A developer for Apex Legends responded to some criticism about skill-based matchmaking, assuring improvements are in the works. Skill-based matchmaking is a contentious topic when it comes to battle royale games. Many players on social media share a disdain for the system, as it seems to worsen the experience for higher level players who want to play in casual unranked lobbies.
There are two sides to the story. SBMM benefits players of lower skill level, giving them fairer matches overall. It prevents high-level players from entering casual lobbies with the intent on pub stomping.
Those same high-level players feel the hurt from SBMM. They have to use meta picks even in casual lobbies just to play the game at all. The issue is even messier when beginners or low-level players join their high-level friends to learn the ropes and get devastated by the high-level opponents.
Apex Skill-Based Matchmaking to be Improved
Many players believe SBMM should not be implemented in unranked lobbies, as that is seen as a place to either unwind, warm-up or try new strategies. The SBMM Guy on Twitter levied some criticism at Respawn, saying that SBMM effectively creates two ranked modes and that exploits to abuse the system will happen no matter what.
Respawn senior data science analyst Emre "m_ray" Ruhi responded to The SBMM Guy and admitted that giving fairer matches is difficult to implement with SBMM in a battle royale. Ruhi says that they're trying to increase the "justice" in games to give everyone a fairer, balanced experience.
The situation is tricky, as the players affected by SBMM are a vocal minority. Most game developers balance games based on data they have from the entirety of their player base, which mostly skews to the casual crowd.
No solution was presented, but Respawn seems to be actively working on improvements to SBMM. We could expect to see some trial solutions to the SBMM issue in future updates.