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The Finals is improving matchmaking, but queues might take longer now

Embark Studios releases The Finals hotfix 1.2.3, which includes changes to improve matchmaking, but at the cost of longer queue times.

The Finals patch 1.2.3 - A man wearing an Elvis-style white jacket and sunglasses in the free-to-play multiplayer FPS game.

The Finals patch 1.2.3 is out now, with just a few small changes but ones that will hopefully offer some very welcome upgrades to Steam’s most exciting new free game. Among the changes are a resolution to an issue causing erroneous Steam ban messages, a change to backfills, and adjustments to skill-based matchmaking for the multiplayer FPS that should mean you get into better, closer games. You might have to wait a bit longer as a result, though.

The Finals has already proven itself hugely popular since its surprise launch during The Game Awards on Thursday December 7. The free Steam game currently sits at number three in Valve’s top-sellers chart and number seven on its most played, as the squad-based shooter from former Battlefield developers at Embark Studios wins us all over with its high mobility and immense environmental destruction.

While debate rages over the best The Finals classes (the heavy still reigns supreme for now, in my experience), Embark has been hard at work improving the overall quality of matchmaking. There’s nothing more frustrating than ending up in a game that feels massively imbalanced, except perhaps for being slotted into an open space in a match that’s almost over and essentially hopeless for your team to win.

Fortunately, both of these issues have been addressed. Embark says, “We’ve made some changes to our skill-based matchmaking to ensure better quality games. This means matchmaking times are likely to be ever so longer, but you should find yourselves in slightly closer matches.” I’m always in favor of this move – I’ll quite happily wait a little longer if it means I have a more enjoyable, close-fought contest.

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“We’ve updated the way backfills work in Quick Cash and Bank It,” Embark continues. “This should mean that you get backfilled less often and, when you do get backfilled, you should have more time remaining in the match, especially in Bank It mode.” That also sounds like a good change; while it can certainly be frustrating to have a teammate drop out and no-one replace them, being queued into an unwinnable situation and having to ride out the final minute of a match unable to make any tangible difference is even more off-putting.

Also included in patch 1.2.3 is a resolution for “an authentication issue that was incorrectly reported as a ban.” Embark says that it’s also “removed bans from accounts swept up in the error,” noting that you should try restarting the game if you’re still encountering the issue. That means you should be able to jump onto The Finals servers again and get back into action. I’ll see you out there.

Whether you’re looking for the best The Finals guns, trying to figure out the best The Finals loadouts, or simply trying to perfect The Finals crosshairs to your needs, we’ve got everything you need to come out on top.

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