Chapter 7. Latency, Jitter, and Reliability

Networked games live in a harsh environment, competing for bandwidth on aging networks, sending packets to servers and clients scattered throughout the world. This results in data loss and delay not typically experienced during development on a local network. This chapter explores some of the networking problems multiplayer games face and suggests workarounds and solutions for those problems, including how to build a custom reliability layer on top of the UDP transport protocol.


Your game, once released into the wild, must contend with a few negative factors not present in the tightly controlled environment of your local network. The first of these factors is latency. The word latency has different ...

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