Why is the first map load slower than the others?

  • Why is the first map load slower than the others? DISREGARD MODS ACQUIRE REP

    Maybe it's just me, but I'm not sure.

    Whenever I start up a Source engine map, whether it'd be a private or public server, the first map load (Receiving Server info --> Sending Client info) takes much much longer than it takes if I were to disconnect immediately after, and rejoin the same server.

    I don't believe it's my computer set-up, as I have had the same issue on slower computers and faster computers.

    Better put, what exactly is the Source Engine doing on the first server join/map load? I'm just curious why the first map load is significantly slower than subsequent loads?

  • I believe the first time you load a map during a session in Source games, the engine will cache some loaded map resources. This is done to speed up subsequent load times for the same map.

    When you close the game, the cache is deleted.

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