In games where quick reflexes is key to winning, lag is probably the player’s worst enemy. For example a stutter in the computer’s processing means that their aim could be off and that a click could come at a second too late. With Valve’s DotA 2 being such a competitive game, the company has been working at trying to reduce all avenues of lag.
A recent post on the DotA 2 forums has revealed that Valve is testing out a new experimental feature aimed to cut down lag. Basically this has to do with the vsync feature for displays. According to Valve, “Normally enabling vsync adds another frame of latency causing some inputs to feel delayed. With this new feature the engine will attempt to schedule simulation and rendering to coincide with the start of the new frame on your monitor.”
For those unfamiliar with vsync, this is a feature that can typically be found in the settings menu of most games. Essentially what it does is that it syncs up the frame rate of the game against that of the monitor’s refresh rate. The end result is a more consistent frame rate, although sometimes it does end up feeling a bit “laggy”.
Disabling vsync can allow for higher and smoother frame rates, although the risk is that you will get screen tearing. So with this new experimental feature that is being implemented to DotA 2, it sounds like Valve wants to give gamers the best of both worlds. How this pans out remains to be seen, but more instructions on how to enable it can be found in the DotA 2 forums.