Polygon Labs, the developer of the Polygon network, has announced plans for a hard fork on the network in the coming week.

According to a post on Polygon’s website, the hard fork, scheduled for January 17th, aims to address network gas fee spikes and chain reorganizations, also known as reorgs.

Hard forks are not backward-compatible and require all node operators on the network to update to the latest software at a specific time, unlike soft forks.

Polygon, an Ethereum sidechain, operates on the proof-of-stake mechanism and has significantly lower gas fees than the Ethereum mainnet. However, it’s not immune to traffic spikes that can slow the network. Last year, the NFT game “Sunflower Farmers” clogged the network.

The hard fork aims to reduce gas fee spikes by doubling the value of the “BaseFeeChangeDenominator,” which Polygon says will “help smooth out the increase/decrease rate in baseFee for when the gas exceeds or falls below the target gas limits in a block.”

The hard fork also aims to minimize reorgs, which can occur due to network errors or malicious attacks and cause the network to temporarily split in two.

This can lead to lost or duplicate transactions. The update will reduce the sprint length from the current 64 blocks to 16 blocks, which could reduce the likelihood of reorgs.

All Polygon node operators will have to upgrade their nodes before January 17th to prepare for the hard fork. However, holders of Polygon token MATIC will not need to take any action, nor will any decentralized applications (dapps) such as Web3 games.