Racing fans around the world have been burning rubber with Project Cars for just over a week now and, while the game has received mostly positive reviews and commands a large and dedicated community, it’s not without its fair share of problems. Then again, what game isn’t these days?
Players are experiencing numerous issues across all platforms that the game is currently available on (PS4, Xbox One, PC.)
PS4 players are reporting some severe issues with the online matchmaking system as well as private lobbies. The common complaint seems to be connecting to online matches, or the lack of connecting going down. Instead of connecting to open lobbies, players are being kicked from the online suite, or if they do manage to get into a game, they’re randomly disconnected.
What’s odd is that since the latest patch was released, people are claiming things have gotten worse and are even bashing some hate on the developers by claiming they don’t care for their product, something strongly refuted by the team on the official forums.
“That is not true they actively working on this problem.”
Players are also offering their own solutions to the connectivity problems with some reporting success by only playing with less than 10 people in a lobby. While this may work for some, it seems it’s just a random occurrence as the developers have been running tests to find the root of the problem and they’ve been using lobbies with upwards of 15 players.
Yesterday we tested multiple sessions with 15+ players without any problem. So can’t confirm that it is linked to the amount of players.”
Another issue being reported is the somewhat iffy AI present in all versions off the game, something the developers concede is a bit of a weak spot when it comes to the challenging aspect of lapping other racers, though the developers are quick to assure us that it’s being added to the growing list of things to be fixed.
This more an issue of the AI being poor at lapping other cars. They should be a bit more aggressive when they are clearly faster. Will add this to the list.
Now, for Xbox One users there seems to be a persistent problem relating to in-game chat. Many are reporting issues where they aren’t able to communicate clearly with other players, or even worse, they can’t communicate at all.
This is another issue that the team at Slightly Mad Studios are aware of and are actively investigating, according to one of the online engineers.
We are investigating the game chat issues as well.
Marian goes on to explain that while he can’t offer a fix for players right now, nor any workaround, he does offer some technical insight into what’s causing the issues and urges players to keep reporting any issues they’re having.
While this is still something being looked at and I can’t offer a complete solution to this problem, I can offer some some technical insight into it.
For game chat data to be sent from console A to console B there has to be a direct connection created between the two (what we refer to as a full mesh network). The creation of this connection is attempted by our code when someone new joins the session (i.e. the new joiner will try to initiate a connection to everyone else already in the session). Occasionally this can fail for a number of reasons – the connections are not pure UDP sockets but use Xbox Live’s secure connection protocol (so all communication is encrypted).
If connections do fail we retry to create them at regular intervals while the session is ongoing. For everything else apart from voice data we have mechanisms in place to re-route information through other consoles. That means that if consoles A and B can’t connect to each other but they can both connect to C, they will use C as a relay between the two. Voice data is not sent like this in order to not affect console C’s gameplay experience by eating into its bandwidth.
So there is a chance that there might be issues in getting your consoles connected if you can’t hear each other in game chat. One thing to check is the NAT setting on your Internet connection. You can see this on your Xbox One console as well by going to Settings -> Network and looking at the “NAT Type” value. Ideally it should say “Open”. If you have anything else apart from “Open” there is a potential you might have connectivity problems with other players.
Another thing to try is to attempt to create a new session with the player you are having issues talking to via game chat and see if you can communicate ok with them in that new session. If this happens for you it would be helpful if you can let us know as that information could help us understand better the causes of this bug.
So if you’re still experiencing issues it’s best to get online and let the team know. It may seem like you’re being a nagging nobody, but for the team it’s the only way to find out what’s wrong and helps them push out fixes in a more timely manner.
Despite the ongoing problems, Project Cars remains a very playable game and is certainly a lot more stable than Driveclub was at launch, so it’s not all bad.