Titanfall’s matchmaking has mostly worked according to our Titanfall review - but when it hasn’t, it really hasn’t. Me and Tim spent a lunchtime last week repeatedly losing against a gaggle of prestige level opponents - because once the game has locked in two teams, it keeps them together. The only way to escape the cycle is to get rapidly better, or quit out to the main menu and try again.
Respawn are looking to change that with an improved matchmaking system that takes its time - and splits up teams between games.
Titanfall takes advantage of an invisible skill system to determine who plays against who - but that system currently falls by the wayside once two teams are determined, even if a clear and continuous winner begins to emerge.
“After we build teams and those two teams play a few matches it is usually very clear which team is better,” say Respawn. “However, we weren’t taking full advantage of this new information.”
A new system, currently in beta testing, will regularly split two matchmade teams apart between games and search for new opponents for each. If one team is doing particularly well, their individual skill rankings will have been updated to fit - and they’ll find themselves matched against more worthy enemies.
“Did you lose to a really great team? We'll make them disappear and replace them with a new opposing team - and they will have no idea that you just got your butts kicked,” write Respawn. “This should end some of the frustration with playing for extended periods when you’re having an off night.”
Respawn have also prioritised quality over speed when it comes to initial matchmaking - allowing the game a little more time to find you an appropriate set of pilots. The result, they hope, will be “closer games that are worth staying in for a longer period of time”.
You can try out the new changes immediately via the Improved Matchmaking (Beta) playlist under ‘Play Classic MP’. Once Respawn have seen the updated system in the wild and tweaked what needs tweaking, they’ll roll it out to other playlists.
Is matchmaking something you’ve been bothered by when getting your fix of parkour pew-pew? Between this and Titanfall's purgatory for cheaters, Respawn are fast becoming the model for post-release support.