It appears that publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has been working to update the skill level of its bots against human players in Battlefield 2042.
According to a newly published patent from earlier today, EA wants Battlefield 2042 (or other multiplayer games with bots) to use a patented matchmaking system to create skillful bots by simulating real-life, breathing players.
EA notes that when human players queue for a match, its matchmaking system will determine their “skill scores, play styles, and team history” to categorize them under passive or aggressive labels.
The matchmaking system will then identify how many slots remain to be filled before determining a “criteria for suitable players for each unfilled slot.” That more or less confirms Battlefield 2042 to feature skill-based matchmaking because the system will try to fill the remaining slots with players as skilled as required.
However, if there are no available human players or if matchmaking is taking too long, the patented matchmaking system will create “behavior simulation models based on unavailable players” to “simulate players based on the respective behavior simulation models.”
In other words, if Battlefield 2042 is unable to find the right number of human players to balance both teams in terms of skill, its matchmaking will create bots with the required skill level while keeping balance in check.
A few months back, Battlefield insider Tom Henderson claimed that Battlefield 2042 will have skill-based matchmaking but of a different kind. That it will attempt to automatically balance teams after players have joined a server instead of before, making it fairly unique compared to Call of Duty.
I worded this a bit confusingly "And yes, there is SBMM in #BATTLEFIELD2042 – It's just PRIMARILY sever based."
The majority of the "SBMM" happens when you've found the server, it doesn't kick in beforehand – So it's not like COD.
— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) June 15, 2021
There have been concerns regarding the difficulty level of bots in Battlefield 2042, especially since the bots of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 were easy game. There have even been musings over whether developer DICE will consider adding a difficulty slider for bots. The aforementioned patented system mentions no such slider but instead an automated process to have bots as skilled as human players.
The repeated mention of balancing both teams holds interest. If both teams have highly skilled human players, for example, a bot filling a remaining slot may as well be programmed to take headshots after headshots.
EA, for the time being, has made no statements over the difficulty curve of bots or the matchmaking system in Battlefield 2042.