Apex Legends dev reveals major SBMM change coming this season

Lifeline Timmy Apex LegnedsRespawn Entertainment

Respawn Entertainment’s Technical Director working on Apex Legends has confirmed that the development team is in the process of making changes to the SBMM system, with the changes rolling out within the next months.

As with most multiplayer games, Apex Legends uses SBMM (skill-based matchmaking) to match teammates and opponents in matches.

Apex has a particularly challenging task with this though, like other battle royale games, because it’s not one team vs another, but 20 teams all at once. Balancing these matches is always going to be difficult.

That doesn’t stop players from making their voices heard though, and they have complained about various aspects of SBMM over the years. To start 2023, Respawn is hoping to address some of these complaints.

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SBMM change coming to Apex Legends

Responding to an issue on Twitter from Apex pro player Snip3down, explaining that the matchmaking made playing with his wife very unenjoyable, Respawn Technical Director Samy Duc explained:

“SBMM will change, for the moment it is based on the highest player in the group and it will most likely mutate to something else (surprise surprise) mid-December / new year. We will communicate more in the new year about this.”

Currently, the ‘most skilled’ player in the party, defined by the hidden MMR system, will determine the level of opposition that the party will come up against.

While this is not ideal, and is set to be changed, Duc also explains that just using the average or lowest-rated player is not a solution either.

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The change itself, in whatever form it might be, is not expected to be implemented until at least December, or early 2023.

We can also expect a blog post or other communication from Respawn to elaborate on the changes. Unlike other gaming studios, such as Activision with the CoD franchise, the Apex team have been willing to be transparent about SBMM in the past too.