Apex Legends players complain that SBMM is broken - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Apex Legends players complain that SBMM is broken

Published: 26/May/2021 11:29

by James Busby

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Apex Legends SBMM continues to prove a big point of contention in Season 9, with many frustrated players calling for Respawn to fix it for good. 

Apex Legends Season 9 may have included plenty of new content for players to delve into, but the latest update has been far from smooth. While the 1.69 patch may have fixed Wattson fences and added abandon penalties to Arenas, fans are still frustrated by the unfair nature of the game’s SBMM system. Just like any competitive FPS title, Apex Legends matchmaking is designed off skill. In theory, this means players should be put in lobbies with other similarly ranked players.

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Despite this, the Apex Legends community is adamant that this is not the case. Some fans even believe that the game’s SBMM has gotten even worse since the Season 9 update dropped. Whether you’re a stalwart advocate of SBMM in games or remain indifferent to the matter, there’s no denying how frustrating this issue can be. 

Apex Legends players call for SBMM changes

valkyrie apex legends update patch 1.69
Respawn Entertainment
Many Apex Legends players believe SBMM has gotten worse in Season 9.

In a tweet, last year, Respawn’s Principal Coder Michael Kalas confirmed that Apex Legends doesn’t use Engagement Optimized matchmaking (EOMM) – a form of matchmaking that is tailored around a number of factors. “Apex matchmaking is designed off skill. It’s not literally designed to make you lose, spend, nor play longer,” Kalas said. “Apex features are designed and measured to result in fun, entertainment, accomplishment, playing longer, etc.”

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While Respawn confirmed that SBMM was working as intended, it has done little to quell the overall anger towards the current matchmaking system. “This game has the most busted-ass skill-based matchmaking of any multiplayer game I’ve ever played,” says PolishMuhGrapple. “Either this game just has no more casual players in it (a distinct possibility) or this game seems to think I’m far better than I actually am.”

PolishMuhGrapple certainly hits on an interesting point. Apex Legends is no longer the new BR on the block and as a result, the playerbase will naturally start to increase in skill. Of course, there will always be new players picking up the game, but the chances of being ranked against these new players should theoretically be lower unless you share the same level of skill. 

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Octane tricks
Respawn Entertainment
Even casuals aren’t safe from Predator lobbies.

However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for many Apex players. “My KDR is sub-1 and I have to play 10 games vs 4k 20 bomb players who wall jump and crouch spam. Basically always getting beamed, before I finally get put in a bot lobby or whatever,” says vrazix. “It’s really frustrating and definitely feels like a sudden change from S8.”

The SBMM problem mainly occurs in casual matches where players of all skill levels can meet on the virtual battlefields. Unfortunately, this does lead to some very one-sided matches. I am a lv 70 0.7 KDA Gold 3 player, getting matched with Master and Diamond badge players every game in casual,” says KampongFish. “It’s hilarious how games are way easier in ranked because I am forced to play with gold players.”

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This sentiment appears to be echoed throughout the community, but whether Respawn will adjust the game’s current SBMM remains to be seen. Make sure you check out our Apex page for all the latest news and guides.