Team Fortress 2 has been in a weird spot with its matchmaking since its early days. While it has been a challenge to find a balanced game, even with the introduced competitive mode, Valve has not stopped trying to improve the user experience. Starting today, the entire matchmaking system has been revamped, and a few other balance changes have been implemented.
The old matchmaking system used for competitive play has now been replaced by the Glicko rating system, the same system used for the CS:GO matchmaker. With the new matchmaker, rankings have also been changed. Now instead of everyone starting out at rank 1 and having to climb, players will play through 10 placement matches and will be placed according to their appropriate skill level. This new system is meant to “considerably [shorten] the time required to reach an appropriate rank.” To simplify things a bit more, the ranks have been consolidated from 18 competitive ranks to just 13. Players will also need to have a phone number linked to their account. In addition, they must be at least casual level 3 and have a premium level account in order to access competitive play. This can be bypassed, however, by owning a competitive matchmaking pass.
Casual Team Fortress 2 play has also been updated. Casual play will utilize the Glicko system, will add ctf_sawmill, ctf_well, cp_5gorge, ctf_2fort_invasion, and ctf_foundry to the map votes, and add a more intuitive map voting system. Also, a few quality of life updates have been added. Players can now queue for games while in casual play or boot camp. There is also now an option to queue for multiple types of game variants at the same time, but once you accept a game, you will be removed from all other queues. Finally, those who are in a party but are not the part leader may now freely browse any of the matchmaking menus.
In addition, several weapons have had some tweaks. Those weapons include Flamethrowers, The Dragon’s Fury, The Gas Passer, The Axtinguisher, The Thermal Thruster, The Sydney Sleeper, The Short Circuit, Pretty Boy’s Pocket Pistol, The Panic Attack, and The Atomizer. In addition, many gameplay fixes have been implemented, several improvements to the game and UI have been added, and even more glitches have been fixed.
These Team Fortress 2 updates are now live and should already be installed for people who have the game downloaded.