A Better and Friendlier Approach to Game Patching

Best Practices in Patch Management: Part 2 of 3

​Learn about the best practices for online game patching to ensure the best possible experience for your gamers in this three-part series

In our last post, Build a Patch Management Strategy That Works, we covered the challenges associated with PC and Mac game patching and the importance of making an efficient patch management strategy for your game. The goal is to minimize the size of your updates and to get your players playing your game rather than have them waiting a long time for it to update.

Now we’ll discuss a better and friendlier approach to game patching which will reduce friction for your players and keep them playing longer.

Smaller is Better

Accomplishing smaller patch sizes is a two-pronged attack. Using X-delta as a method for determining byte-level differences between two versions of the game reduces the total file size to its smallest amount. In addition, you can deploy a patch strategy using Solid State Networks’ Graph-Based patching to make sure you always provide the shortest patch from the version that exists on your player’s machine to the current version. This is what we refer to as “Progressive Patching.”

Progressive Patching ensures that there are several paths to get players from any previous version to the current version without having to make unnecessary “pit stops” at older versions along the way. Many patching solutions make the user patch incrementally from every previous version to the next until they have reached the current version. If it has been a long time since a user last patched the game – even if X-Delta was used – this could mean the user has to go through many sequential patches before being patched to the current version.

Next Post (part 3 of 3) will delve into Game Asset Management as well as the other considerations for creating a balanced and effective patching strategy.