for PlayStation 1 can now implement GGPO and rollback netcode. HeatXD on GitHub is responsible for creating this netplay emulator for DuckStation. Through this GGPO utilization, the emulator can run games like Tekken and Bloody Roar online. But, there is one minor drawback—these games only run with 6 frames of rollback with GGPO.

As per HeatXD, DuckStation/PSX emulation is also launching on Fightcade soon. Fightcade is a software client that allows you to experience online play for old console and arcade systems via GGPO. There is no set release date for when this will release but the coder is currently working on it. In the meantime, you can get GGPO for the PlayStation 1 emulator on GitHub.

When you are playing fighting games online, there is a very small delay between the time you press the button and the time your character performs that action. This delay-based netcode is present to show both players in sync and show them the same thing. You can figure this delay out by checking the rollback frames and millisecond delay at the top of your screen.

Both of these figures fluctuate throughout the match and the higher the rollback frame value, the more unplayable the game. Just to give you an example, if a game has six frames of delay, players will have to wait for six frames before their character does something. If you are playing at 60FPS on your PlayStation or PC, you will have to wait almost 1 whole second for your action to translate in-game.

And, as you can probably tell, this kind of delay is not ideal for online games. Besides the delay-based netcode, your internet connection also determines how much the frame delay fluctuates. Now that you are aware of why delay-based netcode isn’t ideal, you’ll understand why rollback netcode is so important. GGPO (which stands for “Good Game Peace Out“) uses a netcode technique called rollback.

A rollback netcode is used in fighting games to predict the inputs of users playing online before they press a button. If the input from the player doesn’t match the netcode’s assumption, then it rolls back to the last correct state.

For example, if you attack and your opponent blocks it but the data for the “blocking” info gets through after your attack hits, the game shows you hit your opponent for a second. However, the netcode rolls back this frame to the correct interpretation and this happens so quickly that most people never notice. Both of the online players run their games locally and netcode compares them frame by frame.

GGPO aims to get predictions right as much as it can and reduce alteration while you are playing.

If you make the right decision with the right timing, you can suffer with delay-based netcode but the rollback netcode allows you to win. Most fighting games like the upcoming Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8 use the latter. Therefore, the PlayStation 1 emulator obtaining it is really good news. For sure, the six frames of rollback aren’t perfect but it’s worth it for the old-school PlayStation games. 

Similar Reads: Every PlayStation 3 Game Now Boots Up On The RPCS3 Emulator

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Ahmed Mansoor

Your average video games enjoyer with a deep passion for single-player adventures who writes about his favorite hobby.

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