One of the biggest mysteries in World of Tanks (aside from why you can't play as the red team) is how the matchmaker sorts through players and creates teams. Well, you're about to get the crash course you always wanted.
The matchmaker finds a team for players who enter the Random Battle queue. In doing so, several requirements must be met: teams should be similar in class and tier, yet differ in ways so that the strategy of the battle varies. Another important factor is keeping the queue wait time as small as possible.
When creating a battle, the matchmaker first looks to place eligible large Platoons (4-5 players), followed by artillery and then light tanks with scout matchmaking. After this criterion is met, other players are selected to fill the remaining positions, keeping the team's weight balanced as closely as possible.
If the matchmaker struggles to meet the requirements for an eligible match, it eases up on the rules to avoid players spending too much time in the queue. However, the matchmaker never breaks the minimum balance requirements.
If the matchmaker still can't find a good battle after about five minutes, players get kicked back to the Garage.
Battles happen in 11 possible Battle Tiers (BT), and are not to be confused with vehicle tiers [I-X]. Each vehicle, depending on its performance, falls in a certain range of Battle Tiers to fight in. While the Garage doesn't display Battle Tiers, you can see the maximum vehicle tier a vehicle will meet in battle.
Max vehicle tier displayed
The charts below display the Battle Tiers a vehicle falls in. Note the special scout matchmaking for light tanks in the "Default MM Battle Tiers" chart and Premium vehicles with preferential matchmaking in "Unique MM Battle Tiers."
The following charts are accurate as of Update 3.7. Select the chart to expand.
This is a main factor in forming a battle. Each vehicle has a Balance Weight and the matchmaker attempts to keep the weight of both teams as equal as possible, following special weight restrictions for team balance. Balance Weight happens by considering vehicle tier and type; however, sometimes specific vehicles are weighted individually.
If a vehicle is on the Individual Weight chart, the Default Vehicle Weight chart does not apply. Select chart to expand.
When in a Platoon, the lowest tier the Platoon is eligible for is based on the lowest common Battle Tier of all the Platoon members. The upper Battle Tier is determined by the Platoon leader.
Platooning in vehicles with different Battle Tier ranges can lead to unwanted results. For example, if a tier IV light tank with scout matchmaking (up to BT 7) Platooned with a tier IV medium tank with standard Battle Tiers (up to BT 6), the scout matchmaking will pull the medium tank up into a higher Battle Tier, meaning it will likely be outclassed in battle. The same occurs when an VIII IS-3 (standard BT) Platoons up with an VIII IS-6 (preferential matchmaking) -- the IS-3 will pull up the IS-6 into a higher BT range.
Platoons of 2-3 players are weighted similar to a solo player, whereas large Platoons of 4-5 players receive special weighting: the matchmaker considers Platoon size, average Platoon member balance weight, highest Platoon member tier, and tier distribution within the Platoon. This means that vehicles in Platoons may be weighted more heavily than if the vehicles were solo.
Battles involving multiple Platoons tend to create Balance Weight issues. To address this, when there's a surplus of Platoons in the queue, the matchmaker will select the Platoons first and fill the missing gaps with solo players.
Lastly, if every member of a Platoon has a streak of bad luck in their Battle Tiers, the Platoon's next match will get a "friendlier" battle level. Whether or not a particular battle was good or bad relative to the Battle Tier range of the Platoon is recorded for each Platoon member. That way, everything works as expected when players jump in and out of Platoons.
We know the feeling of being at the top of the list and you feel like you can make a difference, and to be at the bottom and feel too dependent on your team.
Here's what you don't know: if the matchmaker finds a player in the upper half of their Battle Tier range (near the bottom of the team list) for two consecutive battles, in the following battle, they'll be placed into a match in the lower half of their Battle Tier (near the top of the team list) for that vehicle. This helps prevent players from having streaks of games where they are placed at the bottom of their team list.
A good example is the often misunderstood IV Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) n.A. , a tier IV light tank that leads to popular higher-tiered German tanks, but also has tricky scout matchmaking (BT 4-7). This light tank often ends up at the bottom of the team list. If for two consecutive matches you're placed in a tier VI or VII match, the following match will be tiers IV or V. There is no restriction on the number of battles played in the lower half of their Battle Tier range.
As mentioned earlier, if the matchmaker struggles to meet the requirements for a match, the above rules will be more relaxed the longer a player is waiting. However, the matchmaker will never drop below the minimum balance requirements.
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