Brawl Stars has a complex matchmaking system, and this article is definitely not going to even attempt to describe the entirety of it. It will just take you through the things we do know about the system, and some tips to use it to your advantage.
At Top: First matchmaking adjustment made by Supercell as part of a minor balance update
At right: Supercell’s second small maintenance pertaining to matchmaking; this one was solely to adjust the matchmaking in ways that will be discussed later in the article.
The first thing we will look at is Showdown matching. In Showdown, as you may imagine, skill plays a big part in the outcome of the game. However, as many of you may feel when you tilt in Showdown, it is partly luck-based as well.
For instance: the Brawlers you face, and their general dynamic/class (ranged, melee, tank, support, squishy, etc), will definitely determine the outcome of a game and your place in that game. (If you’re a Primo and there are 2 Brocks, 2 Colts, 2 Dynamikes, 2 Barleys, and a Crow, you’re not going to get very far).
Even more so, the people you are placed next to or close to in the match can have an even greater effect on its outcome, and whether you die early or stick around until the final few. Similar to the previous point, if you’re a tank and placed between two ranged glass cannons, you’re at a heavy disadvantage (or straight-out dead).
All this doesn’t mean it is impossible to win Showdown, of course. Many people have done it, and that too multiple times; the matchmaking won’t outright prevent you from winning.
However, there is one catch with it, and some of you may have noticed this before. If you win a Showdown match, or even come close to winning, with a Brawler, DO NOT play another Showdown with that Brawler again immediately after.
This is to make people win with a Brawler then play again and again, only to tilt more than they were before. Don’t get tricked by it, and maybe try playing a completely different Brawler.
The next thing we will go over is the changes they have been making to the system. A few balance updates ago, they made it much easier for early-game players to win battles. As they said, they want to make matches more forgiving for newer players (<1300 trophies).
They did this by sometimes adding bots into the games in place of real people to make games easier, and let people progress faster into the mid-game and closer to the endgame.
Before the recent balance updates, trophy gains and matching was very unforgiving for players in the 100-300 trophy range (per Brawler). They addressed this with a few trophy gain adjustments and matchmaking adjustments.
Trophy gains below 300 Brawler trophies have been greatly increased; before, when your Brawler was over 50 trophies, you only gained 5 per win and lost 2 per loss; when above 100, 5 per win and -3 per loss; when over 150 you still gained 5 per win and lost 4 per loss. After that, one gained and lost the same number of Trophies.
Now, one gains 6 trophies per win until 125 trophies or so, and loses the same 2 – 3 trophies per loss, and starts gaining 5 & losing 3 until after 200, then gain 5 and lose 4, then gain and lose 5. This affects the ease of trophy pushing, so anyone with Brawlers below 300 should find a reliable map and team composition and trophy push.
This means that below 125, you need to have a win rate of over 35% and you can comfortably gain trophies, and from 125-200 you need to have a win rate of at least 40-45%, and after 200 you need to have a 50% or greater win rate if you want to consistently gain trophies.
So, if you find that you are failing consistently when you play with randoms, but you can never find a good set of bandmates to game room with, you can wait for that one map and that one day where you can find a nice bunch of teammates. Win 75-80% of the time and that leaves room for the occasional loss here and there when you play a few games with randoms (and your preferred maps/modes are not up).
Also, the matchmaking is not based on Power, only on trophies; so, you can get matched with players that are all 50 Power as a 0 Power Brawler with 0 Power teammates. This means that in ranked modes where Power matters more, it is best to play Brawlers that are higher leveled to prepare for potential maxed-out opponents.
Smash and Grab as Mortis, where his Star Power can single-handedly swing the game, is a good example of Power changing the game’s outcome. Brawl Ball as Ricochet, where even a small increase in bullet damage where one team has an advantage over the other, can tip the game; the smallest difference in the damage of his many bullets can make a big difference.
In addition, maybe somewhat obviously, when one plays Legendary, Mythic, or Epic Brawlers, one is more likely to encounter Brawlers of similar rarities on the other team as well; maybe it’s best to play a solid Rare or Super-Rare or even Common when you find yourself facing lots of Taras, Crows, and Spikes.
(Small note on the side – matchmaking is based on the trophies of the Brawler you are currently playing, not your total trophy count; so, if you just got Darryl and play with him, but have 4K total trophies, you could be playing with 1K or 2K noobs who just got Darryl as well. Maybe it’s best to play in a game room.
Recap: Supercell has adjusted the Brawl Stars matchmaking many times; most of them to make it easier for new players to progress, both in the early game and in the mid-game. Showdown matchmaking is most likely set up so that if you win or come close with a Brawler, you have less chance of winning again with them.
Matchmaking is based on the trophies of the individual Brawler you are playing, not your total trophies, and the Power of the Brawlers has nothing to do with any of it. The rarity of the Brawler you are playing will most likely affect the rarities of the Brawlers you play with and against.
Thanks for reading! I hope this helps you get better at the game, and trophy push more effectively (Thanks Supercell!)