April 14, 2021

Matchmaking improvements are coming to Hunt!

Hunters, we are making some changes to the matchmaking system, coming to the game in update 1.5.1. We know that matchmaking has been a hot topic in the community for some time, so this new update is primarily focused on improving the current matchmaking setup and making a better experience for everyone. At the top level, we aim to improve balancing in matches and give you more control and flexibility about who you are matched with. But first, let's talk about the existing matchmaking system.

Currently, Hunt uses an ELO-like system where players are split into different brackets based on their PvP rating. Each region has several different brackets (ranging from 1 to 6), which are regularly updated to reflect the current player population.

When you start the queue for a match, the system will try to fill the match from other players in the same bracket. If it is unable to fill the match with players with a similar PvP rating, it will expand the search to other brackets until it fills as much of the lobby as possible.

In some cases, due to the current setup, players will find themselves encountering other players with a significantly higher or lower PvP rating, which has been, understandably, a point of frustration for some of you. So, let's get into the finer details of what will be introduced in Update 1.5.1 and how they will improve the matchmaking system:

Additional controls for the matchmaking process

The first and most impactful addition is a new UI check box called “Skill Based" in the lobby screen. This button will allow you to tailor the matchmaking experience to suit your needs.

When enabled, this option will match you exclusively with players in your assigned skill bracket. KDA ratio, Prestige, and rank are not factored into the PvP rating calculation, which is based only on performance against other players.

Please be aware that selecting this option can result in fewer players in your match.

When this option is disabled, we will try to match you with players in your assigned skill bracket first. If no such match is available, we will then look for a match with as many players as possible based on those that have also disabled the “Skill Based" option.

So, whether you want to play it safe or would prefer to tough it out with the best of what the Bayou has to offer, we have you covered!

Trainee Mode, Random Groups, and Quickplay

Trainee Mode

Trainee mode will default to “Skill-based" matchmaking.

Previously, we introduced a “forced lower rating" to ensure that new and inexperienced players have a better chance of becoming more familiar with the game and its mechanics before being pitted against more experienced players. This, along with the addition of skill-based matchmaking, will further ensure that newer players are less likely to encounter those with a much higher level of experience. However, this may not apply when grouping, as the PvP rating tied to other members of your team may affect the overall group rating used in the matchmaking process.

Once you have completed Trainee mode, you will be given an artificial PvP rating, slightly lower than initially calculated, to avoid a player being placed in a higher bracket than intended. Over the next ten matches, your actual PvP rating will be calculated based on your PvP performance*, determining the bracket to which you are assigned. After this, your rating will be calculated on a “per game" basis, meaning your PvP rating is an ever-changing number and is no longer calculated over a series of games.

*Please note, K/D ratio and Prestige are not factored into your PvP rating.

Group Matchmaking

Random groups will follow the standard “Skill-based" matchmaking rules with some slight modifications to how the “Group PvP rating" is calculated.

To make the matchmaking process as fair as possible, we have added additional factors to calculate the group rating. Each of the five group types(Solo, Random Duo, Random Trio, Invite Duo, Invite Trio) will factor the average rating of all members, as well as some additional multipliers. For example, a solo player will not have the same PvP rating as a team of three players, where each member of the team has a similar PvP rating to the solo player.


The matchmaking changes in the new update will have no impact on the Quickplay experience. Currently, there are no brackets in Quickplay, meaning it is a free-for-all, and this will remain unchanged with Update 1.5.1.

By default, “skill-based" matchmaking will be disabled, and the option to change this will be greyed out. Due to the population size of Quickplay, adding brackets or an extensive matchmaking system would only result in a lot of empty matches. Getting out with that Soul Survivor should feel like a real accomplishment, and we think that this is the best way to ensure that it will continue to be the case.

Finally, we will fine-tune the existing brackets across all regions to further aid these additions. On top of this, we will also be applying a PvP rating decay to players that have been inactive for extended periods of time. Once these changes have been implemented, more information will become available to you by hovering over the check box or by pressing the '?' in the top right corner of the screen.

Matchmaking systems are highly complex and can never really be 100% perfect. The changes we are making should go a long way to improving the matchmaking process, but it is important to keep in mind that other factors can influence systems like these. For example, population size and peak/off-peak times are two of the most significant factors. With this in mind, we will keep a close eye on the impact of these changes and implement further changes if needed.

The new update will be on the Test servers later this week, and we are excited to hear your feedback, good and bad. It's a big change, and as with anything in Hunt: Showdown, your input is incredibly valuable and will shape the future of the feature. Keep your feedback coming!

See you in the Bayou,

Your Hunt Team.


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