Hunt: Showdown can now exclusively be played with skill-based matchmaking

Crytek has added a new skill-based matchmaking toggle in Hunt: Showdown, for players who want to ensure they're given a fair fight as often as possible.

Dropping earlier this week, update 1.5.1 introduces a sizeable mix-up to the PvPvE monster hunter's matchmaking systems. Chief among these is a new "Skill-Based" toggle in the lobby, that will exclusively fill your match with players of a similar skill level.

Hunt: Showdown has always featured skill-based matchmaking, but the change here is that you can now play the game exclusively with players at your own skill level. Crytek notes that this may mean your games may be a little quieter, should the system not find enough players at a similar level, but you can be fairly certain those opponents will put up a fairer fight. 

Disabling the toggle will still see the game try and match your skill level, but it'll start broadening its scope to fill games to capacity.

"We know that matchmaking has been a hot topic in the community for some time, so this new update is primarily focused on improving the current matchmaking setup and making a better experience for everyone," the developer wrote in a blog post. "At the top level, we aim to improve balancing in matches and give you more control and flexibility about who you are matched with."

New players in "Trainee Mode" will have SBMM automatically enabled while they learn the ropes, and will also have their skill artificially lowered to "avoid a player being placed in a higher bracket than intended". Of course, none of these will apply to Quickplay, which will remain the absolute free-for-all Crytek want it to be.

These changes should make Hunt's tense, swampy shootouts feel much fairer, and hopefully convince more people to stop sleeping on this phenomenal horror shooter. But even the matchmaking-free purgatory of Quickplay has its appeal, with Robert Zak claiming it's secretly the best battle royale around.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.