What do people mean with the "netcode"?


I have seen the term commented a lot here. “X has a terrible netcode”, “I hope Y has a good netcode”, but I don’t know exactly what it means. I know that is related with the quality of the online play, but which of the following do people talk about:
Ability to minimize lag or its impact on the game.
Capacity to find opponents online.
Ranking system (being fair, understandable,etc)
Options like private rooms, log as a spectator, watch replays, etc.

For reference, I recently jumped back to fighting games and got a SF4 AE copy; however, the netcode looks so-so at best: I can play without bothersome lag, but sometimes the game just doesn’t finds opponents with three bars or more and keeps reloading the same batch of poor connections after each try. I’ve Heard this is the most played game online so finding variety shouldn’t be a problema. Is there a way to discard those opponents and force the system to search for better connections even if it means longer loading times?

How are other games “netcodes” in comparison? I have read ArcSys games are the best and KoF XIII the worst. How are they good or bad?


Network Coding. How optimized the online play is coded.


In AE you better create ranked games yourself, since the opponent search function is complete fucking ass.


Good to know it wasn’t me. I’ll try it then.

Now that would be probably my number #1 priority for Ultra.


Netcode is the part of an online game that affects your connection to other players. Stuff like lobbies and matchmaking is not netcode, they’re just features. However, if the netcode is shoddy, it might cause the latency detection (bars) to be an unreliable measure, or it might make everyone appear with no bars because that’s the best the game can do. SF4’s netcode is fine, but the search function is ass, so that’s probably your issue.

Just for the record, you’re not playing on a wireless connection, right?