Dota 2 players raise concerns about long broken matchmaking wait times

Experiencing a twenty-minute-long wait time for a ranked match? Well, the good news is you probably aren’t on every player’s avoid list or have poor behavior scores. Instead, it’s a thing now after the recent matchmaking update.

Dota 2 Matchmaking Update

Last week, a Dota 2 Update dropped with changes to matchmaking. Particularly, the exciting feature is that 5-man parties will now match with any size of parties. Previously, it was matching two five-man parties together, which is great for a more competitive experience of proper communication between friends. However, it’s also a double-edged sword since abusive players can find a match as 5-man parties on a less crowded server to abuse battle pass rewards or even win MMR.

Alongside, was an adjusted matchmaking tuning which is expected to make finding a game as a full party quicker. And full parties can all chat “gg” to surrender after thirty minutes of game time.

Turns out much more was updated on the matchmaker, and it’s causing longer wait times for many players, even those who are just solo-queueing. As a baseline, most solo players can find a match relatively quickly, which doesn’t take over a minute or two.

However, the latest implementation of the matchmaker takes into account determining better match quality. We won’t get into the specifics, but simply we are looking at a correlation, where longer queue time means better quality games. Because the matchmaker will not immediately queue a player into a match immediately but evaluate the other players’ wait times beforehand.

Two new matchmaking features

According to JeffHill, Valve employee working in Dota 2 dev, there are two matchmaking features live now.

Firstly, it’s evaluating the minimum wait time of everyone in the match, while preventing matches that may be too long. Hence, players won’t get instant-found match while another player could have been waiting for 40 minutes. Using the same example, that would mean every player will have to wait 20 minutes equally, which is unacceptably long.

The other feature prioritizes match quality and prevents a bad game from being formed at all. Bad games are unfair games, where a two-man or three-man stack has major MMR gap, resulting in unfair matches. This often passes through as a legitimate game since it only takes into consideration long wait times, and would push for the game anyways.

Is matchmaking a mess now?

Well, for the larger population of Dota 2 players who aren’t all Immortal players. Rest assured that your wait times won’t be too long, and you will still get better quality games thanks to the new matchmaking backend features.

However, the stricter matchmaker may have trouble finding a match if you have high rank, played as a duo-party, has a huge MMR gap between yourselves, and play in a lower density server (such as Japan or India).

The new matchmaking features are not game-breaking bugs at all, so there’s frankly nothing to fix here. Instead, just avoid the odd scenario we mentioned earlier, and you likely won’t notice the longer wait times. Nevertheless, the good folks over at Dota 2 dev team are hard at work to improve Dota 2 matchmaking in general.