Apex Legends devs reveal upcoming SBMM changes for “more balanced matches”

Apex Legends character Catalyst

Skill-based matchmaking has been a controversial topic in almost every multiplayer FPS, and Apex Legends devs Respawn confirmed changes are on the way. After testing these changes in one region, the devs have shown the “promising” effects they’ve had.

Skill-based matchmaking, or SBMM, is a system designed to pair players of similar skill together. It’s been a controversial topic in Call of Duty and Apex Legends in particular, with players feeling they’re being punished for performing well or teaming up with a more-skilled player.

Apex’s devs confirmed back in November that change is on the way, and they’ve started to test these results in one region with the goal of having “more balanced matches.” Describing the results as “promising,” they showed how the new SBMM system affects the average player’s performance.

“Over the holidays, we conducted some Apex matchmaking tests in one region to create more balanced matches,” tweeted Respawn Entertainment on January 3. “We are seeing promising results as players are able to make more kills (pink line in the graph).”

As shown in a graph posted by Respawn, the percentage of players who can get at least one kill per game has shot up. While we don’t know the percentage range indicated on the graph, it presumably means the lobbies are much more balanced.

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The devs haven’t revealed exactly what these matchmaking changes will entail, but Apex dev Samy Duc explained that it’s currently based on the “highest player in the group,” and that’s set to change.

After an “around Platinum” ranked player asked if they would come up against higher-ranked players in public matches less often, Duc confirmed they would.

Respawn said they’ll “continue to monitor” the new SBMM system and a blog post with more detailed insights is on the way.

With the severe backlash to SBMM, players are delighted to see that the devs are addressing their concerns and bringing change. However, we’ll have to wait for further news to know when these changes will be implemented worldwide.

The next major update should be the leaked Lunar New Year Collection Event, with Season 16 expected in February.

Image Credit: Respawn Entertainment