An Apex Legends developer has stepped up to explain why matchmaking in ranked is so difficult to balance.
Ranked matchmaking is one of those aspects that can make or break a player's experience in competitive play. After all, PvP-based titles such as Apex Legends, Valorant, and Call of Duty: Warzone are primarily focused on pitting players against each other. The process of doing so is perhaps the very heartbeat of the game that allows it to function properly.
Unfortunately, creating a flawless system is much easier said than done.
Why Ranked Matchmaking is Hard to Balance in Apex Legends
According to a screenshot posted to the Apex Legends subreddit on Sunday, Nov. 28, Samy Duc (@ricklesauceur), Lead Software Engineer for Apex, took to his personal Twitter account to explain why Ranked Matchmaking tends to be so hard to get right.
Someone's place in the matchmaking system (MMR) may not be equal to their competitive rank shown on their account. Individuals can have the same place and skill level determined by the system but display a different rank. Therefore, players may be paired with those they would consider above or beneath them.
Pairing becomes especially difficult for players who tend to play alone. High level players who use the solo queue (soloQ) have an extra risk of being partnered up inappropriately as there are fewer of them in general. Therefore, the system specifically takes those with lower MMRs for their rank and places them within lower ranked matches.
Duc called the distribution "alright" since most players are of average skill with only a few top-ranking "preds."
Players still weren't thrilled with the situation. Several offered solutions such as resetting the MMR "for one game every season" or simply making a separate lobby for solo players and another for premade teams—the latter of which seemed popular, despite allegations of splitting the pool even further.
Unfortunately, major changes to the way Apex Legends handles matchmaking don't appear to be in the pipeline at the time of writing.