Call of Duty: Mobile (CODM) is one of the most popular mobile games worldwide with over 500 million downloads. When the game launched in Nigeria in late 2019, many local gamers were excited to experience the classic COD gameplay on their smartphones. However, a major factor that determines the quality of online multiplayer experience is the server infrastructure and whether the game has servers located within the region. In this blog post, we will take an in-depth look at CODM’s dedicated server for Nigeria and the West African region.
CODM Server Region for Nigeria
When CODM was released in Nigeria, the developers ensured that players in the country and rest of Africa are connected to servers dedicated for that region. This African/Middle Eastern server is physically located within the region to provide the lowest possible latency for matches. Having a local server makes a huge difference compared to connecting to distant international servers which results in high ping issues.
The exact location of CODM’s African server is not publicly disclosed but it is likely hosted in data centers based in South Africa, Egypt or Morocco. These countries have well established internet infrastructure capable of supporting game servers. By default, whenever a Nigerian player launches CODM, they are automatically matched to players within the large Africa/Middle East server region rather than distant regions like Europe or Asia.
This dedicated regional server allows for localized in-game experiences tailored to Nigeria. For example, in-game store offers, event times, language and more are optimized for the local market rather than foreign ones. Localization is an important factor for retention and engagement of the Nigerian CODM player base. The server also hosts qualifiers and tournaments for African esports leagues and teams.
Benefits of a Nigerian CODM Server
Having a server locally rather than relying on inter-continental connections provides some key benefits for gamers in Nigeria:
Ping or latency is the delay experienced between sending and receiving data packets during online multiplayer matches. The farther away a player connects to a server, the higher their ping will be. A local African server allows Nigerian players to get matchmaking ping below 50ms in most cases, ensuring smooth responsive gameplay.
With lower pings across the board, the CODM matchmaking system can more easily find and pair players together within the same region. This results in fair matches decided by skill rather than internet connections. Players also spend less time waiting in lobbies.
More Stable Connections
Local networking infrastructure is less prone to congestion or disruptions compared to inter-continental submarine cables. CODM matches on the African server experience fewer disconnections or packet loss issues compared to playing on distant servers.
Eliminates Language Barriers
Since most players matched on the Nigeria server will be from neighbouring African/Middle Eastern countries, language is less likely be a barrier to effective team communication. Pings are also reduced compared to mixing with non-English speaking regions.
Supports Local Competitive Scene
With all Nigerian players on the same dedicated server, it becomes easier to organize and run esports tournaments, leagues and qualifiers for teams within the region. Local pro players also get a level playing field.
Potential Downsides of CODM Server
While having a dedicated server improves gameplay for most, there are some potential downsides as well:
– **Smaller Player Pool** – The player base contained within the Africa/Middle East region is much smaller than massive international server regions. This can occasionally lead to longer matchmaking times, especially during off-peak hours.
– **Hacks & Cheats** – On a smaller independent server, it is theoretically easier for cheat developers to create and spread hacks/mods tailored specifically to exploit vulnerabilities. Anti-cheat may be less stringent compared to what’s employed on bigger international servers.
– **Bugs & Issues** – As the sole server serving an entire large region, any problems that arise whether due to hardware faults, DDoS attacks or software bugs affects all players in Africa/Middle East at once until resolved. International servers have redundancies built-in.
– **Updates & Downtime** – Significant title updates and maintenance work that require server downtime has a huge impact in Africa since there is no backup or alternate server to switch to for the duration. Downtime could last hours.
So while a local server is preferable for most, occasional longer queue times or stability issues are trade-offs faced by smaller dedicated regions compared to pooling globally. However, on balance, the advantages outweigh downsides for Nigerian CODM players.
Growth of Nigerian CODM ESports Scene
One major outcome of having a dedicated African server location has been the steady growth of the local CODM esports community and competitive scene in Nigeria. With all regional players on an even footing online, it became easier to organize cross-server tournaments and qualifiers.
This allowed grassroots esports organizations like Victorious Esports and WonderZ to host the initial weeks-long Nigerian CODM Championship circuits starting in 2020. Prize pools steadily increased from ₦100,000 initially to over ₦1 million currently. Top Nigerian pro teams like Oakland Esports, Victorious Black, Konflict Esports and more were born from these competitions.
Platforms like YouTube and Facebook live streaming also supported the growth of CODM esports in Nigeria by providing avenues for official broadcast partnerships and promotion of tournaments. Popular streamers like CODM Famtves helped bring awareness and expand the fanbase. Sponsorships from tech brands like Infinix Mobile further pushed the frontrunners to go fully professional.
The significant interest led Activision themselves to officially recognize the Nigerian competitive scene and include the region under planned programs like the Call of Duty League. The 2021 CDL “Road to Champs” event featured a dedicated African Wildcard Qualifier bracket. Local teams were even flown internationally to participate in ambitious LAN events such as the MENA Championship held in Dubai.
In summary, having its own dedicated server infrastructure tailored for the Nigerian market has been core to supporting the massive popularity and playerbase CODM has built within the country since launch. The lower pings and localized experiences due to the African server help make the game highly competitive and enjoyable for local gamers.
It has also enabled the establishment of a vibrant grassroots – and increasingly professional – esports community in Nigeria revolving around CODM competitions. While occasional stability issues do occur on a smaller independent server, the networking advantages far outweigh any negatives. As internet connectivity in Nigeria continues expanding, so too does the potential for further growth of CODM and its local scene.