FAQ: Ranked Mode Overhaul Matchmaking

Hey everyone! We put together a general matchmaking FAQ here for our new ranked system to help answer questions you may have.

For general description of this new system, please refer to our Year of the Phoenix blog.

If you want to learn some basic concepts of matchmaking, here is our previous blog about matchmaking in Battlegrounds.

Q: How does matchmaking work for each season?

A: There are two matchmaking pools: matchmaking by rating (aka. MMR) and by rank.

When your star bonus multiplier is bigger than 1, or you are in Legend rank, you are (generally) in the first matchmaking pool; when your star bonus drops to 1, you are in the second pool.

Q: Why are there two matchmaking pools?

A: Since each player starts at the bottom of the ladder at start, we want fair matches for everyone (aka. win-rate close to 50%). At that time, your progression on ladder is protected by your star bonus, thus your net expected gain will be positive through the ladder. Once other players run out of star bonuses, matching by rank will allow for good players, or players who want to push themselves a bit, to be able to progress to a higher rank.

In short, having two matchmaking pools helps players progress in the ladder without having to grind as much, while still making most matches fair.

Q: If I “tank” my MMR at certain rank floor, will I be matched with easier opponents next season because you are matchmaking by MMR at the start?

A: No, in general you won’t. At the start of the season we will recover your MMR to certain threshold if it is dropped below that value, which is based on what your rank is in the previous season. Therefore, there would be no benefits to intentionally tank your MMR.

Q: How many stars bonuses do I get at the start of the season?

A: It depends on your current MMR and the rank you reached from your previous season, whichever gives a higher value. Generally, the minimal initial star bonuses you get for each rank floor you reached are:

Best Rank Minimal Initial Star Bonuses
Bronze 10 2
Bronze 5 2
Silver 10 2
Silver 5 3
Gold 10 4
Gold 5 5
Platinum 10 6
Platinum 5 7
Diamond 10 8
Diamond 5 9
Legend 10

As you can see, every player starts with at least two stars bonuses.

Q: Do you reset MMR each season?

A: No, we do not.

Q: Will the value of my previous season’s MMR be exactly same as the new season?

A: Technically no, although the change will be very small and the “value order” will be kept (Player A whose MMR is larger than player B in the last season will still be ordered as such). Mathematically, a re-normalization process takes place at the start of each season to keep the distribution in a nice bell-shaped curve.

Q: If I missed one season, will I lose my star bonuses when I return?

A: No, you won’t.

Q: If I missed multiple seasons, will I lose star bonuses when I return?

A: Based on how long you are absent, there will be some small decay applied to your MMR. Therefore, you may (or may not) lose some star bonuses.

Q: Where do the win steak bonuses end?

A: Diamond 5.


You should sticky this. Otherwise thanks for the info.


So basically, if the system screwed up from the beginning and gave you a ridiculously high MMR even higher than some Legend players (9 bonus stars) even though you’ve always struggled even at rank 20, you’re screwed forever?

The only reason my MMR is apparantly so ridiculously high is because I eventually gave up on ranking up (because it was too hard) and just stopped playing once I reached rank 20 each month.


It says “what your rank was the previous season”. So a person who has not played in a long time would theoretically have a lower MMR. But a person who works his way up to Legend and then purposefully tanks his MMR would not be able to Smurf the next season because his MMR would not go below a certain point.

1 Like

Yeah I only got to Rank 17 but I started with a 5 star bonus! Not complaining, just confused.

1 Like

I understand, but I am confused… I have two accounts. I stopped both of them at Rank 15 in March. Account A has 5x bonus while Account B has 8x bonus.

Why the difference?

1 Like

I got 6 bonus stars though I only ranked to 15 (on purpose). Maybe there was some sort of pro-rating of bonus stars based on the MMR or something. If that’s the case then my MMR pegs me in the Platinum league I guess. Either that or there’s some sort of “extra” bonus they are giving people during the change-over that’s based on ???.


from what i gather, this seems to be correct: finishing on a win-streak grants you + 1 star. your MMR determines your bonus, and the rank floor is the multiplier (and the default star bonus).

they lay it over the old system by placing everyone in Bronze league

Could you tell us why our opponent’s rank is not displayed?

Seems like it’s being purposefully hidden for some reason…


Haven;t played in 6 months… Decided to start playing again and I’m given six stars and matched against druids doing one turn combo kill unlimited spells turn 9…

so much for returning to the game

1 Like

Just a guess: as said in OP while your star bonus multiplier is bigger than 1 you are matched by MMR and not by rank so technically after the rank reset you could be matched with someone from Diamond while you are still sitting in Bronze. Imho, it could cause a lot of salt and frustration for some if they saw that they are matched with someone who is much higher rank.

As a League of Legends player they have simmilar system where you can’t see your opponnents’ rank before/during the match unless you use some third party websites. And sometimes these ranks indeed differ because the pretty title (rank) you are allocated does not always correlate with your hidden MMR by which you are matched with other players.

P.S. And in League personally it does cause salt quite often. ‘Why do I get matched against mid tier Gold players while I’m only high Silver?!’


On this old account I rarely play I was at rank 20 with no ranked games played for like half a year atleast and I got 6 stars too :smiley:

Last month I hit legend in all 3 servers. so when Asia server started the new season I only got x10 bonus stars but in EU an Americas server started with a x11 bonus. And I confused because the table u showed up indicates x10 is the bonus, which I hope its not the real case because climbing on Asia was annoying had to go with 81% wr over 40 games to get there.

1 Like

So if I miss 4 seasons and I come back to play again I will still preserve a huge star bonus so I will face opponents with the latest expansion cards while I have nothing of it.



If you miss 4 seasons, you now get a free deck.


suddenly, lots of bots with only 1 post appear out of nowhere, weird weird

I would like to know where my MMR places me on the bell curve. In the past I’ve climbed the ladder until I stop making consistent progress (worse than 60% win about) which happens around rank 7. Now I am playing all Gold opponent and I am getting bodied (33% win rate so far). Even with the 8x star bonus it feels really brutal.

1 Like

New Ranked System is bad, because i need to play more games and i need more h in game. i started with 4 stars and for 2-3h i reachd “golden 8”. My friends for 4-5 games reachd “godlen7”. WTF??? i do not have motivation to play ‘THIS’ ranked anymore. fix this pls

you don’t need to play more, try again

This is great! I love this!

Blizzard, please take away more information and choice from players!

Why are we even seeing our opponent’s name? Why do we even get to choose what deck we play? Or the cards within that deck?

Hell, why not make it when I boot Hearthstone, I’m put into HOTS playing at a random level with a random hero?

Now that’s playing Hearthstone!

On a more serious note, this is just typical Blizzard giving their customers LESS choice, LESS data to make choices and coddling to the lowest common denominator.

1 Like