Apex Legends’ holiday gift to players? A change to skill-based matchmaking

SBMM adjustments are just around the corner.
Image via Respawn Entertainment

With the winter holidays quickly approaching, many video game fans are looking forward to the perfect gifts for themselves and the other gamers in their lives. Luckily for fans of Apex Legends, the devs over at Respawn have the perfect gift already in mind for their players: a change to skill-based matchmaking that will hopefully make life a little easier for people playing with their friends.

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This was revealed by Apex‘s technical director, Samy Duc, on Twitter in response to a frustrated tweet from FaZe Clan pro Eric “Snip3down” Wrona. Annoyed at the state of the game with cheaters in ranked and lobbies mindlessly hot-dropping in pubs, the final straw apparently came when Snip3down tried to play for fun with his wife. Understandably, Snip3down’s wife is not particularly close to the level of a pro player that he plays at, but the game still matched them against predators, those players who have achieved the highest rank in Apex.

Apex players will probably recognize Duc from the long thread he posted about SBMM and Apex‘s SBMM philosophy just a few weeks ago. This time around, it seems that the SBMM change coming for Apex fans will mostly be focused on players that have formed a squad together (but could encompass more than that as well).

Duc explained that at the moment, Apex bases a group’s SBMM on the highest-ranked player according to the game’s MMR systems. But that is due for a little surprise change sometime between mid-December and early January.

Matchmaking has been a significant issue for the Apex community for quite a while. Many players feel that the game’s matchmaking in ranked and pub matches has been quite bad. Among shooters, Apex has always straddled the fence between popular casual shooters like Call of Duty or Fortnite and more hardcore tactical titles. As such, the game can have a high barrier of entry for many players, especially those that are trying to get into the game by playing with friends that are much more experienced in Apex than they are.

At the moment, it appears that Apex‘s SBMM system expects those more experienced friends to carry the newbies. But that doesn’t make for an incredibly fun and engaging time for the new people that are spending their time getting stomped. The problem only gets exacerbated by how much better a player gets until you end up with a situation like Snip3down’s.

Apex players will most likely also want to hear more about the matchmaking in ranked and while they’re playing solo, but no specific information on those aspects has been shared yet. For now, all that Duc let slip is that changes are indeed coming to SBMM in Apex this winter, which will hopefully give players a better experience.

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Author
Adam Snavely
Associate Editor and Apex Legends Lead. From getting into fights over Madden and FIFA with his brothers to interviewing some of the best esports figures in the world, Adam has always been drawn to games with a competitive nature. You'll usually find him on Apex Legends (World's Edge is the best map, no he's not arguing with you about it), but he also dabbles in VALORANT, Super Smash Bros. Melee, CS:GO, Pokemon, and more. Ping an R-301.