Solo queue is a crapshoot.
Who will be your partner and who will be your enemies? Will it be an even match? Will there be synergy with your partner’s champ? Will the enemy team’s comp be better than yours? Which team will the map favor? Any laggers, AFKs, leavers, or trolls?
The uncertainty can be maddening. But if solo queue is your only option and you want it to be a less negative experience, here are a few tips that may help.
1. Forget the Climb
Matchmaking is not meant to be a “climb.”
Rather, matchmaking systems exist to assign fair and even matches. For that to happen, players must be stratified — there will always be Bronze players, always be Silver players, etc. In a properly working matchmaking system, you will eventually reach where you belong and then hit a plateau.
If you think of matchmaking as a climbable ladder, then there will be a natural tension: you want to move up, but the system wants to keep you where you belong. This tension leads to frustration.
You want a higher rank, so you want to win. This desire infuses each match with stakes, and when something is at stake, there will be negative emotions when those stakes are obstructed or taken from you. But if you stop thinking of matchmaking as a climb, then nothing’s at stake anymore. No stakes, no frustration.
2. Expect to Lose
Every single PvP game shares one indisputable truth: for every winner, there is also a loser. If you play Battlerite, you will absolutely lose. It’s a part of the game.
But even more than that, it’s important to realize that better players lose to worse players all the time. Better teams lose to worse teams. This isn’t just true for Battlerite — it holds for any and all forms of PvP, including real sports.
Losing is built into the DNA of competition. No reason to get mad about it.
And it happens a lot. Even with a 75 percent win rate, you should expect to lose 1 every 4 matches. With a 66 percent win rate, that’s 1 every 3 matches. And with an average 50 percent win rate, you should expect to lose every other match. This is normal. The faster you accept it, the more enjoyable solo queue will be.
3. Play to Improve
You can either focus on things you can control or things you can’t control. And believe it or not, winning solo queue is actually beyond your control most of the time. There are too many uncertainties that can affect a match’s outcome: strong enemies, weak teammates, team comp matchups, lag, mental fog, etc.
So don’t play to win — play to practice and play for mastery.
Think of solo queue as an opportunity for training mechanics, combos, playstyles, mindsets, etc. Go into every match with a mind to hone a particular skill. If you do this, then there is still value to losing: you’ll come out on the other side having improved. It’s better than winning while playing poorly, right? At least in the long run.
I like to treat solo queue as a way to build muscle memory. Even if I lose my solo queue games, I know that I’m improving and setting myself up for future victories.
4. Unbind the Scoreboard
You don’t need to know your teammate’s rank.
Or the enemy team’s ranks.
Or anyone’s scores.
None of those things will help you play better, and in fact they only serve to make you play worse. If everything goes wrong, you’ll be tempted to blame it on your teammate or the enemy team instead of figuring out how you could have improved. If everything goes right, you’ll be tempted to puff your chest instead of thinking on what you could have done differently (nobody plays a perfect round even when they win).
I’ve tried to overcome my scoreboard impulse but it’s pretty much impossible, so I just unbind the key altogether before I hop into solo queue.
5. Befriend Your Teammates
If you make it your mission to befriend your teammates at the start of every match, your overall experience will be much better: you’ll be less likely to antagonize them, they’ll be less likely to antagonize you, and mistakes won’t bother you so much.
Negativity infects the mind and can affect how well people play. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re being negative to them or they’re being negative to you. Truth is, one person being negative to another will result in both playing worse.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy the other way around: being nice to someone won’t make them more skilled. But if you start the match off right, they’ll be more likely to play towards their potential — especially if they’re tilted from a previous game as they enter the match. A small dose of friendliness can work wonders.
Solo Queue Will Always Suck
No matchmaking system in the world, regardless of how smartly it’s been designed, can deliver a consistently satisfying experience for everyone involved. There’s always a measure of uncertainty that puts winning beyond our control.
All we can do is make the most of it: change our attitude before entering the queue, focus on playing our best, and ignore everything else. Most of our frustrations come from the unrealistic expectations we place on a system that’ll always be flawed.
What tips do you have for solo queue?