One of the hottest topics in the gaming community right now is skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). From Call of Duty to Fortnite to Apex Legends, SBMM is seemingly in every popular multiplayer title. Though developers believe it helps retain a particular player base, the mechanic is alienating a solid portion of their community, especially in Apex Legends. Once an enjoyable run-and-gun shooter, Apex public matches are now a nightmare for most players. While some other factors play a role, skill-based matchmaking is mostly to blame. So, this begs the question, should skill-based matchmaking be in Apex Legends?
Skill-based matchmaking doesn’t belong in public matches
If you’re unaware, skill-based matchmaking is essentially a feature in which the game will place you in matches with players of similar skill. So, as an example, if you have a certain rank in Apex Legends, say Platinum, you will likely be matched up with other Platinums. The game will also take into account your kills per game, overall kill/death ratio, win/loss record, etc.
SBMM started out as a way to protect lower-ranked players. Developers believe that if a first-time player hops on and is immediately killed by a veteran player, they will simply stop playing the game. However, SBMM has evolved into a universal mechanic for all players.
Currently, in Apex Legends, it’s a near 100% chance that you’ll be matched with players around your skill level. Though this does indeed help out lower-tier players, the higher-tier population gets the short end of the stick.
Many players don’t enjoy fighting against similarly skilled players because it becomes hard to tell if you’re improving or not. If you match up against players like yourself, you will die more often and usually earn fewer eliminations.
Skill-based matchmaking should be left for the ranked playlist, which Apex Legends features. However, in public matches, a majority of players want to go up against a melting pot of differently skilled enemies. For the past few months, this has been nowhere near the case in Apex Legends.
Will Apex Legends ever change its current formula?
Across social media, many in the community have been pleading with Respawn Entertainment to reverse their actions. Players of all skill levels prefer the way Apex Legends used to be with no skill-based matchmaking. Matches were more fun and action-packed, leading to a plethora of insane moments.
While the vocal portion of the community may want a reversal, it’s highly unlikely Respawn will budge. The developers have data that shows skill-based matchmaking benefits around 90% of the player base in some way. Whether it be game retention or player improvement, Respawn has some sort of data that proves SBMM helps out more players than it hurts.
So, unfortunately for some in the community, SBMM is not going anywhere in Apex Legends or any other multiplayer title for that matter. It seems those who don’t enjoy SBMM will either have to adapt to it or find another game to enjoy.
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