- 1 General Information about the matchmaking
- 2 Matchmaking by Battle Rating
- 3 Matchmaking by Bracket
- 4 Matching by Set Vehicles
- 5 Tournament Matchmaking
- 6 Other (custom) matchmaking types in battles
General Information about the matchmaking
Matchmaking is better known to players as the "balancer," but this mechanic in War Thunder is called matchmaking for good reason. Unlike simple team selection systems, designed only to balance out the game sessions, the capabilities of War Thunder's system are much broader. It allows you to create sessions with strictly defined vehicles, restrictions on certain types and classes and various other configurations.
There are several types of matchmaking:
- By Battle Rating – the battle performance rating given to every Aircraft, Ground Vehicle, or Naval Vessel. These ratings may vary across game modes.
- By Bracket – the same as BR, but grouped into brackets.
- In accordance with strictly prescribed lists of permitted vehicles with the ability to limit numbers, e.g. in events playing through historical battles, only the vehicles that would have actually participated in the battle are permitted to take part, and the number of individual vehicles can also be limited.
- Tournament – uses the player’s personal rating to select opponents of equal strength in various competitive events.
Learn more about game modes in their respective related articles. In this article, you can find out about the general rules of matchmaking.
Map Rotation Filter
In Update 1.91 "Night Vision" a new mechanic known as the "Map Rotation Filter" was introduced to the game. This mechanic allows players to reduce or completely remove the chance of having to play on certain maps.
There are two tiers of exclusion:
Dislikes lower the chance of being put into a match on the selected map. If the number of players in the queue that have disliked a map reaches a certain threshold, the selected map is skipped and a new map is selected. All players are able to choose a maximum of 3 disliked maps for each gamemode.
Bans completely exclude a map from your personal mappool. This means that you will never be placed into that map as long as the ban is in effect. This function is only available to players with an active premium account, and is limited to a maximum of 1 map per gamemode, to minimise the effect of many players with different banned maps in the queue.
As of v.126.96.36.199, players can also like maps. However, this does not contribute to the chances of being placed on the map, instead serving as an easy feedback method for the developers to gather data on map popularity.
|Some Air Forces Maps and Naval Forces maps have multiple missions in the same location. Disliking, banning, or liking a mission will not affect the chance of other missions in that location.|
Matchmaking by Battle Rating
This is the most widespread matchmaking method. It is used in the two biggest battle modes, Arcade and Realistic battles, involving ground vehicles, aviation, and naval forces. When selecting allies and opponents in these modes, the matchmaking system uses only one parameter – your vehicle Battle Rating.
Battle ratings (BR) is given to every vehicle in War Thunder and depending on the game mode, matchmaking uses either the average BR of your vehicle set or the highest BR of any single vehicle from your entire set.
|Game modes||Naval battles||Ground battles||Aviation battles|
|Arcade mode||Top vehicle BR||Average BR|
|Realistic mode||Selected vehicle BR|
|Simulation mode||Does not exist||List of allowed vehicles||Set BR range|
For AB and RB game modes, the maximum BR range for a session is limited to ±1.0 from the average BR or the BR of the best vehicle in your set. This means that you will never come up against an opponent whose average/best BR is more than 1.0 higher or lower than your average vehicle BR or the BR of your best vehicle.
The matchmaker always aims to assemble teams with minimal BR spread, which has a positive impact on gameplay experience. Selection begins by searching for players with the same BR as you and the net gradually widens if a closely rated team cannot be assembled. This means that the more players are queued for battle, the better the balancing will be.
- Players playing together in a squad will have the BR of the squad regardless of what BR their lineup is.
- In Naval Forces Arcade and Realistic modes, aircraft 0.6 BR higher than the highest BR ship will not be able to participate(and thus are not calculated in the BR).
- In games where there is a full 1.0 BR difference between players, the amount of players on a team with vehicles of the highest BR will not exceed 25% of the players on the team. For example, in a game with vehicles from BR 4.7 to 5.7 where each team has 16 players, the amount of players with 5.7 BR will not exceed 4 for each team.
Note: This rule only defines a maximum so it is possible for one team to have 0 players with the highest BR while the other team has the full 25% of of its team at the highest BR.
Matchmaking by average BR
In Air Arcade mode, matchmaking works differently in comparison to other modes – it is performed in accordance with the average Battle Rating of the three aircraft with the highest BR among all the aircraft in the player's lineup. Damaged or temporarily blocked vehicles will not be factored into the calculation, as they cannot be used in battle.
Matchmaking by average BR allows players to even make use of the capabilities of planes that are inferior to newer aircraft in the player’s set, as well as to continue to use the tried-and-tested aircraft for a long time.
The calculation uses the three aircraft with the highest BR in the set. The average BR is calculated as follows:
- BR=A/2 + B/4 + C/4
Where A is the vehicle with the highest BR, and B and C are the top-rated vehicles after A.
- If the difference in rating between vehicle A and vehicle B or C is greater than 0.6 BR, then the rating of the vehicle outside the permitted range will be calculated as A-0.6.
- If the difference in rating between vehicle A and vehicle B or C is greater than or equal to 2.0 BR, then the rating of the vehicle will be substituted for the BR of the top vehicle (A).
- If fewer than three crews go into battle, the missing aircraft are given values of A-0.6.
The average BR resulting from the calculation is rounded to the nearest number from the range: X.0, X.3, X.7. In borderline cases, the BR is rounded up.
So X.15 will be rounded to X.3, X.35 will be rounded to X.3, and X.5 will be rounded up to X.7.
Here is an example of how the averaging formula works in AB aviation:
Click Expand to view
|Legend for the table below|
|Aircraft example||BR Effect on lineup|
|Vehicle with Highest BR|
|Vehicle, BR lower than 0.3|
|Vehicle, with a BR lower than 0.6 (to 2.0) from a top BR|
|Vehicle, with a BR lower than 2.0 from a top BR|
|Aircraft 1||Aircraft 2||Aircraft 3||⇒||BR Result|
Matchmaking by maximum BR
- In Air Realistic mode, matchmaking is performed based on the aircraft selected for the battle. Since the vehicles not selected cannot be used in the battle, there is no need to include them in the calculation.
- In Ground Forces Arcade mode, matchmaking is performed based on the tank with the highest BR in the set.
- In Ground Forces Realistic mode, matchmaking is performed based on the tank or aircraft with the highest BR in the entire set (depending on which vehicle has the highest BR).
- In Naval Forces Arcade and Realistic modes, matchmaking is performed based on the ship or aircraft with the highest BR in the entire set (depending on which vehicle has the highest BR). However, aircraft 0.6 BR higher than the highest BR ship will not be able to participate.
Many players have a preference for several modes. For their convenience, there is a "vehicle preset" mechanism, which allows players to save preferred and frequently used vehicle arrangements in their hangar. This allows players to prepare for any type of battle in just a few clicks.
Matchmaking by Bracket
There are two primary ways to join Air Simulator battles.
One is to use a matchmaker by selecting the To Battle! button which will attempt to place you in an existing session, waiting lobby or it will create a new session.
The other option is to view a list of sessions using the Room list button.. When the player opens the Air SB sessions list, they may see several identical missions where the only difference is the BR of the permitted and required aircraft. All you have to do is select the desired battle rank and assemble the required aircraft in your set. It is recommended to select at least one vehicle at, or below the minimum required BR for the session to avoid having to rent a stock aircraft when you run out of SP.
If the player is unsatisfied with the existing sessions or a suitable session is not available, they may create a new lobby, selecting the respective missions they would like in the mission rotation and the factions. Waiting lobbies expire after 20 minutes if they do not have at least 2 players on each side to star the game. It is not recommended to place a faction on both sides as it can confuse players seeing an aircraft type on both teams.
Matching by Set Vehicles
This method is used in Ground Forces Simulator battles. When the player opens the Tanks SB interface, the names of the vehicles permitted for the current battle will be clearly displayed. Battles are regularly updated, so the team composition options also change.
This type of matchmaking is used in tournaments and any other competition that has to select opponents of similar skill levels.
Ranked matchmaking is based on the Elo rating system.
|A tournament participant can see their rank at the portal at https://tss.warthunder.com/ by logging into their account and clicking “Rating” in the menu. Rating is calculated individually for each game mode and difficulty level. A rating is given if the player has completed at least one battle in a relevant tournament.|
Other (custom) matchmaking types in battles
Going further, there used to be other custom matchmaking types apart from matchmaking by BR and vehicle ranks:
- Sessions with restricted vehicle set
- Rating battles
- Squadron battles
Sessions with restricted vehicle set
As an example for this type of battle, let's have a look at the missions from "Events and Tournaments". Matchmaking for this mode is made only from the vehicles that were specially selected for every mission. This type of Matchmaking allows developers to carefully reconstruct historical events from different battlegrounds, while paying attention to power balance. This also aims for the creation alternative history missions and holding events with a number of possible finals.
Sessions are made from all vehicles allowed, without looking at BR or vehicle ranks. Teams can have different numbers of players, and that is also controlled in the mission settings. The exact matchmaking settings for every mission can be obtained from the mission descriptions shown in the in-game client for each mission in the "Events and Tournaments" list.
All missions in this mode have different difficulty levels and can have a mix of ground and air vehicles.
Matchmaking is able to create sessions depending on a player's personal skills level, and that's an important feature of the game. This type of matchmaking fits to 'duel' and 'sparring' forms of battle tournaments and challenges, where personal expertise plays a key role in success. Creating a session based on player personal rankings allows to equalize forces of teams, squadrons, and particular players, and makes sessions more fair and attractive.
Rating battles of all types do not have mutual effect, meaning that player rating gained in one mode will not affect other rating battle modes. Player rating can also be reset after a corresponding tournament or event ending.
Squadron battles are a subset of rating battles. The key difference here is that matchmaking is made by teammate average scores, taken as the arithmetical mean of all teammate ratings. To participate in this type of battle, one needs to be a part of squadron (clan). These battles are only 8×8 in all game modes.
A player's personal rating is calculated from his personal battle results for clan events, and 'only' clan events. The initial player rating is 0. In case of victory, the player's rating is recalculated as if it was 1500, and in case of failure, the player rating changes from that current rating value so that it can be lower than 1500.
Map Rotation in Combined Ground Battles
Map Rotation refers to the chance one has to be placed into a game on one or another location, depending on pre-determined conditions.
In War Thunder, there is only one such condition - the rank of your chosen ground vehicles. Suppose you play with the T-26, being a tank of the first rank. In this case, you will only be able to get into battles on locations that are specifically selected for vehicles of the first rank.
If your vehicle lineup comprises of vehicles with several different ranks, the rotation of locations will then work pursuant to the highest ranked vehicle within your lineup. Therefore, if your lineup has both the T-26 and T-44, your battles will occur in accordance with the category of locations provided for the vehicles of rank IV.
The need for the rotation of maps revolves around map size, as well as gameplay complexity. The bigger (and more difficult) a location is in terms of gameplay, the more experienced should those players which are to battle upon it be.
Below you can see detailed tables, divided by game modes, listing all locations for ground battles and the corresponding ranks of ground vehicles for which those locations are designed:
|Already in rotation|
|+||Added to rotation in Update 1.91 "Night Vision"|
|-||Removed from rotation in Update 1.91 "Night Vision"|
|Locations for ground vehicles||BR 1.0 – 2.0||BR 2.3 – 3.3||BR 3.7 – 4.7||BR 5.0 – 6.3||BR 6.7||BR 7.0 – 7.7||BR 8.0 – 10.0|
|Advance to the Rhine|
|Fields of Normandy|
|Fields of Poland||+||+|
|Sands of Sinai|
|Surroundings of Volokolamsk||+|
|White Rock Fortress||+||+||+||+|
|Locations for rank in total||12||19||29||37||38||38||38|
|Locations for ground vehicles||BR 1.0 – 2.0||BR 2.3 – 3.3||BR 3.7 – 4.7||BR 5.0 – 6.3||BR 6.7||BR 7.0 – 7.7||BR 8.0 – 8.7||BR 9.0 – 10.0|
|Advance to the Rhine||+||+|
|Fields of Normandy|
|Fields of Poland||+||+||+||+||+|
|Sands of Sinai||+||+||+||+|
|Surroundings of Volokolamsk||+||+||+||+|
|White Rock Fortress||+||+||+||+||+|
|Locations for rank in total||11||19||29||31||35||35||32||32|
|Locations for ground vehicles||1_1 and 2_1 setups||3_1, 4_1, 5_1 and 6_1 setups||8_2, 9_2 and 10_2 setups|
|Advance to the Rhine|
|Fields of Normandy|
|Sands of Sinai|
|White Rock Fortress|
|Locations for rank in total||9||23||15|