HOWO: Use online matchmaking to your advantage

Or how to get a squad of highly skilled players into a game of Battlefield Bad Company 2 with newbies.

Bad Company 2 like Modern Warfare 2, Halo and practically every other online shooter have matchmaking systems to match players of similar abilities. If you follow a few easy steps you can take advantage of that.

In Bad Company 2 you can create a squad and invite your friends to play in a game. The game then uses a secret algorithm to match your squad up with a similarly talented team and opposition. Unfortunately I noticed when a high level player was on our squad I got trounced and came out of the games with a terrible KDR.

On the other hand, when I joined a low level player in his game, and we were joined by higher level players we stomped through the game for the most part.

So, it occurred to me last weekend that this could be used this to our advantage. Have a low level player join a game and then invite his team mates in. If you really wanted to cheat the system the low level player could then logout and login again as his real player (with a much higher level character of course.)

We inadvertently verified this last night. I fired up Bad Company 2 and found that Dave (evadlive) and Geoff were already online. I joined their game and proceeded to get pummeled by the other team. We were on different squads but before long David (bigpresh) joined me. I gave up after 2 games before asking bigpresh if he wanted to move on to a game that suited our skill levels. I sent evadlive a message saying I was going to look for another game.

I joined a new game, invited bigpresh in, and a few minutes later evadlive joined us, and invited Geoff in. We proceeded to have an easier game of it. Most of the other players in the game were less than level 10, and I don’t think anyone was more than level 16 or 17 (I’m level 15). On Isla, we successfully defended the first base. The other team took Alpha but got no further, although it was close. When we were attacking we won too. Made a nice change from the previous few games.

I don’t think the match making system in Bad Company 2 is based entirely on rank. The game has separate skill level and score per minute values. Thanks to my previous games those were likely suffering which, err, explains why we were placed with such low level players. 😉

So, there you have it. We were playing on PS3 which is due to be patched on Tuesday and includes some match making changes so it’s entirely possible that the game will attempt to stop “abuse” like this in the future, but short of stopping people joining a friend’s session it’d be very hard to stop this. I know that players are juggled around between rounds, but our squad always remained as it was.

As a related reference point, watch these three videos Geoff posted on his channel. He and 3 other skilled players created new accounts and, with only newbie weapons, fought and won several rounds of Squad Deathmatch. They won so decisively that most of the other teams left the game at one stage! I posted a comment suggesting they had been matched with other players who probably weren’t very good but Geoff replied that some of the games were tough, and involved level 40+ players. I’d venture to say those players joined the game after it had started, joining the session of a friend. Either that or they were really useless players to be matched against newbie recruits.