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Dealing with latency in your multiplayer game

March 29, 2022 in Games | 3 min. read
Gamer looking at distorted screen
Gamer looking at distorted screen

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This latest guide covers key tricks and patterns to deal with latency in your multiplayer game. 

Everyone hates laggy gameplay when playing online, but it shouldn’t be seen as an unavoidable part of multiplayer gaming. There is actually quite a lot that you can do to help your players have the smoothest experience possible.

However, distance between server and clients, packet hops, a server’s tick and update rate, and a plethora of other issues, developers can get buried in technical issues and your players may suddenly find out they were clocked in the head by something they thought was half the map away.

Many multiplayer game genres require low latency, as it can literally mean (in-game) life or death. 

In our latest guide, we cover key strategies to dealing with latency in your multiplayer game. 

  • An overview of network latency and what causes it 
  • A comparison between server and client authoritative games and how they affect latency
  • Strategies to solve for latency issues in your multiplayer game

[View the guide]

What is network latency?

Network latency is the amount of time between a cause and its visible, in-game effect. For example, it’s the time between clicking your mouse button and your in-game gun firing a shot at an enemy. 

High network latency results in a poor gaming experience for players. That’s why it’s important to understand latency so you can work to reduce its effect in your game.

Network latency management

Network latency management is the practice of implementing different strategies and techniques to deal with latency – either reducing it or covering it up from the player experience. 

To successfully address latency problems, you need to consider the priority and relationship between the following elements: 

  1. Security 
  2. Reactivity 
  3. Accuracy and consistency

No solution is perfect, and every way to approach latency issues has strengths and weaknesses. The key is to find the way that works best for your game and this guide will help you understand how to make that decision.


Building a multiplayer game is a challenging endeavor, but also an exciting one. Whether you’re building the next battle royale smash hit, or a cozy online co-op, understanding the nuances of latency and how to manage it is essential in providing a smooth gameplay experience for your players. 

Access our guide in three ways: 

Check out Unity’s Netcode for GameObjects solution and documentation to get started with your next multiplayer project today.

March 29, 2022 in Games | 3 min. read

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