Valorant launches Global Invalidation

Since patch 4.03, Valorant's technical performance teams have implemented what they call Global Invalidation. Intended to boost performance, it seems to have proven itself after several months of testing and has just been deployed.

But what exactly is Global Invalidation? In the exact words of Aaron Cheney who is a software engineer, Global Invalidation aims to significantly improve UI performance throughout the game while reducing the amount of manual work required of developers to place widgets in each invalidation box.

The developers started working on it at the end of July 2021, while testing it internally. Many bugs were revealed, but the tests proved that Global Invalidation could speed up UI processing by 35%. A golden opportunity to offer a much better game performance to a large part of the Valorant community.

For weeks, teams worked hard to fix bugs and partially integrate versions 4.26 and 4.27 ofUnreal Engine, the powerful game engine developed by Epic Games. Overall, their work worked in a four-step cycle: enable Global Invalidation, identify bugs, disable Global Invalidation, fix bugs.

Global Invalidation bug fix flow

With each new cycle, the teams found fewer and fewer problems. Finally, at the end of November 2021, the software was declared stable. However, caution was still needed as Global Invalidation affects all aspects of the game. It impacts your friends list, the settings menu, the button that allows you to launch a game...

It was therefore unthinkable that any of these elements would break and, for this reason, many new tests were scheduled. Without going into detail, the teams carried out what they call vertical slice tests, destructive tests, , marginal case tests, and finally a test in the PBE.

The PBE test was the most important test of all, as it was conducted in real-world conditions and on thousands of players. Global Invalidation was deployed over a weekend to ensure that it would not jeopardise the integrity of the game and that the performance gains were as expected. Was the test successful? Yes.

Since patch 4.03, the software has been in place and has been a great success with players who now have a better IPS rate. To give you an idea, here is the performance on different machine configurations since the deployment of Global Invalidation.

Global Invalidation data

The data recorded would, according to the game's development teams, be the biggest performance gain for the client since launch. Global Invalidation offers a 15% gain to customers who rely on typically mid to high-end processors.

But what do these curves correspond to? The graph measures the "patch IPS" against the "average IPS" : the higher the better. In addition, each curve represents a hardware configuration (processor + graphics card combination) that is common among gamers. Finally, the data was collected in the most popular game modes, namely unrated games and competitive mode.

Looking at the graph, there is a clear increase in performance and, despite some bugs reported by players, Global Invalidation seems to work remarkably well.

If you want to know more about its development and release, we invite you to read directly thearticle published by Riot Games.