"The sweatiest damn fps game out there": Players discover the dark-side of no SBMM gameplay in XDefiant

Players are divided by the exclusion of SBMM in XDefiant(Image via Ubisoft)
Players are divided over the exclusion of SBMM in XDefiant (Image via Ubisoft)

XDefiant, Ubisoft’s latest free-to-play fps game, has drawn some significant attention for their bold decision to not include skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in the game. Although there has been a mixed response thus far, many fans have described it as a breath of fresh air in a recent X thread, while others have called it one of the sweatiest games they have ever played.

Some fans felt SBMM could be helpful for newcomers (Image via X)
Some fans felt SBMM could be helpful for newcomers (Image via X)

Some users suggested that SBMM would ease new players into the game by matching them with others at a similar skill level, thus creating a smoother learning curve. It also implies that the challenges caused by the absence of SBMM might be due to a lack of practice and familiarity with the game's mechanics.

Some users became nostalgic about FPS games (Image via X)
Some users became nostalgic about FPS games (Image via X)

User @AvennGed1 gave us a rather different perspective on this matter and highlighted the unpredictable nature of matchmaking without SBMM, stating that randomness can lead to streaks of wins and losses, giving us a nostalgic view of classic FPS games.

They also emphasized the fact that without SBMM, players must be prepared for a wide range of match outcomes and accept that skill issues will sometimes result in tough games.

A user named @DanielMason2529 added more nuance to this discussion by clarifying the game’s SBMM system, revealing that XDefiant does initially use SBMM to help new players adjust to the game, but once they reach level 25, they enter a more randomized matchmaking system.

This transition explains why some players are feeling a stark increase in difficulty and sweatiness as they progress in the game.

XDefiant does not include SBMM (Image via X)
XDefiant does not include SBMM (Image via X)

Adding to the previous point, another user named @Luniph54 said that the current increase in the level of competition in no-SBMM playlists is temporary and will balance out as more players reach level 26 and beyond, making for a more diverse skill set in matches.

A user named @ItsHapa indicated that while skill levels aren't a factor in matchmaking, the game does prioritize players' ping, or connection quality, potentially influencing the matchmaking experience.

What is SBMM? And how does it affect the player’s gameplay experience?

SBMM stands for skill-based matchmaking, a gameplay system where players with the same skill levels are paired against each other in multiplayer games. This has been stable for many first-person shooters over the years.

Although this system has provided a fair gaming environment for starters and veteran players alike, many players feel that this system has made shooters more competitive, with every next match feeling like a ranked match.

For more news and guides related to Ubisoft’s fresh FPS title, you can check out the following links:

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