It’s no secret how a majority of the Apex Legends community currently feels about the game. With the addition of skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in public matches, Apex Legends went from a fun, action-packed experience to the Grand Finals of a major tournament in every match. SBMM means that you are paired up with opponents of similar skill. So, in every public match you play, around 50 other players will be just as skilled as you. Respawn, along with other developers, implemented this to help lower-tier players improve and keep playing. However, what this has done is turn an important part of their community vehemently against them.
Apex Legends is in a rough state
Skill-based matchmaking is a sound mechanic in theory. It helps the lower-tier players improve by not matching them up with players who will eliminate them immediately. In turn, those higher-tier players refine their skills against similarly experienced enemies.
However, in reality, higher-skilled players become extremely frustrated because every match feels like a ranked game. If a player hops into a public match, they most likely want to have fun with the game instead of trying extremely hard. If they wanted that, they would hop into ranked play.
Right now, most upper-echelon players can’t even play public matches because they’re constantly being eliminated by Apex Predators. Now some players are considering dropping the game entirely because of SBMM.
A Reddit post on the topic has gone viral, titled “Such a beautiful, incredible game. The best shooter I’ve ever played. And I’m so close to moving on,” garnering over 7,000 upvotes. It’s clear many in the community feel the same passion for Apex Legends as this player does. Though, the game is in such a bad state right now that it doesn’t matter how much they want to play.
Respawn knows what the community wants
Regardless, it’s unlikely Respawn will remove skill-based matchmaking from public matches. According to them, SBMM helps out the large majority of the player base. It’s just the top 10% of players that will continue to suffer, according to Respawn developer Eric Hewitt.
SBMM will become the norm for most MP games, as there is indisputable evidence through data that it helps out something like 80-90% of the community with retention for most of those games… which hurts us 10%’ers, I know. Still though, ours might need some tuning potentially
— Eric Hewitt / Ghost (@GH057ayame) November 24, 2019
It’s certainly not what Apex Legends players want to hear, but it’s becoming reality for a lot of multiplayer titles. Call of Duty and Fortnite both implement the same mechanic into their public matches as well.
Maybe Respawn will tone down the SBMM in tomorrow’s Blueprint update, but the community shouldn’t hold their breath. If they can’t do anything about the SBMM, hopefully they can do something else for those currently suffering in the community.
What do you think of Apex Legends right now? Let us know, and keep up with Daily Esports for all Apex Legends coverage.