As far as I understand, in ranked matches the matchmaking is based on the separate skill level for each of the three modes which puts you in divisions 1-10 and you will be matched with players who are in the same division. By winning or losing you can move between these divisions.

But how is the matchmaking determined in unranked matches? Does it have something to do with your level or statistics?


I can confirm from my experience there is matchmaking in unranked games for sure. It's progressively ramped up harder the more I play except when I joined a party with my rookie friend where my opponents tended to match his ability more so than mine.

I like the notion that these leaderboard divisions are the key for ranked matchmaking and just like that perhaps the divisions for cumulative online stats are the key to where you go in unranked. ie Wins, Goals, Saves, etc


In the simplest of terms, Ranked will give you tougher competition as your rank increases, and un-ranked is simply just for fun.

I believe Ranked works as so, in ranked your team's skill will be averaged and placed against an equal team of similar skill. I believe it is primarially based off of win / loss ratio not on stats.

Another clear difference between ranked and un-ranked is if a team mate leaves in ranked you do not get a bot like in un-ranked.

At this moment I think it is unclear if the rating system (rookie, semi-pro, pro) actually works and basis the match-ups off of it.

In summery I believe it is primarily based off of win / loss ratio and the ranking system overall still has many bugs.

I hope this helps!

**Edit: This is from an official tweet. Stating that skill matching in un-ranked is very relaxed at the moment.

  • Thanks for your answer, but it doesn't really explain what I was looking for. I already know how ranked matchmaking is basically working, it's separate from the ranks like "rookie" etc. but matches with divisions based on the skill level. I was looking for how matches are chosen in un-ranked games. As in: how are similar skill levels determined without the divisions and skill value that are present in ranked games.
    – Kodama
    Jul 23 '15 at 15:49
  • @Kodama Oh I see, sorry about that. I want to say it is entirely random in un-ranked games. Hence un-ranked games being just for fun. I could be wrong.
    – Zeed
    Jul 23 '15 at 15:50
  • Unranked appears to be entirely random. It searches and sorts by ping(?), and connects to the first available server. I've seen people of all skill levels in unranked, from rookie to pro, even on the same server.
    – user66184
    Jul 23 '15 at 16:05

It seems unlikely that players are divided into specific divisions in ranked. Instead, I would assume matchmaking is based off of the numeric value shown when choosing categories in the "find match" menu. My guess is the value is averaged out over the team, them the matchmaking system tries to find another team close to that value.

So a 2v2 team with [100, 750] could be matched with one with [350, 500], since they both average out to 425.

I would assume unranked works in a similar fashion, just with a hidden numeric ranking that changes more rapidly with wins and losses.

Basing the matchmaking only on the "Player Level" (tied to the Rookie, Semi-Pro and Pro titles) seems very unfair since it can be artificially inflated (by playing against crappy rookie bots in solo) and never goes down.

Thus the game would assume that playing more matches automatically makes you better, even if you lose 90% of those matches.

It seems much more likely that there's some hidden rating that increases when you win and decreases when you lose (and the matchmaking would be similar to that in ranked, just not visible).

A matchmaking purely based on statistics doesn't really make sense either. A ranking system has to be responsive and reflect a player's current skill, not the average skill since first playing.

However, this is just speculation based on how it appears to work and experience from other games. We can't really say for sure unless Psyonix tells us about the inner workings of matchmaking (or someone does some extensive amount of science).

  • That divisions exist wasn't just an assumption on my part. You can see which division you are in by checking the leaderboards. Matching like your example would be very bad imho because, especially in ranked, team work is very important and a team of 100/750 would thus be far worse than a 350/500 team because the 100 would likely not understand the game at all. That there is a hidden numeric for unranked makes sense to me. I was hoping it wasn't just by level for the same reasons, just thought maybe it was already known how it works.
    – Kodama
    Jul 25 '15 at 16:55
  • Yeah, I have no doubt they exist either. But it is unclear what happens when teams of different divisions match up, so it's back to something akin to what I described anyway (whether it's rating or division that's averaged out).
    – Svj0hn
    Jul 25 '15 at 17:40
  • Since they're named "divisions", I was under the impression that you only get matched to people within the same division. But you're right, that assumption might be wrong. I hadn't thought about it because that would make the divisions rather irrelevant. The skill level determines the division so everyone in the same one will have similar skill, that's why I think ranked is matched by division.
    – Kodama
    Jul 25 '15 at 17:54

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