The community is mighty curious about how the Hearthstone matchmaking system is designed to work, or more specifically how it determines your opponent.
A recent thread on the official forums shared the sentiments of majority of players that the Hearthstone matchmaking can prove to be frustrating most of the times.
It’s not uncommon to face the same kind of decks in back-to-back ranked games. However, as soon as you change classes or decks to counter, the system pairs you with opponents using a different kind of approach.
In response to the assumption that the system is rigged or one-sided, game designer Max McCall offered a clarification on how the Hearthstone matchmaking exactly works.
In short, “the only variable that affects who your opponent will be is your skill rating” which is calculated by the system on the basis of a formula. At the end of every game, the system takes into account the current and past ratings of both players to generate your new skill rating. This is known as Matchmaking Rating (MMR).
“In casual and at Legend rank, we pair players with similar MMRs,” he confirmed. “In Ranked below legend, we pair people with similar star ranks instead of similar MMRs.”
The Hearthstone matchmaking is devoid of any information pertaining to what decks a player likes to play or is playing on a specific day. The only input that it receives is the skill rating.
McCall further added that every time a player enters a queue, the matchmaking system begins comparing the player’s MMR against everyone else in the queue. Someone with the same MMR as you is paired instantly. On the chance that there is no one with the same MMR, the system begins searching for someone with almost the same MMR as yours. This difference between your MMR and your probable opponent’s continues to increase if the system fails to come up with a suitable opponent.
“Usually a match is found so quickly that the widening bounds never really matter,” he concluded. “After the game, your rating is updated, and the process is repeated the next time you queue up.”
Hopefully this will give the community a better understanding to how their opponents are being brought up every day.