Hollow Knight Switch's Input Lag bums me out

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Oct 25, 2017
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I dumped 40 hours into this game last week and love it to death, but I know exactly what the OP is talking about as it also bothered me at first, as my running jumps seemed off all over the place until I played the game enough to adjust to the timing. It isn't that the Switch inputs themselves are laggy, and as illustrated above, it's there if you play it on PC with a controller as well (which I suspected but didn't know for sure, as I don't have it on PC).

If you play a lot of indie platformers that first appeared on PC before being ported elsewhere, the apparent lag is a familiar feeling. There's a particular kind of sluggishness in many of these games (the length of the press, the arc of your height gain) that were quite evidently tuned around keyboard controls and don't feel quite like the snappiness of a Mario game, such that hitting the jump button has a squishiness to it like pressing down on the spacebar. It isn't self-evident or documented in Hollow Knight, for instance, that the length of your button press covers such a dramatic range from a short hop to a high jump, which I think contributes to the sense of a delayed wind-up time because a tap doesn't give you much height. I've seen this before (for some reason the example that comes to mind is Teslagrad) and recognized the issue immediately: you can tell this was a game engine likely tested on keyboards first and controllers second. There's just a certain jump curve that screams PC-port.

Impressions in this thread are probably divided because you wouldn't pick it up if you're used to it (and even I've kind of trained myself around Hollow Knight by playing it all week, though aerial downward slashes still throw me off because I still have Shovel Knight timings on the brain and those are way too late). If you play a lot of Nintendo first-party platformers in particular, Hollow Knight's physics demand that you meet the game in the middle.

Platformers on the whole are a nightmare if you leave the average HDTV on default settings with all the post-processing shenanigans they introduce, but I'm working on the assumption that everyone here already knows well enough to have dealt with that.

I think OP got confused with input lag and the amount of prejump frames in HK's jump making it seem like there's a high amount of input lag.
Yes, in other words, this.
 
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jimboton

Member
Oct 27, 2017
670
Do you know what the input lag is on PC? Someone in the other thread was saying something about this being a limitation of engines like Unity.
With some Unity games input lag seems to be related to the power of the hardware in some way, just as framerate is. In my desktop pc I can run Hollow Knight with very little input lag even with vsync on, but on a GPD Win input lag was noticeable and jumping felt pretty bad as if the floor was sticky or something.
 

FSLink

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,364
  1. Go into your Mega Man game of choice.
  2. Press the “-“ or “Select” button on your controller to open up the Options menu.
  3. Go down to “CPU Speed”.
  4. Set it to “Original”.
I've seen people say that this doesn't really affect the input lag significantly enough though.
 

Aramon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
404
Finland
I'm playing docked with a Joy-Con grip and controls feel same good as when I'm playing steam version with a X360 wired controller. I played 20h of steam version before changing to Switch and controls feel the same. I don't notice input lag.
 

Withnail

Member
Oct 26, 2017
146
Great game but this thread confirms I'm not crazy and there is something off about the jump timing. Ran off quite a few ledges in my first hours with the game before I adjusted to it.
 

Arcus Felis

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,377
Well, turns out I'm not crazy either. I noticed the input lag too, and was wondering if there were interferences between my Switch and my joycons. That explains a lot.
 

PaulloDEC

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,851
Australia
So for the knowledgeable folks here, what kind of response time would a best-in-class modern platformer offer? How about an average one?

EDIT: Out of interest I decided to test whether or not the same amount of delay was in place for general movement. At the same settings and conditions as my last test, the character moved on the 9th frame (in my video it took me 5 frames to move the stick from upright to fully pushed - I'm counting the third frame of this movement to be "press", based on how sensitive the stick seems to be in-game).
 
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Durante

Dark Souls Man
Member
Oct 24, 2017
5,070
It bums me out to see so many posters getting so defensive over the OP clearly demonstrating the amount of input delay and having the gall to care about it, even if they used slightly hyperbolic language while doing so ("ungodly"). He even opens by stressing that it isn't game-breaking! Almost as sad are all the posts saying it somehow doesn't exist simply because they never noticed or cared about it, lol.

It's good information worth sharing, and given that the OP demonstrated another game of the same genre and on the same platform having tangibly less delay, it's completely valid criticism. Yes, even if it can be leveled toward a lot of other video games!
I fully agree with this.
Having more people investigate input lag is always a good thing, since the current standards for it aren't really all that great.
 

gr0w

Member
Oct 28, 2017
90
This is exactly why I had to stop playing, particularly terrible when you're trying to bounce on things with the downwards aerial attack.
THIS!
I almost threw my controller at the TV yesterday when I tried to make it through a passage of bouncy things. Unplayable and I was thinking, how does this deserve the high review scores without being mentioned?!
I really hope they are going to release a patch.
 

TSM

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,796
It bums me out to see so many posters getting so defensive over the OP clearly demonstrating the amount of input delay and having the gall to care about it, even if they used slightly hyperbolic language while doing so ("ungodly"). He even opens by stressing that it isn't game-breaking! Almost as sad are all the posts saying it somehow doesn't exist simply because they never noticed or cared about it, lol.

It's good information worth sharing, and given that the OP demonstrated another game of the same genre and on the same platform having tangibly less delay, it's completely valid criticism. Yes, even if it can be leveled toward a lot of other video games!
Technical threads are usually a shit show here, and were historically a shit show at the old place.
 
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Arcus Felis

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,377
This input lag isn't game-breaking, but I definitely felt it, and it took me some time to get accustomed to it, as it messed up my timing in several instances (most of all were bouncing on spikes or enemies). I did wonder if I was getting bad with age and/or if my Switch controllers were having issues with Wi-fi interference or something else.
 

Devil

Member
Oct 25, 2017
592
I'm usually very sensitive to lag or delay. I'm about 15h into Hollow Knight playing it exlusively docked with Pro Controller and haven't noticed any issues at all. It feels fluid and very responsive to be honest.
If there are indeed technical issues causing lag I'm honestly surprised I'm not put off by them.
 

Rogue Agent

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,715
Sorry if this has been asked before, but does setting the Pro Controller as a wired controller make things better?
 

Dphex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,061
Cologne, Germany
THIS!
Unplayable and I was thinking, how does this deserve the high review scores without being mentioned?!
I really hope they are going to release a patch.
it´s not unplayable...countless people played through the Path of Pain, which relies on spike jumping and defeated the hardest bosses in the game. If it was unplayable, this wouldn´t be the case.

it is very hyperbolic to say the game is unplayable in this state. Unplayable is Metal Slug Anthology on PS4
 

D65

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,862
it´s not unplayable...countless people played through the Path of Pain, which relies on spike jumping and defeated the hardest bosses in the game. If it was unplayable, this wouldn´t be the case.

it is very hyperbolic to say the game is unplayable in this state. Unplayable is Metal Slug Anthology on PS4
A man solod a destiny raid with rock band drums. Just because he can do it doesn't means it's not unplayable for others...
 

Dphex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,061
Cologne, Germany
A man solod a destiny raid with rock band drums. Just because he can do it doesn't means it's not unplayable for others...
this analogy doesn´t really fit but whatever...i had my fun with the game and wasn´t bothered by input lag in the slightest. sorry for the people who feel that the game is unplayable but as i said there are seriously much worse offenders regarding input lag than Hollow Knight.

the damage is done already, many people will just read the thread title and take it for granted and not buy the game- even if it doesn´t really affect them (like myself and countless others in the OT and here in the thread).

you could make such a thread for every game on the market because again, the input lag in HK is still on a normal acceptable level for a console game in the HDTV era, played with a wireless controller
 

Rmagnus

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,923
this analogy doesn´t really fit but whatever...i had my fun with the game and wasn´t bothered by input lag in the slightest. sorry for the people who feel that the game is unplayable but as i said there are seriously much worse offenders regarding input lag than Hollow Knight.

the damage is done already, many people will just read the thread title and take it for granted and not buy the game- even if it doesn´t really affect them (like myself and countless others in the OT and here in the thread).

you could make such a thread for every game on the market because again, the input lag in HK is still on a normal acceptable level for a console game in the HDTV era, played with a wireless controller
There's no grey on ERA, it's either the best thing ever or worst thing ever. Kinda gotten used to it already
 

F34R

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,006
I noticed severe* input lag in a couple of Switch games, including Vs. Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 (not 2!). Those games are pretty much unplayable to me, sadly. But I haven't noticed any lag at all in Hollow Knight.

*Severe to me
vs. SMB was designed like that from the beginning. It doesn't have anything to do with the Switch.
 

noyram23

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,553
PC ver was a bit off from what I have played too, but I just read about the vsync so it will fix that.
 

ScOULaris

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,436
I obsess over input lag in games (and in emulation), but Hollow Knight on Switch feels very responsive to me. The 67ms measurement seems about right, and that's actually very, very low input delay with vsync enabled.
 

Psamtik

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,512
Looks like a totally normal amount of latency, unless you do all your gaming
A.) on a 144+Hz monitor
B.) on a CRT
C.) on Retroarch with runahead enabled
 

Brat-Sampson

Member
Nov 16, 2017
385
It's not unplayable but I've definitely run off ledges onto spikes more than I intended to... It makes the platforming sections even more irritating.
 

D65

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,862
this analogy doesn´t really fit but whatever...i had my fun with the game and wasn´t bothered by input lag in the slightest. sorry for the people who feel that the game is unplayable but as i said there are seriously much worse offenders regarding input lag than Hollow Knight.

the damage is done already, many people will just read the thread title and take it for granted and not buy the game- even if it doesn´t really affect them (like myself and countless others in the OT and here in the thread).

you could make such a thread for every game on the market because again, the input lag in HK is still on a normal acceptable level for a console game in the HDTV era, played with a wireless controller
Look you wanted to try and be literal so I did too.

At the end of the day, input makes a game not enjoyable for some people and others don't mind. That's all it is.
 

paulc

Alt account.
Member
Dec 14, 2017
97
There’s a little i put lag but nothing a pro like me can’t handle. I mean, i must be pro if I can cope with this ungodly input lag right?
 

Narroo

Member
Feb 27, 2018
964
It's basically already on sale. $15 for a game with ~50+ hours of content and more free DLC coming.

The OP's observations are very overstated in practice. Most people haven't noticed any input lag whatsoever, but even so, ~60ms is nothing even in competitive environments, which this isn't.
I was noticing something myslef while playing, but I thought it was just startup animations. For example, I would try to use the invincible dodge to evade attacks, but I'd somehow still get hit. Or, I'd go to wall jump and it seemed like there was a large delay. I assumed that actions in Hollow Knight just have a large start-up.
 

RM8

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,281
JP
Can our Era people who can test these things, check The Mummy Demastered? I adore the game but I'd hate knowing I've been playing a version that's not optimal. I've experienced some frame drops, too... I guess I should I play it again on PC just to be sure :P
 

Tarot Deck

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,804
Quoting those two, with v-sync on and off

There is quite a difference, it felt off to me at first too, wasn't sure why, but it's definitely this.

I just did a test on the PC version using a wired 360 controller. My phone is a OnePlus 3T shooting slowmo at 120fps (according to the info I could find, the phone itself doesn't tell you this).



It took 16 frames after my finger had fully depressed the A button before the character reacted (that is to say the 16th frame after hitting the button is when the animation began). Who wants to do the math for me?
Okay, new test. Same everything, except max prerendered frames reduced to 1 in Nvidia control panel, and in-game Vsync disabled. This time the character reacted on the 9th frame of animation rather than the 16th, which is a pretty massive difference. Will get a GIF edited into this post in a few minutes.

 

Burrman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,523
Yep it's disappointing. At first I was watching my son play it and he was complaining about the controls when he was jumping. Then I played nd noticed it right away hen I usually don't with other games.
 

Deleted member 44960

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Jun 12, 2018
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Are we sure this isn't intentional design? The game did feel a bit laggy to me as well, I stopped playing after a couple of hours then discovered this thread.
 
OP
OP
AtomicShroom

AtomicShroom

Tools & Automation
Verified
Oct 28, 2017
1,399
Because alot of people keep hammering the notion that the jump has a supposed intentional delay (I call bullshit), I also recorded a video of the attack delay. And wowsies! It's even worse than the jump! The attack fires off 24 frames (@240fps) after input, that means 6 frames of realtime (~100ms) delay between button press and reaction.

See for yourselves:

 
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Rei no Otaku

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,199
Cranston RI
I have the same issue with the game. I've beaten the first few bosses and the whole time the game just felt "mushy." I assumed that the delay in the jumping and attacking was intentional. If it's not I hope there's a patch as I'm kind of done with the game unless there is.
 

Rave_norris

Banned
Apr 19, 2018
405
User Warned: Thread whining.
Just let this topic die. Its probably hurting the game sales for a unreasonable complaint.

And i think there are people thinking its input lag but it really is just the bad joycon signal.
 

dmaul1114

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,370
Just let this topic die. Its probably hurting the game sales for a unreasonable complaint.

And i think there are people thinking its input lag but it really is just the bad joycon signal.
I played a while portable and docked (with pro controller) last night and didn’t notice any lag. I tend to be pretty insensitive to it though. I didn’t have any issues with Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One at launch, for instance.
 

Dphex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,061
Cologne, Germany
Did a quick test of a couple other Switch games, same setup as my other post:

Celeste: ~4 frames of input lag, about 2 less than Hollow Knight
Super Mario Odyssey: ~6 frames of input lag, about the same as Hollow Knight

Videos for reference/proof:
Celeste: https://drive.google.com/file/d/199cUBzFG8v8pFqPBdAqRlZVv7poklNhO/view
Super Mario Odyssey: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LuWhW3rS-ULySUs9et37hnA_yGvVhd0X/view
good to know because OP claimed in the first post Super Mario Odyssey is dramatically better than Hollow Knight...

this thread here is really making a mountain out of a molehill...every game has input lag, sometimes more, sometimes less. some people are more sensitive to it, others not. some games are unplayable (Metal Slug Anthology PS4), some are playable (Hollow Knight). In this era with HDTV(or 4K),HDMI switches and wireless controllers it is normal to have input lag
 

GameAddict411

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,014
I noticed the input lag immediately compared to pc. But the good thing is that I got used to it very quickly and it's not a issue now.
 
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