It’s been confirmed that ranked multiplayer will not be available in Halo Wars 2 at launch, with the first season of competitive play set to get underway shortly after the game’s release.

Alongside genres like fighting games, MOBAs, and first-person shooters, gamers can usually rely on RTS games to deliver high-level competition between expert players. There are high hopes that Halo Wars 2 will offer enough depth to foster a competitive scene, but it’s been confirmed the game’s ranked online multiplayer won’t be ready for launch.

“Shortly after launch the team will be instituting a formal ranked competitive system into the game that’s similar to what’s offered in Halo 5,” read a blog post published on Halo Waypoint last week. “This intentionally isn’t included at launch for a few reasons.”

It’s argued that unranked multiplayer will make for a more inviting experience in the early days of Halo Wars 2. Novice players can take some time to familiarize themselves with the game’s controls and some basic strategies before wins and losses really start to matter.

The delay will also give the development team time to respond to any balance issues that are flagged once the game is out in the wild. This will hopefully ensure that the Halo Wars 2 online experience is free from any damaging exploits once ranked play is implemented.

Halo Wars 2 Review - Base building

Finally, the blog post states that there’s a plan in place to time seasons of ranked play with the release of DLC for the game. It’s noted that this kind of refresh is a good time to apply any fixes or balance tweaks that couldn’t be distributed as a hot fix.

The post also mentions that “the introduction of new leaders is a natural opportunity to reset and roll-over a new season.” It’s not completely clear whether this indicates that a new DLC leader is set to drop ahead of the first season of ranked play, given that there hasn’t been much said about DLC plans for the game.

While there will certainly be Halo Wars 2 players eager to dive into competitive play on day one, this decision to delay the game’s first ranked season will hopefully benefit the community in the long run. When the season does get underway, any balance issues should be fixed and there will likely be a better baseline standard of play since players are more experienced. However, timing is crucial, as the game can’t afford to go too long without this important element of its multiplayer component.

Halo Wars 2 is available now for Xbox One and PC.