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XDefiant will not use skill-based matchmaking in casual game modes – Destructoid

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XDefiant‘s release date is fast approaching. As it draws closer, we’re learning more and more about the Call of Duty competitor. For example, the developers just posted a much-appreciated breakdown of exactly how matchmaking works. The good news? Casual game modes don’t prioritize skill level, meaning skill-based matchmaking is only in ranked modes.

XDefiant casual play has no skill-based matchmaking

Call of Duty multiplayer warriors know all too well the problem with skill-based matchmaking in casual game modes. There’s no way to use non-meta weapons, have fun with friends, or do anything but sweat. This is because even when there’s no rank on the line, the game throws you into a blender with players of your skill level.

Defying the logic of its biggest competitor, the upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter XDefiant offered us all the details on how matchmaking will work. Although at early access launch there won’t be a ranked mode just yet, when it comes it’ll be the only way to be matched against players of the same skill level. Unless, of course, you just happen to share a great connection with players of a similar or better skill level. It’ll be mostly random once an excellent connection is established.

How does XDefiant matchmaking work?

According to a blog post by the XDefiant team, the FPS will use a specific order of priorities for matchmaking in casual vs ranked play. Skill level isn’t just not prioritized for casual play, it was left off the list completely. Here’s a breakdown for casual game modes:

  1. Latency – The game will match you with players on similar ping/connection to you for the best experience.
  2. Avoided Players – Next, it will eliminate players you’ve blocked or avoided on your platform or in-game.
  3. Party Size – Once a good connection is made, it will sort players by party size to avoid a full-stack team destroying a bunch of solo-queue players.
  4. Region – Matchmaking will then prefer players from the same region, who speak the same language as you.
  5. Input Device – Since the game is crossplay, XDefiant will do its best to place controller players vs controller players, mouse and keyboard vs mouse and keyboard.
  6. Platform – Finally, the casual play modes will prefer players using the same platform. (PC, Xbox, PlayStation)

When ranked mode launches in a future season, here’s a breakdown of how it will prioritize matchmaking:

  1. Rank Points – Prefers players within your rank range, this is skill-based matchmaking.
  2. Latency
  3. Party Size
  4. Region
  5. Input Device
  6. Platform

Keep in mind that the game is crossplay and this doesn’t mean you won’t face players of the opposite input device or on another platform. They are the lowest prioritized factor in matchmaking. If the most ideal lobby, using latency, party size, and region, is a bunch of players on another platform using another input device, you will be placed in that lobby for faster matchmaking.

What else can affect matchmaking?

XDefiant matchmaking
Image via Ubisoft

Although these priorities explain most of how you’ll be placed in a match for XDefiant, even more factors come into play. For example, team balancing will take place once a lobby is populated. If a full lobby of solo players are placed together, they’ll be sorted into teams based on skill in an attempt to evenly balance the match for optimal fun.

Next, some playlists, like ranked modes, will use input locking. So once you’re placed into a match, your current input device will be locked so you can’t change it in the pregame lobby or mid-match. Be sure to have the proper input device equipped prior to searching for a game.

Finally, lobbies will rollover using the same players unless most of the players manually leave. So you won’t have to matchmake again between casual matches. Typically, your next lobby will fill instantly with most of the same players from the previous match.

This type of matchmaking breakdown isn’t usually offered by many developers, so it is certainly appreciated. Additionally, all seems very positive for the XDefiant team’s outlook on how matchmaking should work as far as skill-based matchmaking, lobby rollovers, and more.


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