Halo Infinite Developers Explain Lag Problems Alongside Fix Release

343 Industries has explained some of Halo Infinite's lag problems.
343 Industries has explained some of Halo Infinite's lag problems. / Photo courtesy of 343 Industries/Microsoft

343 Industries has released an update to address the lag problems that have persisted in Halo Infinite alongside an explanation for the persistent troubles.

Halo Infinite players have complained since launch about shots that appear as though they should land but instead miss, melee attacks that pass straight through their targets, and dying to bullets fired from around corners.

Richard Watson, Lead Engineer of the Sandbox team at 343, offered explanations for these troubles in his blog post, published Thursday. He says the shooting around corners problem is a result of latency compensation.

"Latency compensation is how we handle the fact that there is a delay between actions on your machine, actions on the server, and the results of those actions being communicated to other players," he wrote.

"Imagine the server as the arbiter of multiple different timelines and having to reconcile everything that happened in those timelines into something that makes sense for all players."

To make that job simpler, Halo Infinite favors the shooter. If something happens on the shooter's screen, the server prioritizes that version of reality. "That means whenever a player sees themselves hitting a target, our system does its best to give them the hit on the server," says Watson.

This is what leads to players dying around corners: because of latency, whoever is shooting can still see them as not having turned the corner, and the game favors the shooter.

To try to reduce these instances, 343 will more consistently match players who live closer to one another to improve the connections. It will also prevent players from manipulating the game to connect to servers nearer to them, as that forces other players onto worse connections.

The studio plans to add indicators in a future update that would show when a player's connection is shaky. If these measures prove insufficient 343 will consider offering a server selection option to players.

343 has previously had to address problems with the game's Big Team Battle game mode, and the game's player counts have continued to drop over time.