Does The Cycle: Frontier have Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM)?

The Cycle: Frontier is an interesting competitive shooter because of its unbalanced design. Players choose what type of gear they drop onto the map with, and can potentially face opponents with drastically stronger (or weaker) weapons and armor than themselves. Additionally, single-player, duos, and squads share the same lobbies, making PvP gameplay even better. game encounters even more distorted and unpredictable. While this is all part of The Cycle: Frontier’s core gameplay focus on risk-reward management, many players have expressed the opinion that some form of Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM) is necessary to increase the frequency of frustratingly unwinnable PvP – Reduce encounters.

Related: Does The Cycle: Frontier have progress erasers like Escape From Tarkov? answered

How does SBMM work in The Cycle: Frontier?

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The good news is that The Cycle: Frontier does have some form of SBMM in the game, although it’s not exactly clear how it works. While traditional SBMM systems use metrics like KDR (Kills to Deaths Ratio) to fairly match players based on their relative skills, during its second closed beta, The Cycle: Frontier instead matched players based on how successful they were at their farming. The game’s narrative portrays players not as soldiers, but as prospectors – people brave or desperate enough to plunge onto Fortuna III’s enemy surface in order to mine, harvest, or loot as much loot as possible. Therefore, the SBMM system used in The Cycle: Frontier to match players based on the average value of the loot they extract from their games.

Now that the game has launched, we know that it uses a different SBMM system that divides players into buckets, but how those buckets are organized and what they mean hasn’t been made clear. Players are likely to remain in a bucket, say the “New Player” bucket, until they reach a certain level or gear threshold. After that, players will likely be moved to more general buckets where they can face off against more formidable opponents. There’s also almost certainly an endgame bucket that players enter when they have the best gear in the game, but they all reset at the start of each season. Every rumor that pops up about The Cycle: Frontier seems to imply that the deciding factor is not skill but gear level.

In other multiplayer games, dying for any reason – killed by a player, mauled by a strider, or just falling off a cliff – will result in a sharp drop in MMR (matchmaking rating) under this system, since the player doesn’t extract each significant amount of loot in this case. In that sense, SBMM used to work like a normal skill-based matchmaking system in The Cycle: Frontier. However, this system also allowed players to artificially reduce their MMR with certain farming runs or inflate it through very passive play. In fact, there was no guarantee that players you face in The Cycle: Frontier would have gear similar to yours or have similar abilities. That’s probably why it was changed. In an old developer interview, Creative Director Dan Banefelt explained how the development team’s goal was to prevent players from being crushed by players with high-tier weapons, but whether the current MMR system will ever be explained remains to be seen. Does The Cycle: Frontier have Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM)?

Curtis Crabtree

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