XDefiant dev doubles down on lack of SBMM, community rejoices

XDefiant dev doubles down on lack of SBMM, community rejoices
Images via Ubisoft

Written by 

Jack Marsh


29th May 2024 14:46

The lack of skill-based matchmaking in XDefiant is exactly the flag that Ubisoft is waving in its battle against the giants of the shooter genre like Call of Duty.

Players have thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace for XDefiant which centres around vastly different games each time you spawn in, with players of all levels making for either an entertaining 'pubstomp' kill race or a fight for the ages against the new-gen OpTic dynasty.

And SBMM isn't returning, ever, to XDefiant, as Ubisoft executives have doubled down on its absence.

Mark Rubin agrees that you need to get better if you're not reaping no-SBMM rewards

Having ditched the mollycoddling SBMM feature, Head Developer on XDefiant Mark Rubin has now agreed with the sentiment that if you're not getting "easy games", then you simply need to get better.

On Twitter, popular content creator "XclusiveAce" shared this thought process, saying, "In a game without SBMM, if you literally never find easy enemies, that’s just a sign that you’ve got a lot of room for improvement."

"As you work on improving, the results of that are so much more rewarding because it’s reflected directly in your gameplay performance over time."

While that may seem like quite an arrogant stance and a bitter pill to swallow, it's a sentiment that Rubin agrees with, as he quoted the tweet to say "This!"

Fans agreed too, saying that it makes for refreshing gameplay.

"The biggest indicator for me has been the lack of fatigue I feel after putting in hour after hour. It just feels so much more fun to grind again," one player added in the replies.

Aches reveals how XDefiant matchmaking system does even the odds

Click to enlarge

The thing with skill-based matchmaking being random is that you can get yourself some awkward and unbalanced lobbies which can often ruin the game.

But Patrick "Aches" Price, a former Call of Duty World Champion turned XDefiant dev, has now revealed that players do actually have an underlying MMR skill rating, and while it doesn't determine who gets put into the same lobbies, there is a skill-based element to balancing the teams.

"Our team balancing works pretty standard in a draft-like order," he said on Twitter.

The draft-like system will place the most-skilled player in the lobby onto "Team A", while "Team B" will then get the second and third most-skilled player in the lobby, and so on until all 12 players are evenly spread out between the two sides.

In extreme cases, if one player has been randomly assigned to this lobby who is head and shoulders above the rest, the draft order can be changed to weigh more viable challengers against the one demon. For example, Aches said that Team A could get the number one guru and Team B could get second, third, and fourth, to make up the massive disparity, but all-in-all, teams should be quite even.

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Get exclusive news, content, and discounts sent directly to your inbox

You've joined our newsletter. Thank you!
Sorry, there has been an issue in subscribing to the newsletter.

So, skill-based matchmaking is staying the heck away from XDefiant, but if you think that this means free kills, you can think again...

Jack Marsh
About the author
Jack Marsh
Jack is an Esports Journalist at GGRecon. Graduating from the University of Chester, with a BA Honours degree in Journalism, Jack is an avid esports enthusiast and specialises in Rocket League, Call of Duty, VALORANT, and trending gaming news.
XDefiant smashes play count goals, nearing 8 million players in one week
XDefiant devs respond to 'bunny hop' criticism: 'we do intend to penalize players'
XDefiant devs promise Search and Destroy and Killcams in future update
XDefiant is already proving itself as potential Call of Duty ‘killer’
XDefiant is giving CoD players unbridled joy after hours of gameplay