An Empirical Evaluation of TCP Performance in Online Games

For those who’re asking “Should I use TCP or UDP for our online game?” this paper should answer that question :)

Our analysis indicates that TCP is unwieldy and inappropriate for MMORPGs. This is due to four distinctive characteristics of MMORPG traffic: 1) tiny packets, 2) low packet rate, 3) application-limited traffic generation, and 4) bi-directional traffic…Furthermore, TCP is overkill, as not every game packet needs to be transmitted in a reliably and orderly manner.

The suggested approach is to use a hybrid approach of “using UDP, RTP, or DCCP as a basis for unreliable transmission, and using SCTP and RDP as a basis for reliable transmission.”

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