What exactly causing a server to lag

I’m currently on a private server that has gradually became more and more laggy to the point the server crashes and goes offline.

The admin as well as some players blame specifically people who are building in black ice and Aquilionian. I disagree with this statement as I find sandstone to be more laggy (it’s easier to produce and easier to spam) as well as torches, placeables like decorative items, animals, thralls, vaults, chests, as well as hearths being more problematic when spammed. Anything can be laggy if spammed beyond reason but they are saying people building in black ice is causing this. Is there something I missed? Is this necessarily true?

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Doesn’t sound right to me - I’ve always understood placeables (especially those with animations, like torches or thralls etc) and storage and things like fish traps/compost heaps (that are constantly spawning things) to be the biggest problems. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard that any specific building set causes more lag than any other (can’t really see why it would - surely under the surface they are all just the same code, with different textures (and stats) wrapped on top?)

Hopefully someone with a better understanding of the systems can provide more reliable information. But, as it stands, I can’t come up with a reason why it would be that way.


That most likely means they don’t understand the difference between client performance and server performance. When it comes to the server performance of building pieces – such as foundations, walls, ceilings, etc. – there is no difference between different materials. Aquilonian and black ice foundations will have the same effect on the server as stormglaass and Yamatai.


I agree. I tried explaining this and the admin as well as another player in the server said it was well documented there were complaints that black ice causes lag due to the “shiny” effect the ice has, which to me, doesn’t add up as it’s just a color and not an animation like fire is in torches.


I must admit I’d like to see this ‘well-documented’ evidence they claim - certainly not something I’ve come across before (and while I might not know much, I tend to trust the other comments showing up in this thread). I do hope you’re able to get a conclusive answer that can be shown to these people, ideally something direct from Funcom on the subject.
@drachenfeles I don’t suppose you happen to remember which dev stream? If we could track that tidbit down, that could be very helpful.

@drachenfeles Good memory - took a little searching, but October last year was exactly right :slight_smile:

@alias_46913 the exact quote from the dev team was:

Twitch Comment: Question. Are the tree foundations lag/memory wise worse then the normal ones or better?

Robert: About the same. I’d also like to comment here and say that what REALLY lags the memory out is a massive amount of placeables, since placeables are not instanced but building pieces are. #pro-tip

This is from the 'Debaucheries of Derketo Comments and Questions section from this recap of a dev stream:
Developer Stream Recap: October 3rd, 2019

I don’t know if that will be enough to convince the server admin and other players (some people will stick to their beliefs no matter what), but hopefully it helps a bit :slight_smile:


There are lots of lag causing placeables.
How about torches. We see bases lit like bon fires.

Sandstone foundations spewed all over the map will do it too.
Some private servers demand you build no higher than 2 foundation blocks OR build on top of fence foundations.
They say it help with lag.

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No, your currently on the client end. The client connects to the server. The server handles all the rules and physics. The client draws all the graphics on screen, which could be laggy.

Note that the framerate between client and server are very different. “Server FPS” rate is how fast the physics engine is working. Client FPS is how fast the graphics are working.

Now, does black ice degrade the client? Compare FPS rates.

I mentioned I was on a private server explaining the situation. I understand what you are saying about what client side handles vs what a server handles but from there I’m not quite understanding what you are trying to say. I just needed proof or a solid explanation that building types do not in fact cause server issues and lag, it’s more that placeables such as thralls, animals, torches, hearths, etc cause issues if people have them spammed. Which in this case the admin literally has over 30 admin builds torched up, tons of decorative items everywhere, and their decay timer is set for over two weeks. All this takes a toll on the server. It crashed today over six times, lasting 20 minutes each of down time. It’s insane.

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Again, if they’re complaining about server performance, they’re full of it. Torches and other animated placeables will cause client-side performance problems.

Server performance problems affect everyone on the server, regardless of where they are. If someone builds a base that slows down the server, everyone will feel the effects, not just the people in the vicinity of that base.

The server does not render any visuals, so there’s no difference – in terms of server performance – between black ice walls and sandstone walls. If the admin is worried about server performance, let them worry about followers first and foremost. The AI has the biggest effect on server performance.

If the server performance is poor and it’s not being caused by followers, then they might want to worry about other possible sources of server lag, such as excessive use of foundations, too many containers, too many placeables, etc. Bear in mind that it takes truly massive amounts of those to affect a server with reasonable hardware.

Unfortunately, I don’t know if there’s a way to check the server performance while you’re playing on PS4. I know that on PC you can use the ToggleDebugHUD console command and that will give you tons of useful info, including the ping and the “server FPS”. I don’t know if there’s anything like that on PS4.


I’m working blindly, so I needed some feedback to be more clear:

In this case, building types do not cause server lag.

That’s a different issue.


What limit is set for thralls and pets . And if it’s high do alot of people max it out. On my server limit for 2 man clan is 135. Played on a server where admin thought certain types of pets lagged server and he was about 40% into the game so obviously some one was feeding him input.

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Better yet, is it even enabled?

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True that. Set max on my server after they discussed it for official server’s figured get people used to it.

I don’t think they even have a limit. LOL.

Mmmmm cool

I was pretty sure black ice myth was busted, Since its client side effect.(as something like mod coudl remove it) As Robert mention and as Sestus posted, its heavly on placeables that don’t load at same distance as buildings.

And 2nd behind anything thats gotta contact server and update. (fishtraps and other thing that have ticks going on)

Judging what I saw on some of PC streams… FIsh update caused everyones cousin’s sister 's brother to place even more and compost heaps to counter it.


Thanks for the information. I knew the black ice issue was busted. I just needed some community feedback to share to the private server I’m on as they found my opinion (which is the same as everyone else’s on here) to be incorrect. Now I have multiple people within the community saying the same thing, with information that even the devs explained the issue during a stream. I can show this to them and they can eat crow. :joy:

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