Mordhau, a first-person medieval combat game where you can decapitate one another with polearms, is a very fun game. It’s also very laggy. Since it launched yesterday and has crawled up to become Steam’s global top seller, Mordhau’s servers are buckling under the weight of all those would-be knights trying to stab one another. It’s really spoiling the fun of its extremely deep combat.
Developed by indie studio Triternion, Mordhau is a lot like Chivalry. Its best mode is a 64-player team death match with a series of objectives to fight over and a very funny battle royale mode that inevitably comes down to who can get a horse first. But unlike Chivalry or Mount and Blade’s multiplayer modes, Mordhau also offers extremely robust character customization and very fatal combat with a variety of weapons. Also dismemberment. Lots of dismemberment.
As you can expect, nuanced first-person melee combat—where a single well-timed swing can lop your head off—requires a stable internet connection to work well. But, right now, Mordhau’s servers just aren’t up to the task. Since it launched yesterday, servers have been plagued by excessively high and constantly fluctuating ping and some bugs that weren’t awarding players with gold or experience points.
Triternion has acknowledged the issues and released several hotfixes, including one that temporarily has dropped the servers down to 48 players instead of 64. But after playing a few rounds this afternoon, things still aren’t good. My connection is far more reliable, but the high latency still makes combat often feel unresponsive and weightless.
It’s gotten to the point where I’m a bit frustrated with Mordhau. There’s clearly a good game here and the few times I’ve been on a server with good latency has been really fun. Someone hit me with a throwing axe and I pulled it out of my chest and threw it back at them. The subreddit is also overflowing with amazing clips of gory beheadings or hilarious shenanigans. But until the servers start working better, I think those who haven’t yet bought Mordhau should wait to see if it improves.
The good news is that Triternion seems to be making progress very quickly. The difference between launch day and today are noticeable, so I hope tomorrow things are even smoother. But until we know for sure, buyer beware.
I’ve reached out to Triternion to get some clarity around the server issues and timeline for expected fixes. I’ll update this post if I hear back.