Random: Smash Ultimate Rollback Netcode Mod “Proof Of Concept” Up And Running On Switch

Image: Nintendo

Back in 2020, a Famitsu column suggested Masahiro Sakurai and his team considered rollback netcode for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but apparently, it didn’t work out due to adverse side effects.

While we have seen rollback support in other fighting games on the Switch, there’s one software engineer out there, known as ‘DShad’ over on Twitter, who has been working on his own Smash Bros. rollback network code for Switch emulators for some time now.

As spotted by EventHubs, this talented individual has now shown their rollback mod running on a modded Nintendo Switch – showcasing an online “cross-platform” match with an emulated version of the game. This was achieved on Switch by running a Skyline plugin system, which apparently allows users to load custom code into games.

For now, this is all just a “proof of concept” and there’s still a lot to overcome, according to the creator:

“The video is a technical proof of concept…I’m not saying to keep your expectation lower, rather to keep it moderate.”

For anyone not familiar with rollback netcode, here’s our own previous rundown of it:

…rollback netcode (as opposed to delay-based netcode) is often favoured by fighting game fans for a more satisfying, snappier online experience. Delay-based netcode delays updating the game state until player inputs have been received from wherever around the world they’ve been sent, and is therefore very susceptible to network fluctuations and often results in a chugging experience for both players – far from ideal in a fighting game.

Conversely, rollback netcode does things differently; it logs when inputs are received and adjusts (or ‘rolls back’) each player’s simultaneous game state to match. This can result in players appearing to ‘teleport’ as new input info is received, and can also lead to desyncing between each player’s games, but generally offers a smoother online experience.

In its current state, if you did want to run something like this on your own system – you would require a modded Switch, and even then – there are associated risks.

If we hear any significant updates about this project, we’ll let you know. What do you think of this demonstration? Comment below.

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