Apex Legends ranked guide: How does skill-based matchmaking work in the game

Apex Legends uses a skill-based matchmaking system (Image via Respawn Entertainment)
Apex Legends uses a skill-based matchmaking system (Image via Respawn Entertainment)
Sourav Banik

It has often occurred to the Apex Legends community if the game uses a skill-based matchmaking System (SBMM) or not. Skill-based matchmaking is a system that matches players of similar ranks and skills against each other in online matches of multiplayer games.

Its main aim is to ensure fair and fun competition among the players in the lobby. A similar system is also prevalent in Apex and works in both Casual and Ranked modes of the game.

It tries to match players of the same rank and kill-death (KD) ratio. Since no SBMM is one-hundred percent accurate, it does tend to work most of the time.


What is SBMM, and how does it work in Apex Legends?

Skill-based matchmaking, or SBMM, is a system where players of the same rank or skill are matched in an online multiplayer game. Factors like time invested, average score, kill-to-death, and win-to-loss ratios are considered in this particular system.

Like most popular multiplayer games on the market, Apex Legends also has a skill-based matchmaking system incorporated. It matches players among the same ranked group. This helps maintain the rightfulness, reducing the chances of getting smurfs as little as possible.

It’s crazy to see how many people are talking about how much they enjoy playing Apex Legends ranked…Who would’ve thought that playing in skill based matchmaking lobbies WITH a rank would make people want to play MORE!Mind blowing thought 🤯

This means that a Gold player will be matched against Gold players in the lobby most of the time. However, the frequency is subject to change depending upon the time and the total number of players in a particular region.

For casual matches, the game considers certain other factors like kill-to-death ratio and average score to maximize the chances of fair matchmaking.

Is it possible to know the exact process of SBMM in Apex Legends?

No online multiplayer gaming company will ever reveal the exact process or workings of their skill-based matchmaking. One of the main reasons is that once the secret gets spilled, the chances of players exploiting the process increase to a substantial amount.

@AndreaM_FURY @KingMe63368355 @Wolfmayyne SBMM will become the norm for most MP games, as there is indisputable evidence through data that it helps out something like 80-90% of the community with retention for most of those games... which hurts us 10%’ers, I know. Still though, ours might need some tuning potentially

Apex Legends, being a free-to-play Battle Royale game, already attracts many cheaters, griefers, and smurfs. It's best if the exact details of Apex's SBMM are left unknown for further exploitation.

However, similar to other online multiplayer games, these are some of the factors that are considered to guarantee fair matchmaking most of the time:

  • Account Level
  • Statistics (KD ratio, Win/Loss Ratio, Total and Average Damage inflicted)
  • Playing Solo, Duo, or in a 3-man Squad
  • Frequency of playing the game (everyday or in intervals)
  • Performance in some of the recent matches played
  • Account Reputation (multiple reports may lead to teaming up with worse lobbies)

Is there any other matchmaking system except for SBMM?

Apex Legends Season 12 has been the most popular season ever on Steam, averaging over 370,000 concurrent players.(Apex launched on Steam in Season 7)

Apart from SBMM, another matchmaking system exists, known as engagement optimized matchmaking or EOMM. This system ensures a continuous flow in matchmaking without making players wait.

The downside of this matchmaking system is that fairness is not maintained often, unlike Apex Legends. This system is used in other games from Electronic Arts like FIFA but will be a total disaster if implemented in a game like Apex.

Apex Legends is gradually moving ahead towards its 13th seasonal transformation in May. A plethora of changes will be applied to the game with chances for further improvement in SBMM.

Edited by Yasho Amonkar


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