Matchmaking: Frequently Asked Questions
Ensuring our players have the best matches available to them is one of our top priorities. Matchmaking considers quite a few variables, with this FAQ our goal is to help players better understand the inner workings.
What is Matchmaking?
Matchmaking is the process that determines which players you will fight with and which players you will fight against. We currently use a modified “TrueSkill” system. In ideal conditions, The Matchmaking system tries to ensure both teams have a good chance of winning the match. Some of the variables it has to consider and work with are:
- Number of players in Queue who are suitable matches
- Party, Duo or Solo Queue
- Time spent in queue
How does Matchmaking Work?
To better explain how Matchmaking works, it is important to define a few of the terms and concepts:
Matchmaking Rating (MMR):
MMR is a value that is hidden to the player. That value represents how skilled the system thinks the player is overall, based on their match history.
MMR is affected by wins and losses, but importantly, who those wins and losses occurred against and whether the Matchmaker expected to see a win or loss during those matches.
Casual and Competitive Queue have separate MMR ratings that are assigned to players. These are entirely separate and do not affect each other.
Matches are assembled based on MMR. A player’s competitive border (which represents their current standing in the Competitive Ladder) does not always offer accurate insight into their MMR.
An easy way to break it down would be the following:
- A player’s MMR represents where the Matchmaker is confident they belong based on their match history thus far.
- A player’s Division Border (Gold II, Bronze V, etc) shows where they are currently within the competitive ladder. This is influenced by MMR but determined by Triumph Points (TP).
- While there is a general correlation between a player’s MMR and their Division, their Variance, Triumph Points and match history may create disparities.
Variance represents the Matchmaker’s confidence in it’s MMR assessment.
To confidently assign an MMR, the Matchmaker needs data on a player’s past performance. More data means more confidence.
A player with high Variance will have their MMR go through more significant swings up and down as the system narrows in on their proper MMR.
A player with low Variance will be less prone to large MMR losses/gains.
Depending if the Matchmaker expects a player to win or lose a given match up, their MMR may change more or less drastically too.
Things that increase MMR Variance:
- Lack of data (Player has not played many matches in the associated Queue)
- Losing when Matchmaker predicts a win, winning when Matchmaker predicts a loss.
Things that decrease MMR Variance:
- Sufficient data (Player has played quite a few matches in the associated Queue)
- Losing when Matchmaker predicts a loss, winning when Matchmaker predicts a win.
Triumph Points (TP):
Triumph Points are visible points that players earn as they win or lose games. Players earn TP by winning games, they lose TP by losing games.
TP loss & gain is dependant on Matchmaking and whether the player is favored to win or lose the match.
The max number of TP a player can win or lose is 17 TP.
The minimum number of TP a player can win or lose is 1 TP.
When a player reaches (or surpasses) 100 TP, they will be promoted to a higher Division. If a player has an exceptionally high MMR for their division, they can skip Divisions upon promotion.
Once a player’s TP is reduced to 0 TP, losing a subsequent game will result in a demotion to the next Division down.
A player cannot be demoted until they have played at least 5 games in their current Division.
So what does the Matchmaking process look like?
- Players enter the queue of their choice.
- Every few seconds, Matchmaker runs thousands of simulations with various combinations of party members and opponents.
- Matchmaker looks to build matches where:
- Teammates have a similar MMR.
- The gap between the lowest MMR teammate and the highest MMR teammate is minimal.
- That gap is similar to the gap the opposing team has.
- The combined average MMR of Team A is close to the combined average MMR of Team B.
- The region is appropriate
- Matchmaker attempts to ensure teams with parties also face other teams with parties.
- The party’s average MMR is considered to be slightly higher to account for the synergy coordinated players exhibit.
- The longer the Matchmaker goes without finding an ideal matchup, the looser the restrictions become until a match is found.
What if I wait too long or there aren’t any ideal matchups?
In a perfect world, it would be prime time all the time with players of all skill levels and party combinations playing across the world.
But the reality is that there will always be periods where ideal matches either take longer to find or simply don’t exist. With the release of Ranked 2.0 allowing more players into Competitive Queue, this has become less of an issue. The queue is populated with a healthy range of players for most regions, most of the time.
Still, less than ideal matchups can and do occur. To help combat this, the Matchmaker does the following:
If the Matchmaker’s simulation shows that Team A has an advantage over Team B:
- Players on Team A will gain less Triumph Points if they win
- Players on Team A will lose more Triumph Points if they lose
- Players on Team B will gain more Triumph Points if they win
- Players on Team B will lose less Triumph Points if they lose
“If I’m Diamond Division, why do I have a Gold Division player on my team?”
This is a common question that could have a few different answers. Possible explanations include:
- Matches are made by MMR not Division.
- The Matchmaker may be confident that player belongs in a higher Division based on their MMR
- That player may have a high Variance (defined above) and thus be shuffling around more as the Matchmaker zeroes in on a proper MMR for that player.
- After sorting for regional preferences, party status and acceptable time spent in queue, it may simply be the best predicted matchup available for you at that specific time.
“I tried my hardest and we lost a close game, why did I lose 17 TP?”
To experience a large loss of TP, the player likely had a high Variance. Maybe they just got out of their placement matches and were still settling in.
Furthermore, this occurs when a team loses a game the Matchmaker predicted them to win. The Matchmaker assessment could be off because:
- High MMR players predicted to do well could have played a champ they were unfamiliar with and/or not performed at the level expected.
- A party assigned a boost to MMR may not have had the cohesion expected.
- The lower MMR team put their tryhard pants on, worked together and defied expectations.
“Why not have the Matchmaker assign MMR based on my actual performance, like damage done or K/D/A?”
The Matchmaker looks at wins, losses, and WHO they occurred against. By looking at wins and losses, the system creates a broad overview of someone’s overall skill as a player.
Paladins is a team game and it’s important to create a snapshot of their total skill level, not just a specialized analysis of say, their skill with Androxus who they may or may not be able to play in any given match.
Assigning MMR via wins/losses also protects against people trying to game the system and discourages people from playing in a manner that benefits only them. If Kills/Deaths/Assists or damage were tracked, a player might not play the objective and chase kills to benefit their rating.
This system incentivizes being a well rounded player and working as a team to achieve a victory.
Thanks for taking the time to check this FAQ out! Anyone with questions or feedback feel free to reach out, we’ll update this as needed if anything changes or more questions are answered. Best of luck in your ranked games, we’ll see you…in the Realm!