NA and EU server relocation test November 2020
Over the past months, we’ve been testing different server locations in NA and EU as part of an effort to find the best possible server locations for the most amount of players. These tests surely must have resulted in something, and today, we’d like to talk about our plans on testing new server locations for NA and EU.
So without further ado, let’s drop in.
Central servers have been a long-time request from our NA players – especially from those of you on the West Coast.
To make this dream come true, we had our servers located in Dallas for a while, until DDoS attacks led to a degraded network quality – forcing us to quickly move to Virginia. We haven’t been resting on our laurels though, and we’ve been running internal tests on various locations in the US.
Some these locations aren’t exactly near the center of the US. However, the physical location of a server isn’t the only factor that leads to good network conditions. Actually, depending on how servers are connected to certain internet service providers(ISPs), the network conditions could be worse even though the physical location may be closer to you. This isn’t to say that physical location is unimportant though, so the locations we’ll be testing are indeed closer to the center of the US than Virginia.
To test these new locations in a live environment, a portion of NA console traffic will be relocated at the time and date below, and the rest of the NA console traffic will continue to be on our Virginia servers. So for some sessions, you’ll be on Virginia, and for some sessions you’ll be on the new test locations.
PST: Starting on November 20, 2020 at 12:00 AM EST: Starting on November 20, 2020 at 03:00 AM
- PST: Starting on November 19, 2020 at 09:00 PM
- EST: Starting on November 20, 2020 at 12:00 AM
We’d like to point out that playing on the new locations may result in slightly higher ping for those of you on the East Coast players. However, since everyone on the continent are playing on the same server, having one side of the continent have poorer network conditions might actually degrade the network conditions for players on the other side. Situations like this are partially the reason why de-sync occurs. All in all, it’s better for everyone when players across the entire continent have similar network conditions.
For EU, we moved our servers for consoles back to Ireland from Frankfurt last September. During this time, Frankfurt was also being affected by DDoS attacks, so we had to make a quick decision and move our EU servers to Ireland to stabilize our service as soon as we could.
So why Ireland, you ask? Back when we launched our game on Xbox One, we were servicing Europe through Ireland servers since most of our European players were from the United Kingdom. In fact, our EU servers have been on Ireland throughout most of PUBG console’s service. So out of a set of choices in server location, we’ve picked Ireland since it’s an already-proven location.
However, we’ve been hearing from some of our console players that the move to Ireland has resulted in worse network conditions than when on Frankfurt servers. While it’s nearly impossible to perfectly cater to the needs of every corner of the world, we want to be sure that our servers are located in areas where we can provide the most even network conditions to as many players possible.
Therefore, at the time and date below, we will be partially moving our servers to various cities across Europe that we believe can potentially provide the best network conditions for the most amount of players.
CET: Starting on November 13, 2020 at 09:00 AM
- CET: Starting on November 17, 2020 at 03:00 AM
Which platforms will be affected?
These tests will affect consoles only. PC servers in NA and EU might also see changes in location based on what our tests show.
The location where most players are located at for a particular region differs based on platform. This means that even though we’re talking about the same server region, the needs from a particular region might be different based on platform. At the moment we’re seeing an opportunity to provide better server locations for our NA and EU console players and are testing on consoles first because of this, but if these tests happen to reveal that there is room for improvement for PC too, we may make changes for PC as well.
But of course, if we see that the test locations are performing worse than our current server locations, we will be maintaining our current locations.
Why can’t we have servers anywhere we want?
We only have a finite number of server locations we can choose from, because we’re working with external server providers, and each server provider has servers in select locations around the world. Swapping out server providers to gain access to new server locations could indeed lead to provider better network conditions, but committing to a certain server provider comes at a cost for the dev team.
Each server provider has a unique environment that developers have to comply with, which in simpler terms, means that for every choice we make in terms of server providers, we would have to put in engineering work to be able to get our game running through that server provider. Unfortunately, we live in a world where this engineering work is no small task. This means that if we wanted to move our server locations but the server provider for that location is different from the server provider we’re using at the point, we’ll have to be very confident in our choice.
This doesn’t mean we’ll be ruling out certain server locations permanently. Our hunt for better network conditions is an ongoing effort, and we’ll be continuing to run tests in different locations to see where we can provide the best network conditions for as many people as we possibly can. And when these tests happen, we’ll be sure to keep everybody in the loop.
See you on the Battlegrounds,