Killer Instinct Season 3 is now out

Killer Instinct is now available on the Windows Store, and much to the amazement of many, you first need to pass a performance test before being unleashed upon other players.

But don't worry, its not a giant, evil barrier stopping you from playing online, instead its a rather ingenious system that ensures Killer Instinct's online matches don't devolve in to a slideshow due to a player's poor system performance affecting the entire match. Here's the short version of how it works, and why its an excellent idea:

First of all, the reason why this is necessary is because the netcode, aka. the way your PC communicates with the game's servers and other players, is drastically different in fighting games than what you might find in an MMO, or even a shooter. Since fighting games rely on fast reactions and sometimes frame-perfect blocks, its important that the game itself runs on 60FPS, and that the communication between two players remains equally as quick.

Going with the standard FPS or MMO route of sending player commands from your PC - > Server -> Opponent simply doesn't work when you want things done almost instantly, so fighting games have long since abandoned that architecture in favor of peer-to-peer connections, linking the two players together and having them communicate directly.

Killer Instinct Season 3 features Tusk

This has no relation with the text above, I just love the derpy look on Tusk's face

When it works, it works perfectly and you will be hard pressed to find many things to complain about, but when one of the players has performance issues the whole system gets a gigantic wrench thrown in to it, and suddenly both players will start having issues as the game desperately tries to sort things out.

This is where Killer Instinct's performance tester comes in by ensuring that both players are running at 60 FPS with minimal drops even during the most heated of duels. So if you end up doing the test and find yourself with a less than desirable score, don't be mad at the game, instead be glad you were warned before time. Simply lower your settings and give it another go, its in everyone's best interest for multiplayer matches to run smoothly after all. 

Here's how it looks when developers show off their powerful rigs:


As a final note, here are the system requirements so you can get a rough idea of how your PC will fare:

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows 10 64-bit

Processor: Intel Core i5-750 @ 2.67 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 965 @ 3.4 GHz

Memory: 4 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 or AMD Radeon HD 5850

DirectX: Version 11

Recommended System Requirements:

OS: Windows 10 64-bit

Processor: Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.4GHz or AMD FX-4300 @ 3.8 GHz

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 or AMD Radeon HD 7950

DirectX: Version 11