Players’ frustration with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s slow servers might soon come to and end.
CSGO currently runs on 64-tick servers, meaning that all of the action on a player’s screen might not really match what the server says it is. A faster server takes more snapshots of what’s going on in game compared to slower ones, and that’s why CSGO’s player base wants those faster servers. Riot Games has made sure that Valorant would have speedy servers when it announced first announced its own tactical shooter, causing a stir around what Valve would do to maintain its dominance over the first-person shooter esports scene.
There have been small hints and comments along the way that the technology might be on its way. Players can already play CSGO on 128-tick servers through companies like FACEIT and ESEA. Premium subscriptions that allow players a faster queue time and tracked statistics also come with a fee, but it’s a small price to pay for the smoother experience. Broken Fang, CSGO’s most recent operation, has added fuel to the rumors that 128-tick might be in the game’s future.
Broken Fang’s radios are tuned to channel 128, but saying that number around CSGO fans is like saying the number “three” to a fan of another major Valve franchise, Half-Life. Even though they don’t run at 128 ticks, every single radio in Broken Fang’s Autumn Harvest Operation is tuned to that channel. Even the ones that are face down.
This could just be Valve having a bit of fun with its players, but if the size and scope of Broken Fang is taken into account, it could actually be a hint of something that’s to come.
Even before Broken Fang, a prominent member of the CSGO community made a predicition that raised eyebrows. Henry “HenryG” Greer is now the general manager of a Cloud9 CSGO team that cost the organization millions of dollars to put together, but before he signed on with C9 he was one of CSGO’s most famous casters. During ESL One’s Road to Rio in April, HenryG made a comment that made it seem as though he knew something the rest of the desk did not.
HenryG said he had a suspicion that Valve’s matchmaking would get a serious upgrade before brushing it off, but his sudden retirement from casting and new title at Cloud9 shows that HenryG not only has faith that CSGO will continue to be popular, but that it will grow further. Cloud9, which hasn’t found success in CSGO since the ELEAGUE Boston Major win, must think so too after they spent an enormous sum on some of CSGO’s best free agents. Players already know that teams and pros get info from Valve on upcoming patches, so it’s wouldn’t be a suprise that Valve has let it slip here, too.
128-tick servers transfer more information between the server and CSGO clients on players’ PCs, meaning that the player gets close to double the amount of information about what is going on in-game than they would otherwise. Both FACEIT and ESEA have these upgraded servers, so it’s not a stretch to think that Valve might make the switch as well. Additionally, Chinese CSGO players already have the option to do so through CSGO’s Chinese publisher, Perfect World.
Players can enable CSGO to run at 128 ticks per second by entering “-tickrate 128” into CSGO’s launch options. WIN.gg has a full guide on how to turn on 128-tick mode for CSGO, as well as a full list of launch options players might find useful in our launch options coverage.