Engaging new players quickly so they stay in the game is key.
If they get bored waiting for a match, you’ll lose the players before they even get through the first match.
Matchmaking in a multiplayer game seems simple. A player logs into your game. The system matches them with a player of similar skill and off they go. It is a close match. One wins and one loses by a razor thin margin. The players can’t wait to get to the next match.
Elo is the industry standard for player ranking. You can choose to build or buy a matching system, but ranking may not be your biggest concern. Today, every major multiplayer game uses some version of Elo for ranking and matching. Elo is so successful because it can accurately match players and it feels fair. But is it enough?
As a real-time game developer, your goal is to get a player into a match before they get frustrated. Once in the match, you want to give players the best chance for a positive experience.
Other criteria you may want to consider for your real-time gaming applications:
Low wait time to find a match
Frequency of matching the same players
Ping is the amount of time it takes for data to travel from a player’s device to the game server and back. In a game, high-ping is experienced as lag, or the time between a player’s action and the result rendered on screen.
For action games like an FPS, this time can be critical to game play. A player with low ping may be able to aim and fire before their opponent with high ping even knows the player is there. Mismatched ping can be even worse.
You need to create an even playing field in your real-time game.
Your pool consists of all players available for matching. A popular game may have thousands of players in the pool at any given moment. A new game or a game in beta may have only a handful of players.
A small pool makes it hard to satisfy all your matching criteria. With a small pool, it may be difficult to match at all. But what if you could dramatically increase the playable reach between players? What if you could instantly increase your pool?
Subspace gives you the largest pool possible, providing your real-time game with the best chance for successful matching.
It is common in matchmaking to match players with similar ping. This puts the players on an even footing in the game. If you can reduce the ping for all players to a point where ping has a negligible impact, then ping is no longer an issue. Eliminating ping as a matching criterion can drastically increase your pool.
Latency, jitter, and dropped packets are game killers. While you should work to optimize your firewalls, anti-virus protections and address translation on your local network. Any of these can add to ping time, but the biggest contributor is still the internet itself.
The internet is designed and operated to deliver mass amounts of commodity data such as web and streaming content. The designers of the internet willingly traded speed for capacity and survivability.
Typical network induced latency can be between one and three seconds. In real-time applications such as gaming, even a one second lag is unacceptable. You need a network built for real-time performance that eliminates high ping.
The biggest thing you, as a game studio or real-time game publisher, can do to control network-induced lag is to bypass the public internet. Subspace has created a proprietary global proxy network that can reduce latency by up to 80%.
By running your game in Subspace, you no longer need to consider latency or geography as a matching criterion. You can pair a player in South Africa with a player in Alaska and be assured their ping time to your game server in Dubai will be comparable.
Your player pool becomes everyone in the world. You can match players faster, reducing wait time and dramatically improving matchmaking.
We use a proprietary combination of internet weather-mapping, custom networking stacks, omniscient routers, and dedicated fiber. We partner with ISPs around the world to bring software publishers and telecommunications companies like you the quality and speed your users demand.
We’re optimized for real-time protocols. Whether you need to accelerate TCP/UDP traffic with our PacketAccelerator, move your RTP media faster than ever before with SIPTeleport, deploy global TURN without switching on a server with GlobalTURN, or remove dependency on SBC with a single API call on RTPSpeed, we’ve got you covered.
Subspace had to come up with a combination of software and hardware that sets up a kind of parallel internet, or one that routes around the problem traffic and creates fast lanes for the game companies that pay Subspace for the speed. Companies like Epic Games and Roblox are adding concerts, and by adding a new form of entertainment to a game, they give people more reasons to come back and spend more time in their worlds. That’s how the metaverse eventually happens, when we get enough reasons to spend all day in it.
Build and scale quickly, with plans and pricing built for your needs.