Controller input lag - your experience? Workarounds?

herbert

Club Supporter
The problem is not new. I think most of us have run into this. If it's got you, then you experience things like these:
  • Short passes are too soft. Most likely due to too little button input.
  • Players use the 'Stretched first-touch' animation for balls that are 100% placed at their feet.
  • Players turn extremely slowly. Best example of button lag, players respond too late & feel like glue.
  • Random passes and shots aren't executed. Instead players keep walking in a straight line.
  • Conceding a lot during the final third.
  • Impossible to score when a ball bounces off the keeper, you press "shoot" like a madman, but nothing happens.
  • When accepting a pass your player pauses to control the ball - just enough time for your opponent player to steal it from you.
  • Moving your players "horizontally" (like from a wing into the center) is painfully slow.
  • Your players get caught offside all the time when you try to play through passes, although you pressed the "pass" button in time, it's just nothing happens for some milliseconds until the player you want to pass to has surpassed the defence line.
  • When sprinting towards the opposite goal with the ball and press "shoot" nothing happens for a while, so that defenders have lots of time to tackle you.
  • When passing the game directs the ball not to the free player you aimed at but some other player roughly in the same direction (who would usually be marked well, so that you lose posession).
Some of the issues above have been copied from this thread in the easports forum. It is obvious that this problem is pretty common. When does it occur? My observations:
  • Frequently in an intense game towards its end (that's why you concede a lot in the last third as mentioned above).
  • When it's raining (looks like the GPU is too busy rendering).
  • Totally randomly (at some point every match will be like this, you can try rebooting several times until, also pretty randomly, the problem just disappears).
I have this on a Windows gaming laptop (not too recent, but bought well after Fifa 14 was released) playing against the CPU. Others had this over the network, also on consoles. The root cause seems to be pretty deep in the gaming engine.

In some forum I found a comment which seemed to offer a pretty good explanation, at least for some of the stuff above: According to it it's animations that cannot be interrupted. For instance, if your player receives a pass the AI triggers some animation connected with it. While this is happening, you cannot control the player. If these animations take too long, then you completely lose the flow. Pretty logically, this happens more often if the match is very intense and you play fast.

Not sure whether this is really it. And of course we all know that with a game as old as Fifa 14 we cannot really expect a fix from EA (in particular as the followup versions had and probably still have the same problems). Now the question is: how can we deal with this? Are there any workarounds?

What I have tried (and it did not work) was:
  • Change the game's speed using the settings. Does not make any difference.
  • Use different game controllers, always upgrade to the last drivers. No effect at all.
  • Play around with the graphics controller's performance settings in the Windows preferences. Since people using consoles have the same problem it would have been a surprise anyway.
What kind of works so far is rebooting Windows after every so-and-so many matches. Still not always working, because the behaviour after a Windows reboot can still be pretty random.

One thing I am considering now, but I am hesitant because of the money it would cost (and I simply don't know whether it would work) is buying a new machine. Would those "slow animations" be executed faster on faster hardware thus at least partly solving the problem, or is the animation speed "built in", so that if your hardware is basically "fast enough" it will always behave the same way?

I'd be interested to hear from you guys whether you've found any hint:
  • Does new and faster hardware help?
  • Is there any pattern that I have been unable to identify (so that things are at least no longer random and one could work around them)?
  • Any other workaround that is not specific to networking or consoles (since others have the same problem, too, this can hardly be the solution)?
 
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herbert

Club Supporter
that's how the engine works m8
we can't do anything unless there is a FIFA 14 dev who developed the engine
Sure, and the game is not going to get any updates from EA.
That's why I think we should gather some understanding how we can work around those problems.
I'd really like to know whether the problems I described above are still as bad if using recent and fast hardware?
 

Skoczek

Starting XI
Sure, and the game is not going to get any updates from EA.
That's why I think we should gather some understanding how we can work around those problems.
I'd really like to know whether the problems I described above are still as bad if using recent and fast hardware?
I don't want to experience defeatism but I suspect to do that we would have to reverse engineer to dig into the source code itself.
 

herbert

Club Supporter
I don't want to experience defeatism but I suspect to do that we would have to reverse engineer to dig into the source code itself.
Why not just share experience? That's what my post was really about.
If for instance people say that getting new hardware recently had some impact on input lag or not this could help others in their decision whether or not to invest money.
 

Emran_Ahmed

Club Supporter
Why not just share experience? That's what my post was really about.
If for instance people say that getting new hardware recently had some impact on input lag or not this could help others in their decision whether or not to invest money.
idk if it happens cuz of hardware
you can reverse engineer FIFA 14 to source code with a tool named "Ghidra" btw
 

herbert

Club Supporter
Here is a little update. Got myself a new machine with fairly sufficient resources today.

First thing to notice: with the preinstalled Windows 10 and DirectX 12 the game would not start as the library xinput1_3.dll was missing. It turned out that in addition to DirectX 12 also version 9 needs to be installed, see these instructions.

Of course it's still a bit early to assess whether the lag is gone now. But a few things I have already noticed:
  • The game feels a bit smoother, but the difference is not big.
  • Unlike before, rain or snow no longer makes the game unplayable.
  • Through passes seem to work better than before (they used to go straight into opponent players before).
  • Players needing time to control the ball if receiving passes at the "wrong time" is not solved. It seems not to depend on the hardware's performance.
Hence so far I'd say that the game has improved compared to running it on a 5 years old gaming laptop that was upper middle class (more or less the same price class as the new one) when I bought it. However I need to say that by far not all annoyances have disappeared.

If my impression changes after having played on the new hardware for a couple of weeks I may deliver another update.
 

Emran_Ahmed

Club Supporter
Here is a little update. Got myself a new machine with fairly sufficient resources today.

First thing to notice: with the preinstalled Windows 10 and DirectX 12 the game would not start as the library xinput1_3.dll was missing. It turned out that in addition to DirectX 12 also version 9 needs to be installed, see these instructions.

Of course it's still a bit early to assess whether the lag is gone now. But a few things I have already noticed:
  • The game feels a bit smoother, but the difference is not big.
  • Unlike before, rain or snow no longer makes the game unplayable.
  • Through passes seem to work better than before (they used to go straight into opponent players before).
  • Players needing time to control the ball if receiving passes at the "wrong time" is not solved. It seems not to depend on the hardware's performance.
Hence so far I'd say that the game has improved compared to running it on a 5 years old gaming laptop that was upper middle class (more or less the same price class as the new one) when I bought it. However I need to say that by far not all annoyances have disappeared.

If my impression changes after having played on the new hardware for a couple of weeks I may deliver another update.
Sweet!!!
btw if u are interested in reverse engineering FIFA 14 to source code, DM me.
 

herbert

Club Supporter
OK, here's another update. Having played on the new machine for some time now I need to say that it changed only little:
  • The game usually feels a bit smoother.
  • Rain and snow still suck because of reduced visibility, however the game now reacts more quickly which is good.
  • These phases of brutal lagginess still occur. And, yes, as bad as before. These problems are clearly inside the game.
  • It looks like there is also what I call "minor lagginess" happening after I have been playing for a while. This seems to be caused by the game leaking resources. This "minor lagginess" has got better with the new hardware since it takes longer until it occurs.
So all in all: as old as the game is I'd say that super-fast hardware is not needed. It's nice to have, but even on a machine several years of age the game works just the same. The problems I have described above don't seem to be related to hardware. They still occur. Since the game is old we'll have to live with this.
My solution (for me it's easy, because I play against the CPU): when it gets laggy I simply quit the game and reboot. If still laggy then, just repeat. After a few reboots it will be fine again.
 


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