How does For Honor’s matchmaking system work? What do all of those indications that players can see while matchmaking mean?
The objective of a good matchmaking is too find the right balance between waiting time (as short as possible) and match quality (fast connectivity between players and same level of skill).
To do so, our philosophy is to focus on connection quality first then players’ skill. Regarding the waiting time, we look for the best fit for skill for the first 30 seconds, then expand that skill range after each 30 second interval. After three minutes, we timeout the matchmaking to allow the player to restart the process from scratch.
The matchmaking service relies on hard parameters (parameters that we don’t adjust over time) and soft parameters (parameters that we adjust overtime and that are reflected on the matchmaking in-game screen while you are matchmaking).
The two hard parameters are NAT and Player’s Continent. The two soft parameters are location (inside player’s continent) and Skill.
For the location parameter relaxation, we focus on your region before switching to your country then finally expanding to your whole continent. There is no easy way to express what a region is as regions are optimized for gaming experience and can be: part of a country, a whole country, or a cluster of different country parts. Same thing can be said for continent since we split them differently to have better ping between players.
For the skill parameter, we expand iteratively from players of your skill level from Strict to Medium and finally Extended. We expand to All Skills for any final matches before we timeout the matchmaking.
Lastly, we also sometimes incorporate several modes into one playlist to reduce the number of matchmaking buckets. This allows to regroup the player base and reduce the matchmaking times.
For example, Elimination and Skirmish will be both in the Deathmatch Playlist at launch.
In that situation, we relax the mode preference parameter during the matchmaking once the matchmaking queue has hit two minutes.
All those values and parameters are of course subject to change based on the learnings from the Open Beta and first weeks of launch.