Developer Explains Apex Legends MMR Ranked Feature, Why Players Queue With Different Ranks

by in Apex Legends | Dec, 1st 2021

Apex Legends is in the midst of Season 11, including the recent ranked changes and the new tropical-themed map. With the current season, many players in the community dislike the current state of ranked matches and the Apex Legends MMR seems to be the reason. 

Apex Legends MMR Feature Explained

Check Reddit and other social media platforms about Apex Legends, and you will quickly find that there are players who are not happy with the ranked game mode in the battle royale title. As such, it eventually pushed the Respawn developer, Samy Duc, to address this on Twitter.

As caught by the Reddit user Voyddd, the user shared an image of the tweet from the developer that deals directly with what many consider to be the currently “broken” state of ranked. Duc tackles this head-on, revealing that it is not broken after all but working as intended. 

The reason behind this is the Apex Legends MMR feature, which deals with matchmaking players in ranked mode, not necessarily based on the actual rank that the player is, but their skill and performance. This is a separate way of handling it from the actual rank that you have. 

Because of this, the Apex Legends MMR will sometimes queue players up in ranked matches with others who are way out of their league, at least on paper with their respective ranks. While this seemed broken to players before, it is working as it should be right now. 

MMR Is Separate From Actual Rank

The Apex Legends MMR is a completely separate way of handling a user’s skill in the game from the ranked tiers you are at. It is essentially a hidden stat that exists in the backend of the game. You do not view this in the same way that you can see that you are the Gold rank.

This hidden feature measures your skill and performance in battle royale matches and will adjust your matchmaking accordingly. What this means in practice is that the Apex Legends MMR element does not equal your rank at all; in fact, you can be the same MMR as someone but a different rank entirely. 

This means that you could have, for instance, a Bronze player who is just now getting into the ranked grind and will queue up with someone higher than them, like a Silver or Gold rank player. This person is a much higher rank, yet they are playing together at the same time. 

This is not because the ranked system in Apex Legends is broken like players previously thought, but actually that the MMR is coming into play here. Though the Bronze and Gold players might be in completely different ranked tiers, their MMR skills might be the same. 

Players Can Match With People in Different Tiers

This means that the performance of the two players is on par with one another, leading them to be matched up with one another, even though they are in different ranked tiers. While this seems broken, and understandably so, the game is trying to match you with people around your skill level. 

In some cases, this means you will be matched with people not in the same tier or rank as you, but this is working as intended. The goal is to make it so that you are challenged and matched with 59 other players who are roughly in the same pool of talent.

Furthermore, the Apex Legends MMR also comes into play with the Apex Predators and Master ranks out there at the top of the leaderboards. The problem with these two ranks is that so few of them exist in each region. 

Those higher-ranked players who queue up by themselves will find it extremely hard to find other people to play with online, especially since the other Apex Predators out there will usually team up with one another online. 

Should Apex Legends Have a Separate Queue for Solo Players?

So, if you are a high-ranked solo player, you will find that you have no one in your same tier that you can match with, so the game will turn around and give you a lower-ranked player who is roughly the same MMR as you. Though they might be a lower tier, they are supposed to have about the same skill as you, so it should not be too much of an issue.

That said, as we can see in the comments on the Reddit post, this Apex Legends MMR explanation does not solve all of the complaints about some players. One user noted in the comments that it must be extremely hard in Arenas to find other ranked players if they are paired with two level 10 players against a trio of stacked Diamond players. 

Another player commented with a similar matchmaking issue with two Bronze rank players in Arenas while they are a Platinum rank and then was destroyed by a team that had two Master ranked players on it. One player came up with a possible solution to the problem. 

They noted that the game should have two separate ranked modes: the solo players out there and the other for premade teams. Some users responded, complaining about the game not having enough players to make this work, but it honestly is a feature that I think should be in the game. There would at least be a little bit more balance for the solo queueing players out there. 


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