Titanfall Developer Describes the Pitfalls of Matchmaking, Major Improvements Incoming, CTF Returns on PC

Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment admits it has some work to do when it comes to successful matchmaking in their debut shooter on the PC and Xbox One.

In a very lengthy blog post on their official website, the studio went into precise details on the differences between Titanfall’s matchmaking system, dubbed “Stryder,” and other avenues of match finding like server browsers, as well as why the team chose the route they did.

Respawn also admittedly describes the woes of the current state of matchmaking on the PC and Xbox One and how it has recently lead to a few unfavorable playlist decisions that has understandably angered some of Titanfall’s player base. You can read up these things in great detail over on the Titanfall Blog, but here’s what you need to know with regards to what’s happening next.

“Well, first, we’re bringing the CTF playlist back on PC,” Respawn writes. “Furthermore, we’re introducing a test of even wider region searches. If you’re searching for 5 minutes without starting a game, Stryder will eventually widen your search to include neighboring continents. This means you might end up in a game with a much higher ping than you’re used to, but as players pointed out; playing is preferred to not playing at all! The 5 minutes is a rough estimation as Stryder may very well use a much shorter time if it can determine from its real-time view of the globe that waiting 1 or 5 minutes will have no tangible difference. Like with many attributes of matchmaking, we’re tweaking and tracking or slicing data differently almost daily. Our engineers spend A LOT of time staring at graphs and analytics.”

In addition the studio explains that it is “working towards all sorts of cool behind-the-scenes features to increase visibility and control over matchmaking. Lobbies will show ‘Connecting…’ on player slots when players are joining a match to avoid the misconception that your game may not fill up, causing you or other players to leave prematurely. We know no one wants to play a 3v6 round.

“We’re also adding a last resort measure to re-balance lobbies that have been constructed from disparate skill groups or couldn’t be balanced in time by matchmaking. We’re going to start rebalancing teams during the lobby countdown if they’re lopsided. 6v4 matches will balance to 5v5, and we’ll shuffle players so that teams have even skill. The premise for our choice prior to this change was that we needed to account for parties that can’t be broken up. In other words, we needed to face the worst problem head on, and we’ll continue to find more ways to balance these lobbies and do better for the lobbies that don’t have the party problem. It turns out a majority of teams will have a party of 2 players and less than 5% of teams are a party of 6.”

Furthermore, the studio also mentioned that they are tracking player attributes like mic and chat use in hopes to group like-minded gamers together. New game modes, tweaks for existing game modes, and Hashtag matchmaking is also in the works, but expect details a little later on.

“We plan to keep the playlist selection of Titanfall fresh and fun, with engaging new ways to play and switch-ups to old favorites,” Respawn assures.

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