Skill-based matchmaking is a topic of much debate in the Fortnite community. Some players agree with the switch, while others think it will hurt the game in the long-term. Here are five feasible alternatives that may make SBMM in Fortnite unnecessary.

Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) is the latest in a long line of topics that has split the Fortnite community. Players in the lower skill bracket love the idea of avoiding the sweats, streamers, and wannabe-pros, while the latter group doesn’t want to be stuck with one another for the entire future of the game.

Changing the matchmaking system isn’t the only option, however. There are other ways Epic can change Fortnite to make SBMM unnecessary. Here are a few ideas.

Arena Incentives

Credit: EPIC GAMES

One common complaint of the skill-based matchmaking system in Fortnite is that it’s Arena without siphon or material caps. This critique is spot-on as it stands right now. There’s no incentive to play Arena unless you’re trying to compete in tournaments. Some of us are, but most of us aren’t.

A large percentage of the player base likes competitive game modes but isn’t skilled enough to compete in Cash Cups or online qualifiers. It’s sad that Apex Legends has a more fleshed-out competitive system than Fortnite does – and that game has been out for a fraction of the time.

Epic could add exclusive skins, weapon wraps, gliders, or any other cosmetic items to incentivize Arena play. That will draw competitive players out of public matches and into Arena, therefore reducing the need for SBMM.

Better LTMs

Arena incentives will take care of some of the competitive players, and better LTMs will engage the casuals. There is only a handful of LTMs that are worth playing right now. Bounty, the Floor is Lava, and Air Royale are three that stand out. 

Sniper-only game modes, Close Encounters, and similar LTMs can be fun for a game or two, but they lose their luster after a while.

Epic needs to draw more casual players to LTMs so they can enjoy the game without facing hardcore competition all of the time.

Count Assists as Kills

Credit: EPIC GAMES

This suggestion could be huge for the game, and it will likely be controversial. Part of the reason Epic added the BRUTE was to allow unskilled players to get more eliminations. Another way these players could get more eliminations is to count assists as kills.

A lot of other games already do this – Gears of War and Overwatch come to mind. They give you a certain number of points based on the damage you did to the eliminated player and reward you with a kill as long as you tagged them at least once.

A lot of people aren’t going to like this, but it will help solve some of the issues that SBMM is attempting to address. Kill stealing won’t be a thing anymore and everyone will get more kills in team-based modes – so it’s a no-lose proposition.

A ‘New and Returning Player’ Playlist

Credit: EPIC GAMES

Ninja and SypherPK brought up this idea during a recent stream: allowing new and returning players to join an exclusive game mode that will help them get a grip on the current state of Fortnite.

If you get a win or reach a kill threshold, the game disappears and you are back to the normal game modes. Epic can add bots to this mode to help keep it populated – something they’re considering anyway.

This game mode will be the same as the regular Battle Royale game, but you’ll only be playing with bots, returning players, and new players. The rest of the game modes will stay the same as they are now.

Keep SBMM Exclusively in Solos

Credit: EPIC GAMES

It appears as though Epic is dedicated to skill-based matchmaking. The community is split on the topic, but it doesn’t really matter what we think. Papa Epic is going to do what they think is best for us. 

The health of Fortnite is going to suffer if SBMM expands to Duos and eventually Squads. Players will face lengthy queue times, many will face more difficult games, and a wide percentage of the player base is going to start getting frustrated.

If Epic keeps SBMM in Solos only – a mode where you can’t rely on anyone but yourself – things will be manageable. Expanding it could spell a massive hit to the community.

What do you think of skill-based matchmaking? Sound off in the comments.

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Jimmy is a passionate gamer and lover/hater of all things Fortnite. Good comms on Twitter @JimmyDangus.

3 COMMENTS

  1. YES! I agree with adding skins and things to arena to incentivize people to play arena and add the playlist for new and returning people. I don’t want SBMM on solos either because I mostly play solos and I really don’t want to sweat like if I were in the World Cup. A game is meant to be fun with occasional frustration, not constant frustration. I hope epic considers these alternatives.

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