Ranking System Explained

WHAT IS A RANK?

Behind-the-scenes Gears of War 4 uses an improved version of the TrueSkill algorithm invented by the Microsoft Research team to discern a player's rank. We display this in-game as a visible Rank from Bronze Rank through Diamond Rank.

So what is TrueSkill? It’s a behind the scenes representation of your abilities formed by two numbers – a Skill Rating and a Confidence Rating.

Estimated Skill Rating: Your current relative skill in comparison to the other players in the playlist.

Confidence Rating: The system’s current degree of confidence in its ability to accurately assess your skill rating.

Simply put, TrueSkill considers both your current skill rating and its confidence in that rating to determine your overall skill. As you win and lose matches, TrueSkill will use and update both numbers in tandem to determine your overall ability level.

If you are winning and losing almost equally, your Estimated Skill Rating will not move much, but the system will become more confident in your placement as it means your skill matches are pretty balanced. Tip more towards wins or losses, and your Estimated Skill Rating will shift towards a more accurate reflection of your skill.

HOW DO I RANK UP

In Gears of War 4, the first thing to know is the system evaluates your skill on a round-based basis, both from a win/loss standpoint AND personal performance. How you win and perform every round is as important as winning the overall match. The players that win more rounds than they lose end up winning games more than they lose. This also means that how close a game is matters a lot. Winning 7-0 is much better for your skill rating than winning 7-6.

Skill Matchups

Matchmaking in ranked playlists will always attempt to find an even match for users, slowly expanding the search to wider skill ranges over time. We will always attempt to find a group of similar skillset, especially when matchmaking in a pre-made group.

At the start of the game, TrueSkill predicts the outcome of each round in the match. One team will be predicted to win, and the other to lose.

If you win a match you are expected to win, you will get smaller gains to your skill rating. Conversely, if you lose a match you are expected to lose, you will lose a minimal amount of skill rating.

To get promoted, you’ll need to consistently win against people of similar or higher skill. Any time you also defy the expectations of the system (such as winning a match you were expected to lose), the impact to your skill rating will be larger. The size of the differential in skill values between both teams will increase or decrease the effect.

Personal Performance

While Wins and Losses make up the majority of your skill changes, they are not the only factor.

Your individual performance is assessed on a round-by-round basis. Consistently playing well will help improve or reduce the impact to your Skill Rating depending on the result. Scoring high on the leaderboard when you win can increase the gains you see in the Ranking System – or make a loss less impactful if you were performing much better than your teammates. Each mode uses a different set of weights to measure individual contributions to create the most accurate skill prediction possible.

Play For Every Round

Even when your opponents seem insurmountable, playing for every round can make all the difference. Although we systems runs the calculation after the match is over, every round you win or lose along the way is considered and makes a difference to your skill rating.

Winning an Escalation match 7-0 will result in better gains than winning 7-6. The same is true for losing, where every round you can win results in a reduced negative impact on your Skill rating – or potentially none at all.

If you lose a player during Ranked Play, keep fighting. If you perform well or win one or two rounds, you can reduce the impact of the loss (and in some cases, negate it).

UNDERSTANDING RANKS AND TIER

At the start of each Season, your Placement Matches help us build a picture of your ranking in combination with your past Season performance. As part of building a compelling Season experience, (e.g. working your way back up to the top). almost all players will find their initial placement lower than where they finished last season. This lower placement also allows us to accurately gauge your skill over time to ensure you still fit within the same expected ranking tier.

As the system becomes more confident in your ability, it will place you in the correct Rank for your Skill Level. Our Ranking System is designed to place people in a Tier that reflects their Skill, and so sometimes, you may find yourself sticking to a particular placement if you aren’t improving or performing any worse than usual.

Each Tier banding (ie. Gold, Onyx, Diamond) has a limited percentile of the population allowed within. If the population has reached these limits, you’ll need to consistently perform well in order to overtake higher skilled players within the banding. The best time to progress quickly within the system is during the early stages of a Season.

Ranking Calculations occur in the cloud, so there will be a delay from the end of the match to when the game’s interface will reflect any Rank changes.  This also applies to our Stats website.  We recommend checking a couple times a day to see where you are landing in your tiers placement.

Matchmaking Guide

We hear your feedback on Quality of Service Matchmaking - from long matchmaking waits in certain playlists (especially in low population regions and/or those far away from other regions) to difficulty finding a match at certain times of the day.

In the meantime, here is a guide that recommends the times and playlists to play for the best matchmaking experience in all regions. The times and modes shown below are not the only times to play – they’re just an indicator on when and where the most Gears games are being played in each region.

Of course we continue to look at our QoS tuning and are evaluating how we can improve the overall experience for the majority of our players around the world. Know that we are currently discussing this at the studio and assessing any potential next steps we may make.

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NORTH AMERICA

Peak Times
5pm – 9pm PT (West US)
7pm – 11pm CT (Central US)
8pm – 12pm ET (East US)

Recommended Modes

  • Core King of the Hill
  • Core TDM
  • Core Dodgeball
  • Social

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SOUTH AMERICA

Peak Times
6pm – 11pm CST (Mexico)
10pm – 1am BRST (Brazil)

Best Modes

  • Core King of the Hill
  • Core TDM
  • Core Guardian
  • Social

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EUROPE

Peak Times
8pm – 12pm GMT (UK)
9pm – 1am CET (Paris, Berlin)

Recommended Modes

  • Core King of the Hill
  • Core TDM
  • Social

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AUSTRALIA / ASIA

Peak Times
7pm - 11pm CST/AWST (China / Australia)
10pm – 1am Sydney (Australia)

Recommended Modes

  • Social

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