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How many pilots?

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eskyworld.com:
In theory how many pilots could fly on one single FS Host server before it becomes unstable? What is the current record amount of pilots that have flown at once on single server.

Russell Gilbert:
Hi there,

In theory, the only limit is bandwidth, since FSHost allows an unlimited number of players.  I've heard of games with over 30 players in them before, and definitely seen games with 28 or so.  Not sure what the actual record is :-)

Usually the bandwidth required is somewhere between 1KB and 1.5KB per second, per player.  When your session today had 20 players in it, I noticed that it was using between 25 and 30 KBps.  And that would have been the same for all players.  Since modem connections can only go up to about 5KBps or so, everyone would definitely need to be on a high speed connection, with a good solid connection to not only the server, but all other players as well.  Remember that in FS2002, the server does not relay the data to the other players -- all players send their data to all other players, four times per second!  I've heard that FS2004 has changed the data rate code significantly, so it'll be interesting to see how it compares.

One other note... Add-on programs like FSNav, HomeRadar, and AIBridge connect to the session as a normal player, but only receive data, they don't send anything.  This means that all other players in the game must send them their data, so it increases the overall bandwidth required for each player, but only by half as much as a normal player that would be sending data also.  This is of course true for the fake player created by FSHost as well.

When a particular player exceeds his bandwidth abilities, he'll start seeing planes jumping around in the sky, because he's not getting the position packets quickly enough from the other players.  When this happens, his own FS tries to predict where the plane should be now, even tho it hasn't heard from it in a while.  When it guesses wrong, and then finally gets a position packet, it redraws the plane at the correct location, and the end result is that the plane jumps in the sky to the new position.  This would be true for how other players see the slow player as well.  But so far there's no evidence that it adversely affects the other players, in how they see each other.

Russell

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