Tick-rate is often misunderstood by a lot of players across the gaming community.
It’s often overlooked as an important factor of FPS gaming.
All multiplayer games have a tick rate system which acts as the communication between the client PC and the server the match is hosted on.
The server acts at the hub for matched players to connect to.
The default CS:GO servers that you connect to via the lobby are usually hosted by Valve and run at the standard 64 tick rate.
Players have the choice to join a dedicated Valve server or host their own that they can choose to be either 64 or 128 ticks.
Tick rates become important as your CS:GO skills improve as your matchmaking will become more competitive.
Tick Rate Explanation
It’s easy for new players to misinterpret a tick as a unit of time and rightly so with the name it’s given.
However, a tick is a process which is split into three steps.
The process looks like this:
- Player data is collected. (Movement, actions etc)
- The data collected is calculated on the server. (What effect the action has on the server, i.e did your shot hit another player, if so what was the outcome)
- Once calculation is complete, the new data will be sent back to the players client. (Result of your action)
This 3 step process is a single tick.
Which means a standard server would run this process 64 times in 1 second.
However if you were running a competitive server at 128 ticks it would be running double the amount of processes per second.
Is tick rate important?
Yes – in competitive matchmaking, tick rate is very important.
A higher tick is the difference between a shot missing by a millisecond or a bomb going off slightly early or late.
Faster ticked servers give the players more realism and response times.
The tick rate is also referred to as the “update rate”, the number of ticks that fits within 1 second.
Every time you play a match of CS:GO via the lobby you will be playing on a 64 tick server.
This may sound fast for novice players, but many professional CS:GO players have the ability to run up to 144HZ on premium gaming monitors.
This means that a player can receive 144 updates on-screen within a second.
If there is a problem with the tick rate this will be very obvious. Players will notice the following:
- General lag – For example, glitching around the screen or player movement being slowed or disjointed.
- Server miscommunication – Hiding behind cover but still being hit by the enemy? The server isn’t registering the updates correctly.
- Screen tearing – Tearing will appear when CSGO tick is running faster than your monitor.
In conclusion, it is very important to have a good tick rate as it will determine the overall feel of the game and streamline the actions and response of the game world.
The higher the tick rate of the server the faster information will be updating on your PC giving you a better FPS experience.
I would always suggest renting a 128 tick server over a 64 tick because of the realism and sensitivity improvements.
Rental Server Tick rates
It’s unusual to see server rental companies with custom tick packages like 144 tick.
The two packages that are typically available are the standard 64 tick and the competitive 128 tick.
There is a small difference in price but it’s worth paying the extra.
The cheapest 64 tick servers is around $5 and will host up to 10 players.
If you want to upgrade that standard tick rate you can for a few more dollars.
Please note: Some third party hosting companies will only allow you to run a 64 tick server. It’s always best to check for the 128 tick upgrade on a hosting companies website before purchasing your CS:GO server. If you would like more advice about renting a server, check out my “How to choose a provider” article.
If you’re a casual CS:GO player then I wouldn’t worry too much about tick rates.
It only becomes noticeable as you advance as a player and you’re looking to add more sensitivity and action response to your game.
It’s not important to have a good knowledge of the tick process but it can help you become a better player if you learn how to work with the flow of the game.