The multiplayer netcode of Destiny 2 is fairly similar to the “uniquely complicated” infrastructure used for the original installment. While there are a few major improvements made by Bungie this time around, there are also certain aspects that may prove disappointing for players.
In another in-depth analysis video to discuss online network models, Battle(non)sense confirms that Destiny 2 uses a hybrid connection type that combines peer-to-peer and dedicated servers. The developer calls it “Activity Hosts” and is what functioned as a platform for the first game for seamless gameplay and connectivity.
One core issue with the hybrid technology was regarding host migration, where the physics host could leave the instance and disrupt the experience for others. Bungie has tackled that problem in Destiny 2 by dumping the physics hosts on to the cloud. This will ensure that players do not run into any host migration issue during play.
The improved netcode for the sequel also gives “optimal” and low delays. This can be as low as 1 ms but highly depends from player to player. Those on consoles might possibly see higher delays due to the low frame-rate and input lag from both the controller and screen.
In addition, the tick rate is said to be around 30-40 Hz on average. This will be quite lower on consoles as it highly depends on the performance of the game.
It is also important to note that the peer-to-peer aspect in the hybrid netcode of Destiny 2 results in large traffic. Data sent between players is reportedly more than that of a 64-player Battlefield 1 server. Another downside of the peer-to-peer model is that the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of all players in an instance are easily visible. Bungie may hide them with the final release, but for now their visibility stands as a threat of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
Destiny 2 is scheduled for a worldwide release on September 6 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PC version will suffer a slight delay and arrive in October. The additional time is needed for further polishing, which is good news because recent benchmarks from the beta have been quite promising.