What is Client Update Rate?

Client update rate is how many times per second a client, like a computer or a console, processes the updates it receives from a server. When you play online games, a lower client update rate limits the number of updates you receive from game servers. A low client update rate can reduce the amount of game data you receive while you play, which can affect game performance.

Client Update Rate vs. Tick Rate

Tick rate is how many times per second the server hosting an online game refreshes gameplay with critical information about the location and movement of each player. The higher the tick rate, the more often the game updates. Most servers have a tick rate of either 64 or 128 Hz.

Tick rate records how often the server updates, independent of how many of those updates the client actually receives. If your client update rate is lower than your tick rate, your console won’t process every tick it gets from the server. For example, if your client update rate is 64 Hz and you’re playing on a 128 Hz server, it will actually feel like you’re playing on a 64 Hz server.

Differences Between Client Update Rates

If your computer or console has a decent processor, your client update rate will be able to meet the tick rate of your game server – whether it’s 64 Hz or 128 Hz. If your processor isn’t very powerful, you might experience lags or your computer or console might drop you from games.

How to Set your Client Rate

If you’re struggling with update rate and game performance, you can take control by manually decreasing or increasing your update settings. Steam explains how to code these changes.

Client Update Rate vs. Frame Rate

Frame rate is the number of still images your display flashes every second while you play a game. Your graphics card will determine your maximum frame rate, although you can decrease or increase it by changing the game or display resolution settings. The higher the frame rate, the more often your graphics card will refresh and the smoother your game will seem to run.

Frame rate refers to how often your display refreshes the video, while client update rate refers to how often your processor receives those updates from the server. When your computer or console is functioning at maximum efficiency, these two rates are identical. If your frame rate is lower than your client update rate, the game will appear to update less frequently than it actually does.

Fixed Wireless Internet for Rural Gamers

Your problem might be a slow internet connection, not a low client update rate.
Finding an internet connection that’s fast enough for gaming can be a challenge if you don’t have cable internet coverage. Fixed wireless internet is a great, low latency solution for rural gamers who are too far from the local hub for wired internet.

Stephen Kota

About Stephen Kota

Founder & Primary Author

Stephen enjoys photography, boating and gardening. He cares for pet Kois in his water garden.

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