Destiny Matchmaking Details Released in Light of Controversy

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After a barrage of negative comments from fans, Destiny's developer, Bungie, releases full details about how the game matches players together in PvP.

This week, Bungie has been facing a deluge of complaints that have culminated in a near-protest online, as fans demand that skill-based matchmaking be taken out of Destiny's PvP. In an clear the air, Bungie has provided fans with a detailed breakdown of how Destiny's matchmaking works.

Bungie has said it before and repeated it again in its weekly blog: connection is prioritized over skill when matchmaking. However, Bungie explained the process of matchmaking a little differently than before. Here's how it works according to the developer:

  • First, we identify a pool of available players with a good connection to you
  • Within that pool, we choose players closely matched to your personal skill rating
  • If we can’t find players within that pool, we widen the variance in skill
  • If THAT doesn’t work, we expand the search again with more variance in connection quality
  • Once enough players are selected, we break them out into equally skilled teams

Bungie made it extra clear, saying "Connection quality is always the highest priority factor in Destiny Matchmaking." Bungie said it is trying to accomplish three main goals with the matchmaking system: provide players with a clean connection to each other, keep the time in orbit between matches to a minimum, and set matches between closely skilled players.


Destiny is using a mixture of connection-based matchmaking and skill-based matchmaking, but the developer says the skill factor is the least important factor and that connection stability is prioritized over finding competitive players to match up against. As a side note, Trials of Osiris matchmaking is completely different and is based on connection and finding teams with a similar number of wins.

Bungie also answered some popular questions about matchmaking and its results, including why full fireteams aren't more regularly matched up against other full fireteams. While the system is meant to match teams up against each other, the system will prioritize connection over that fireteam matchup. Another answer confirmed that Destiny has no systems in place that are meant to keep players at a 50% win ratio:

[Y]our personal performance is a factor in the Guardians you end up confronting in battle, but we do nothing to artificially influence win streaks or alter individual player statistics.

Clearly, Bungie is trying to stay open and transparent, something they have been criticized for in the past. If this actually is how matchmaking works, fans are likely to be happy to hear it, but according to the developer the last time matchmaking was changed was in August 2016. We don't know what those changes were, but there emain a certain number of players who don't feel like the game is matching based on connection, at least for them.

Destiny: Rise of Iron is available now on PS4 and Xbox One.

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