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Fortnite: Skill Based Matchmaking (SBMM) debate continues

(Image Credit: Fortnite Insider)
(Image Credit: Fortnite Insider)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 14 Sep 2020, 00:58 IST
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Skill Based Matchmaking in Fortnite has been a contentious topic that has lasted for quite some time now. Lately, streamers and Fortnite players on Twitter have reignited the discussion around SBMM, with many airing their grievances in the public forum.

Skill Based Matchmaking in Fortnite

Skill Based Matchmaking is the method by which Fortnite places players into matches. The goal was to allow players to end up matched with others around the same skill levels to ensure a certain quality of play across all skill levels.

For players who are newer or less skilled, SBMM should ensure that they have a fair chance at victory in the game, while players who have more experience are promised a match that will actually test their skills. In theory, this kind of system should be a win/win for all involved, however it has ended up becoming one of the most controversial topics in the Fortnite community.

“SBMM makes every game feel like comp”

Most of the complaints levied against SBMM in Fortnite have to do with one simple fact, it makes games less fun. It should be more than fair to suggest that players play Fortnite because it is fun, and how fun it is will directly relate to how much they want to play it. Therefore, if something is causing the game to be less fun, then perhaps it should be looked into.

However, suggestions about what should or could be done with it vary wildly. Plenty of players offer the suggestion that the game could simply do without SBMM, at least outside of competitive formats. However, this does limit how accessible the game could become to newer players, and is likely what Epic is trying to avoid.

Other suggestions say that Fortnite could simply widen its SBMM range, but seems to be a solution for a different problem. Widening the range would help if wait times for games were too long, however the main complaint has to do with the games themselves and not with how long they take to start up. 

Widening the range in this context implies that the solution would be to seed games with a certain number of lower skilled players who would be given the role of losing for the amusement of their better skilled peers.


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To make do or do without?

Fortnite will almost certainly have its SBMM changed at some point in the future, if only because Epic will improve their algorithm naturally. However, how and why those changes are made can be anyone’s guess.

Published 14 Sep 2020, 00:58 IST
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