The overall amount of matches doubled year over year too
Fans pleaded with Bandai Namco to upgrade Tekken 7’s online capabilities for years which was finally addressed in the Season 4 update late last year and also added a Wi-Fi indicator for players to better see what type of connection they were being paired with.
Tekken Director Katsuhiro Harada stated around that timefor their online play, and he updated that stat during the second Japanese Fighting Game Publisher Roundtable where he revealed that number changed a significant amount following the update — though maybe not in all of the ways you’d expect.
Two different charts were shown off during the presentation to compare the ranked match representation of wired LAN and Wi-Fi users which showed wireless users both decreasing and increasing depending on where you look.
In the month after Season 4 launched, LAN cable usage increased over 9 percent overall though the bulk of that came from PC users.
What is interesting, however, is that the amount of Wi-Fi matches played actually increased during that time on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the ratio remained similar to where it was in October 2020.
Over 3 million more matches were also played in November compared to the previous month.
The second chart revealed much more recent numbers to pit January 2020 against January 2021, and this time the LAN cable increase did reach 10 percent though consoles again went in the opposite direction.
Last year, over half of PS4 and Xbox matches were played over an Ethernet cable which looks to have completely inverted now.
Almost 3.5 million ranked games were played on Wi-Fi on PS4 compared to just over 2 million for wired connections.
What’s keeping that LAN rate positive, however, is the massive jump in PC players plugging into their modems with the majority of matches coming from computers now and to boot only around 18 percent of them are still avoiding the wire.
As for potential reasons as to why the Wi-Fi usage rate went up on console, Harada said that the number of players who do not especially care about the connection type is growing in Season 4.
Part of that seems to be due to many feeling as though they can play wirelessly successfully thanks to the upgraded netcode though that certainly doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be optimized with a wire still.
It’s fascinating to see the inclusion of the Wi-Fi indicator and netcode upgrade impacting playerbases differently depending on their system of choice, especially when players can more easily turn down potential opponents with the feature.
For those still unaware of the reasons why Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi is such a hot-button issue for the fighting game community, there’s plenty of things in networking that can easily go wrong when trying to use your router’s signal to hop online.
These problems include signal intereference from other routers or household appliances, which can cause packet loss that will introduce lag or jitter to a connection from either needing to re-send data or try to skip over it entirely.
Another reason why Wi-Fi can introduce additional lag is the fact that current wireless technology does not allow a connection to send and receive data at the same time, leaving tiny gaps while constantly switching between each.
Ethernet cables tend to completely sidestep these limitations to provide the most consistent environment typically possible though actually running said wires through a home can feel like more of a hassle than they’re worth for many players.
Wi-Fi indicators have become more popular in the fighting game landscape over the past few years with Injustice 2, Mortal Kombat 11, Dead or Alive 6 and Fighting EX Layer all either launching with the feature or adding it after release with an update.
The debate between wires vs. wireless will continue for the foreseeable future, but it’s great to see a developer actually provide statistics like these to show how people are actually playing these games.
On another postitive note, the amount of online matches with wired connections doubled year over year in January going from over 4 million to over 8 million in 2021 while wireless went from 4 million to 5 million respectively.