Matchmaking: The Basics Making Teams

The matchmaker is a system for distributing players between teams that ensures the teams are balanced in terms of ship types and tiers.

The main parameter considered when distributing ships is the battle tier—the highest tier of ships in an individual battle. For example, a battle that involves Tier V–VII ships is a Tier VII battle. The maximum battle tier in which ships can participate is set for each ship.

The matchmaker follows a specific set of rules when creating Random Battles

  • The teams have an equal number of players. An ideal battle is played in a 12 vs. 12 format, but the required number of players can be reduced in cases where the waiting time spent by the first player in the queue exceeds 3 minutes.
  • There is a maximum difference of one tier between ship tiers in battles involving Tier II–IV ships.
  • The maximum ship-tier difference in a single battle is two tiers for Tier VII battles and above.

Please note: this article explains how the matchmaker works in Random Battles. The rules it follows in other battle types can differ due to the specifics of each battle type. This information is relevant to Update 0.9.3.1.

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Features of the Matchmaker

The matchmaker is integral to World of Warships, and we are constantly making efforts to improve its algorithms. It’s designed to assemble the most effective and balanced team lineups while having as little adverse impact on the battle queue waiting times as possible.

Types and Tiers

In addition to the ship’s tier, the matchmaker also takes each ship’s type into account. The following rules are applied for these two parameters:

  • The matchmaker initially tries to assemble exactly mirrored team lineups in terms of ship tiers and types. If the matchmaker isn’t able to assemble a battle in this way, it then proceeds to match ships of lower tiers while ignoring the ship-type parameter. For example, in a Tier VIII battle, it’s possible for a Tier VI battleship to be matched to a Tier VI cruiser, or even a Tier VI destroyer. This rule doesn’t apply to aircraft carriers.
  • The matchmaker limits the numbers of ships of specific types in a battle. While teams consisting of only battleships would probably be able to fight in a very efficient manner, such a battle would hardly be interesting or diverse. For example: the number of destroyers and battleships in a team won’t exceed four and five ships, respectively, provided that the matchmaker’s queue has a normal number of players waiting. The number of aircraft carriers won’t exceed two ships in a team for any battle tier.
  • There are certain tier restrictions in place: in Update 0.9.3 we added a soft restriction on the minimum number of ships allowed that are two tiers lower than the battle tier, and also on the maximum number of ships of the highest tier in the battle. For example: even in a Tier X battle in which you’re playing a Tier VIII ship, you’ll meet several enemies of the same tier as yours. For Tier X battles, a team should include at least three ships of Tier VIII, if such ships are waiting in the queue, and a maximum of five ships of Tier X, if the matchmaker’s queue has a normal number of waiting players.
  • If possible, ships of different nations are distributed between teams on an even basis.

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The rules described above constitute the soft restrictions. For each battle tier, several sets of settings are used that replace each other, depending on the waiting time in the queue—the longer the battle waiting time, the softer the restrictions.

The matchmaker doesn’t take into account such parameters as the upgrades and modules mounted on a ship, the number of skills and talents a Commander has, or a player’s combat statistics.

Battle History

When matching teams, the algorithm also takes your battle history into account, i.e. the number of battles you’ve played with ships of the same tier as yours and lower, with ships one or two tiers higher, and where all ships were of the same tier. We also collect separate statistics for each battle type and ship tier you play. After a short calibration period, the matchmaker will ensure that the percentage of battles with ships of the specified tier doesn’t exceed the set limits, so as to prevent long series of battles fighting against ships of higher tiers. When a player joins the queue for their next battle, the algorithm takes the player’s previous 20 battles into account when assembling their team, thus ensuring that the set limitations are met.

Example: for Tier VIII ships, there’s a maximum limit of 40% of battles with ships two tiers higher. If you played Tier VIII ships in your 20 most recent battles, a maximum of eight battles would have included Tier X ships.

Playing in a Division

The following rules apply when you play in a Division:

  • The difference between ship tiers within a Division must not exceed one tier. This means that when playing Tier VII ship, you can only enter battle with Division mates playing ships of Tiers VI–VIII.
  • A Division can have only one aircraft carrier.
  • The matchmaker rules ensure that a player cannot encounter ships that are outside of the player’s tier range in Random Battles. However, when a player is a member of a Division, the matchmaker ignores this rule for ships of lower tiers. For example, when you’re playing a Tier VII ship in a Division and your Division mate is playing a Tier VIII ship, you might find yourself in a battle involving Tier X ships.
  • There is a maximum difference of one Division between opposing teams within a single battle.

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The Matchmaker for Newcomers

World of Warships has a special queue for novice players entering battle—a so-called Sandbox.

  • When playing ships of Tier I–IV, newcomers are put into a special queue that excludes players who have fought more than 70 battles.
  • If a player’s waiting time in the queue exceeds 60 seconds, and the matchmaker has at least one enemy of a suitable ship type and tier, a battle will be assembled. If necessary, the teams can be complemented with bot ships.
  • If the matchmaker fails to assemble a battle after the player has spent more than 60 seconds waiting in the queue, the player is placed in the general queue without leaving the sandbox queue.
  • Players from the same Division can be placed in the queue for newcomers only if all the players meet the requirements specified above.
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