How Competitive Matchmaking and Ranking Works (Season 28+)

This is precisely the issue people have with the system.

The author so innocently glosses over it.

I believe that alludes to the original issue. That is indeed how it works, and it’s precisely why people are fed up with it.

You don’t see the problem.

The certainty component, as hereby referenced by you, is what’s skewing games. You gloss over it and call it ‘fair’ without taking into account how that eliminates the need for player skill, and replaces it with a rough estimate of chance.


By “consistently” he’s talking about every week or every day, not do you play “well” every game.

There’s nothing here nefarious. It’s standard statistics. The more data they have about your performance, the more certain they are that your MMR is correct, and it will adjust accordingly.

What do you think “skewing” means in terms of games? The devs have said exactly what they do to find games for you. What is wrong with using the statistically backed definition of how well they can estimate your skill to match you with 5 other teammates as evenly as possible against another team of 6? They combine people together to try to make it so that your match has as close to 50/50 odds of each team winning.

If they are uncertain of your MMR, then it will adjust more at the end of a match. As you play additional games, and play frequently, the uncertainty will be eliminated. They will have sufficient statistical data to know what your MMR should be. Every new game will be new information calculated with all of the previous statistical data to update the model that attempts to identify your skill level.

It’s fair because they’re using all the data they have from your games to define your skill level.

Furthermore, why on earth would they not do what they say? Why would they not want fair games? Why would they not want teams that are as evenly matched as they can manage? What possible motive could Blizzard have for “skewing” games? Do you really think someone is sitting there at Blizzard going “Let’s see if we can get this guy to tilt! Give him a losing streak!” No.

1 Like

On the contrary, if MMR is accurate then there should be no need to match players within 1000 SR of a match’s rating.

There is no fine tuning. And the player aspect of MMR is conflated with the team aspect. It is a good model for player performance, perhaps, but not a good model for making teams.

1 Like

1000 SR is only used to restrict groups. Matchmaking is based on MMR.

I was going to ask more questions, but I have given you more energy than you have earned. Read the guide, look up the references. Quote me in the guide something you’ve found that is the way it works, and how you’d like it to be different.

1 Like

Bronze and Gold players in a Silver game, speaks to the contrary.


You’re not in a position of authority. You have no place to give me homework.

State of the article what you will, and reference it freely. It is not my burden to bear.

No offense but you are probably one of those people the rigged MM is created for.
You have ZERO understanding for competitive aspects.
At the moment a HIDDEN SYSTEM choose mathematically teammates and enemies to create a match it is RIGGED.
Unrigged, natural and COMPETITIVE means that the MM throws 12 RANDOM players in one lobby around the same SR.

Its like your Dad plays chess with you and because he is way better than you he isnt allowed to use his queen. Then you win. But was it a FAIR win? Lol. No it was rigged because you are low mmr and your Daddy needed to be handicapped.

Its like your class in school gets a test but YOU are the only one getting an easy test and the rest gets a very hard one because YOU are the worst in the class and teachers know that.
Then you had the best outcome out of all tests. But was it fair? lol no it was rigged because you are the worst student and your test was handicapped.
I can give you 1000 more examples of real life or sports things if you want to explain COMPETITIVE ASPECTS for you. :slight_smile:


Competitive shouldn’t be this controversial, but because it’s a multi-billion dollar company pushing a new system it has to be.

Humans have been doing sports for centuries.

1 Like

Exactly! And why? Because of casuals. I play video games since over 20 years. Im 29 now and when I started with competitive games those games had just true gamers. Now its full of hardcore casuals that have to be „protected“ from the evil evil hardcore gamers with way more experience.
My first CoD was MW1 back in 2007. i started this game almost 1 years after release and my first matches I got DESTROYED by better more experience players. but did I just rage quit and cry? NO i wanted to be as good as them or even better! they showed me how good you can be. and then I watched guides, trained my aim etc and became better then them. And today? everyone protected by SBMM and forced 50% winrate. They just get babysitted. disgusting.

Interesting take!

My first serious game was CoD4 and MW2. Hardcore mode only. Knives and tomahawks only.

After Black Ops 1 came out, things started to change. The aim mechanics weren’t as snappy, but no problem. Then the melee kills took noticeably longer. Okay, not a huge problem but that throws a huge wrench into my game. Then MW3 and BO2 came out. The gameplay felt worse, slower. Then BO3 introduced jet packs. Now we have people running on walls and ceilings, and jumping 100 feet into the air. Alright, I’ll give up knives I guess. Can’t hurt to click on heads.

The entire time I didn’t realize games were becoming more normative and casual. It didn’t require much skill to play as good as the top players in a lobby, because it was harder to mechanically play better than what was allowed.

It’s the same thing for SSBM and SSBB, and to an extent SSB4. Melee was, and in some regards still is, the best mechanical competitive brawler. Until Brawl, where everything crawled to a standstill and everything felt slow. Then SSB4 came out and was a bit snappier, but still reminiscent of the old Brawl speed.

Good old console days with a bunch of nerds around a TV. Even the bring-your-own-controller tourneys. Good stuff.

1 Like

Except none of what you said is true.

It’s all in the guide, including clear answers to all your misconceptions. How Competitive Matchmaking and Ranking Works (Season 28+)

Doesn’t exist. Please read the guide. It answers your concerns and provides posts that developers explained things in.

Blizzard hasn’t given an exact conversion between SR and MMR. Zero MMR is approximately 2350 SR (which is where new players start out, Initial Competitive Skill Rating, Decrypted)

We can approximate that 1 MMR is about 833 SR (5000/6), but we don’t know exactly.

There is also tweaking at the edges to prevent people from getting maximum or minimum SR. SR just isn’t displayed below 500. And as you get close to 5000, there is an SR debuff, that is unlikely to effect MMR:


I saw it in a post, that std dev was .5.

Okay dude. Have fun in your dream world.
You simply dont know what competitive and rigging means xD

OK, thank you for the well wishes. I’ve had success in using the information in this Guide to climb from around 700 SR to 2100 SR. The guide has correct information in it. It has been correct for years, but people continue to spread conspiracy theories and dishonesty about the supposed nefarious intentions of “the matchmaker”.


I am playing since day 1 on at least 20 different accounts. Im 4508 peak on console and low gm peak on pc. I have SIX THOUSAND hours in this game. And you are trying to tell me about your amazing bronze to gold climb? Lost.
But rankshaming aside:
What I like the most about this missinformation post is the headline.
„How the matchmaking works“

Matchmaking is based on HIDDEN mmr. Intransparent. Hidden. A hidden „rank“ besides your SR.
Its really cool if someone is trying to explain it and follow up with „oh the system is actually a secret“
Sure we have a normal ladder based SR system… but but… we have to use hidden mmr for the teambuildings as well.
Yeah. And santa claus is my dad.
Im new to this braindead forum but my experience with this game is another dimension than yours my friend.
Btw: if you dont believe me about the matchmaking. You could ask a ex pro player? Maybe you believe Surefour. Just go on twitch and ask him HOW THE MM WORKS.
Your answer will maybe shock you :smiley:
SPOILER: he said many times the MM is rigged and ALL players are mathematically chosen to force 50% winrates.
ohh hell I wonder why ive seen in my 6 K hours THOUSANDS of career profiles and ALL of them had about 50% winrate. The bad AND the good players I played with.
Have fun with your dumpster climb.

1 Like

Thanks for posting this, unlike others, I’ve been wanting this exact information. For those of us down in low bronze, now I have a way to describe just how few of us there must be. When I was <500 and I’d get a match with teammates worse than me, I’d think, how can they even find players even further out in STD than me?

The beauty of this is that it’s unverifiable.

Anyone that understand statistical models realizes that at the extreme ends of the skill spectrum that the matchmaker has a much harder job for a variety of reasons, all covered in the guide.

It’s fortunate that you don’t have to believe me, or base your understanding on my experience, because the words of the devs have been conveniently cataloged here in this very high quality guide for you to read and enjoy.

For the top 500 players, a more formal structure that intentionally sets up matches would be feasible and much higher quality than the random queueing that is enabled by the matchmaker. That better system would be manual and very laborious. In fact, the ideal basically looks like Overwatch League, right? When you get to the absolute highest levels of competition, there already exists alternatives to the matchmaker. Basically, the rankings in the top 500 should not be seen as more accurate than the other official top end competitive systems.

The matchmaker handles the situation correctly for basically 95% + of the player base, and is pretty good for the other 4%.

A 50% winrate means the matchmaker is doing its job… It’s finding games for you that are just the right level of challenge, such that you might win or lose any one of the matches.


Sports and competition isn’t controversial, it’s the way matches are made. How would you like it if the NBA created games where it moved players between teams to create a ‘fair’ game? In that case, ‘team’ loses it’s meaning, especially when you rank the players individually and they have no say in which teams they get placed on.

You absolutely ignored everything I said about the SR system and why MMR system is NOT needed to have a „fair“ match based on Ladder SR system.

Yes. The MM „works“ for Blizzards intention. Not for the playerbase.
How is this hard to understand???
At this moment when the MM is trying to choose MATHEMATICALLY teammates and enemies to create a match with 50:50 outcome it is RIGGED.

It would NOT be rigged if it just would put 12 random players together JUST BASED on their current SR.
IF the MM tries to create a 50:50 outcome that means that there will be a mix of higher mmr players and lower MMr players (BUT THEY ARE ON THE SAME RANK??? Lol system failed)
In that case ALL higher mmr players are get a horrible experience because they are the babysitters for the low mmr players which are added to the match to create the „fair“ 50:50 outcome. Dude even a Gold player has to understand this.
Even I lost rounds with 45% of teamdmg and 80% kill participation in diamond and masters. 500-1000 sr UNDER my elo.
But you will probably ignore that logic.
I wont reply any longer I lose braincells.

Edit: if I am allowed to post my yt channel here you can check my rank, stats etc. if you think im a gold lucio 1trick.

1 Like

It makes a huge difference. When you use SR and just have the numerical ranges for each rank, it seems linear, but when you use MMR and know what the standard deviation points are, you now can show the distributions of ranks as a bell curve. 68% of a normal distribution should be found between -1 and +1 standard deviation of the mean, so you can tell how far from average you are, and it’s not a linear relationship, the further from the mean you are, the population gets smaller even quicker. So, those folks in <500 have to be the lowest 0.5% of players, as in there are only 50 in a thousand players that are lower than them.