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Stop Ping Faking#25473

More and more servers are using A2S caching (Ping Faking). In the server browser, they display 30 Ping world wide but when you join, it’s vastly different.

The servers do this to attract players around the world, cheating themselves onto the browser list quicker than other servers. It’s annoying for players.

3 years ago
Changed the status to
3 years ago

huge +1 on this one, fake ping is really misleading especially the new players who are not aware of this and do not have the perf convar active to verify the real ping in game, if they get fooled by the fake ping and join some servers from the other side of the world, it would result in a poor experience and they might refund and blame the game for being laggy

3 years ago

or fix the server browser.

3 years ago

This is a difficult issue to properly fix because it’s completely transparent to the game. Anything we try to do to show a proper ping on the server browser can be rigged.

My thinking now is we stop showing raw pings on the server browser. We can map ping ranges into low/medium/high and show that on the server browser instead. We would pick the ranges based on the expected experience while playing (TBD). The server browser will sort by low/medium/high instead.

This wouldn’t stop ping faking of course. The point of this would be making it less beneficial to servers because shaving a few ms off would still leave them in the ‘low’ bucket and not improve their position in the server browser.

The other thing we could possibly do is show a high ping warning in-game to expose this user hostile behavior to their players.

3 years ago

The last option seems like a much better alternative as to what it is right now in my opinion. Allowing users to see if the ping is different than what it is in the browser. Notifying them of latency issues if there’s something wrong with their connection like many other games do, meaning that a lot of newer players would be more familiar with this type of warning as they already were exposed to it somewhere else

3 years ago

First off, I’m just glad this issue is being addressed at all. I welcome any changes related to it.

I think the ping ranges you mention is a good idea. Only concern would be that they still get ordered by ping under the hood. Currently whoever has the lowest ping gets put at the top of the list by default. As long as the new system somewhat randomizes the servers inside the same ping bucket, then this makes sense.

In other words, all “low” ping servers are above “medium,” but the servers inside “low” are randomized rather than ordered by ping.

Regardless, cheers Lama. Thank you for researching this. I’ve been a huge and very vocal opponent of query caching and we started to have to move our own servers just to stay competitive. Hopefully that won’t be necessary moving forward with this. Much love.

3 years ago

A mandatory regional indicator, which server owners must set in the config and is read upon server startup, could be additional data for users to chose the server they want to play on. In a first step, no changes to the browser would be needed as this could be appended to the gametags line.

I also like the ingame notification of a high ping although discussion about which ping can be considered high would ensue.

Categorising ping into low/mid/high wouldn’t tackle the problem from my point of view, as servers with A2S caching would still show up as “low” although upon connection it would be “high”.

Thanks a lot for researching into this. I understand the technical nature of this problem is complicated.

3 years ago

@Lama Love hey on an unrelated note, my email is still getting inundated with notifications from this thread despite multiple attempts to unsubscribe from notifications. What should I do?

9 months ago

Almost every server will put EU/US/AU etc in the server name also latancy is becoming less of an issue as the internet in general gets faster. I mean if your in AU playing US, yeah you’re not gonna have a great time but it is somewhat playable. That said maybe and simple idea is to remove the ping from listings, as a player you should be connecting to a server region closest to you anyway, load in F1-ping - simple

9 months ago

@chexo4 There is a button to unsubscribe from this post at the top of this page. Just above the comments.

9 months ago

@Lama Love I know, I was still getting emails after doing that. I think the emails have stopped now, I’ll let you know if something happens.

8 months ago

@Lama Love Make all region tags selected by default then.
That would make it practically mandatory but not shut any server out completely. Put a mention in the patch notes. Think of it like a “soft mandate”.

For such a beautiful game that shows a lot of technical prowess, the server browser feels vandalised or like a marketplace of deception.

4 months ago

fix the browser

4 months ago

This is really annoying, especially given how long the game takes to load into a server. It’s also bizarre that server owners are allowed to state their region instead of the game determining it automatically via IP geolocation. I’ve loaded into a low ping “North America” server that actually turned out to be a high ping Europe server.

3 months ago


2 months ago