- 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.
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||Ground battles||Aviation battles|
|Matchmaking by average BR|
|Matchmaking by top vehicle BR|
|Matchmaking by selected vehicle BR|
For all 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 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.
These are all the rules governing matchmaking in random battles. There are no exceptions.
Matchmaking by average BR
In Air Arcade mode, matchmaking works differently in comparison with any other mode – it is performed in accordance with the average Battle Rating of several aircraft with the highest BR among all the aircraft in the set. 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 game aviation: (spoiler from old article, below)
|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 - goes beyond the permissible BR and its rating is considered equal with the top rated vehicle BR.|
|Aircraft 1||Aircraft 2||Aircraft 3||⇒||BR Result|
Matchmaking by maximum BR
- In all other random battle modes, matchmaking uses the highest Battle Rating of the vehicles available in the player’s set.
- 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).
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
Air Simulator battles use this matchmaking method. When the player opens the Air SB interface, they will see several identical missions where the only difference is the BR of the permitted aircraft. All you have to do is select the desired battle rank and assemble the required aircraft in your set. Very straightforward.
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|