Ranked Mode Overhaul Matchmaking - Frequently Asked Questions



Ranked Mode Overhaul Matchmaking - Frequently Asked Questions

Blizzard just posted an overview of frequently asked questions about the new ranked system and their answers, including the hot topic of if tanking your MMR will help or not. Read all the questions and answers below:

Quote from Blizzard

Hey everyone! We put together a general matchmaking FAQ here for our new ranked system to help answer questions you may have.

For general description of this new system, please refer to our Year of the Phoenix blog.

If you want to learn some basic concepts of matchmaking, here is our previous blog about matchmaking in Battlegrounds.

Q: How does matchmaking work for each season?

A: There are two matchmaking pools: matchmaking by rating (aka. MMR) and by rank.

When your star bonus multiplier is bigger than 1, or you are in Legend rank, you are (generally) in the first matchmaking pool; when your star bonus drops to 1, you are in the second pool.

Q: Why are there two matchmaking pools?

A: Since each player starts at the bottom of the ladder at start, we want fair matches for everyone (aka. win-rate close to 50%). At that time, your progression on ladder is protected by your star bonus, thus your net expected gain will be positive through the ladder. Once other players run out of star bonuses, matching by rank will allow for good players, or players who want to push themselves a bit, to be able to progress to a higher rank.

In short, having two matchmaking pools helps players progress in the ladder without having to grind as much, while still making most matches fair.

Q: If I “tank” my MMR at certain rank floor, will I be matched with easier opponents next season because you are matchmaking by MMR at the start?

A: No, in general you won’t. At the start of the season we will recover your MMR to certain threshold if it is dropped below that value, which is based on what your rank is in the previous season. Therefore, there would be no benefits to intentionally tank your MMR.

Q: How many stars bonuses do I get at the start of the season?

A: It depends on your current MMR and the rank you reached from your previous season, whichever gives a higher value. Generally, the minimal initial star bonuses you get for each rank floor you reached are:

Best Rank Minimal Initial Star Bonuses
Bronze 10 2
Bronze 5 2
Silver 10 2
Silver 5 3
Gold 10 4
Gold 5 5
Platinum 10 6
Platinum 5 7
Diamond 10 8
Diamond 5 9
Legend 10


As you can see, every player starts with at least two stars bonuses.

Q: Do you reset MMR each season?

A: No, we do not.

Q: Will the value of my previous season’s MMR be exactly same as the new season?

A: Technically no, although the change will be very small and the “value order” will be kept (Player A whose MMR is larger than player B in the last season will still be ordered as such). Mathematically, a re-normalization process takes place at the start of each season to keep the distribution in a nice bell-shaped curve.

Q: If I missed one season, will I lose my star bonuses when I return?

A: No, you won’t.

Q: If I missed multiple seasons, will I lose star bonuses when I return?

A: Based on how long you are absent, there will be some small decay applied to your MMR. Therefore, you may (or may not) lose some star bonuses.

Q: Where do the win steak bonuses end?

A: Diamond 5.

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