My games are ruined often by smurfs - idea for a fix

As an introduction, i am an average, maybe below average team player. But i have a lot of fun in the game and really appreciate how many effort the developers / community / studio still puts in the game after so much years.

But (yep, here it is), my games i play with friends are often ruined by smurfs. People who have played 30 - 100 games with a +65 win%. And sometimes, yes, you can find someone who is just good and talented. But not on a daily basis.

Thats why i would ask / discuss a fix. Is it possible when a player for example more then 10 matches has played and have huge win% (65?) this is will be included in the matchmaking. I am not a mathematician so it’s hard for me to set the right rules. But i’m sure there will be enough possibilities to balance the ELO with win% and have fun games.

I really like the game, that’s why i hope there will be a solution for the smurfs.


Just because someone beat doesn’t mean they’re a smurf


They need to end the family share smurf abuse.

It’s no sense.


The family share feature is a good thing. Just start out each acccount under family share at the highest elo account currently under the system(not highest previously obtained to avoid fast abuse of never losing elo)

And most smurfing is done in unranked lobbies by unranked accounts. That will need to be taken care of first by obtaining/adding unranked visible elo.

Ranked smurfs are far less in number, and that cry of wolf is far more often with no wolf to be seen.


One thing they could do for TG is to match teams using the highest elo in the teams, instead of taking the elo of every player into account. At least this way the system couldn’t be exploited using super low elo fake accounts.

I see wolves quite often.

This is exactly the reply you can see coming. It says nothing but it’s a very easy comment.

Smurfing is a common thing, if it is under ranked or non-ranked i honestly dont care. The fact is: There are a lot of smurfs, and i hope there is a worthy solution for it: Take win% into the matchmaking, but to a certain level.


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that’s not what a smurf is

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Allot of what commonly may be wrongly viewed as smurfing are players who are fighting at their elo normally and get to a higher elo only to be pushed back down again. Say, an 1100 who pushes into 1200 or even 1300 and may even win against someone who’s been to 1400 at times but who also fell down due to push back at higher elos and perhaps even their ‘main’ elo to push them from 1400 to the low 1200’s or even in the 1100’s where they will be fought by 'lower elo players/‘easy wins’. This is normal and can be experienced on all elo levels where you will fight someone who is or has been at a higher elo, has experience fighting players at even higher elos than themselves, and is genuinely trying to get back and exceed their previous ratings. A 900 will most certainly fight those who reached and may have been pushed back from 1100’s to the higher 900-lower 1000 rating ranges. And this will happen all the time at all levels.

All players are learning, and even at the same elo level a player can fight at a higher level of play more similar to 100-200+ elo than they are. Of course people will feel like they’re being smurfed, and it’s alright. Git gud. Some players, if not allot of them, have experience against better players than you and will learn from those experiences you may lack in. You absolutely will fight someone who is genuinely climbing the latter normally only for you to lose easily because their actual skill level is better than yours even if the rating is ‘the same or similar’, and, like-wise, you will put the same pressure onto an opponent who is ‘weaker’ than you just in the same way even if your rating is currently similar or the same.

Hell, I’ve been accused of being a smurf.
And I’m not.
I have a general consistent style of play that’s good against a decent amount of people and lacking against others more skilled than myself, and I’m always trying to improve on it. To some it feels like someone heavily smurfing, and to others it’s simple to break. Either way, you will find people both stronger than you even if their skill is 200 elo above their actual elo or, rather, the elo they tend to play most often in. Elo fluctuates, as does skill in the moment.

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Sorry to barge in like this, but i think we need to explain something.
First of all, you are right, there are not that many smurfs, but that goes mostly for the low elo players.

At an higher level (it is something you start to see around 2k5 elo and it become worse and worse the higher you go) there are usually three type of matchup:

  1. Your classic legit team 1 vs team 2
  2. Your classic legit team vs a team with at least one smurf (1k3/1k4 tg)
  3. Smurf team vs smurf team

Smurfing still happen at lower elo, it is just less common. The higher the elo goes, the more it happens.

In 1v1 it’s a whole different story again

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I have a 65% win rate with <50 games in TGs (1650 elo).

I’m 1100 1v1 elo.

I’ve only used one account for over 2 years.

Not everyone has to be a smurf. TG ratings have been broken and only recently fixed. We didn’t have a TG elo reset so people who rarely play TGs are still pegged by the old inflated elo system.

similar for me:

I’m 12xx in 1v1
I have 1745 elo, 76% winrate in 64 TGs

I simply dont play TGs very often, so havent reached my true elo yet

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here’s what a smurf looks like and and and and and :rofl:

took me less than 30 seconds to find these, now combine all those matches and see how many games they ruined. Personally i’d just block Family Shared accounts from playing ranked or multiplayer, but i don’t think there will ever be a solution to this, so it’s better to ignore it :man_shrugging:

top 100 in 1v1 is like 40 or 50 real persons and their smurfs btw

a) how do you know these are smurfs?
b) what does that prove?

this is obviously wrong, less than 20 alt accounts as far as i can tell
several of these alt accounts have a reason to be there: eg Hera didnt play for over a month, and there are tourneys going on which take current rating as seeding/qualifying criteria. ofc he will use a different account to get back into shape, this is totally valid

Very good explaination.

I would also add 2 other factors to it:

  1. Age of Empires 2 is a 21 years old game → A lot of “new” players are actually old players coming to Definitive Edition. In this sense, they are not smurfing, but playing with the skills they already had from Voobly and such.

  2. Most of the learning is done outside the actual games → We have this misconception that the more you play the better you get, it’s false. And if you look at the stats, you’ll also realise it’s false. There’s no shortage of 1000 elo players with 1000 games or 1500 elo players with 100 games. This is not the exception, it’s the rule. Practice is good, but practice does not equal success. Learning equals success, which is looking back at your game what you did wrong, practicing alone vs AI to improve upon a certain thing or simply looking online to learn new things about the game, knowledge is power.

In fact, I would argue 40% of players forever remain at the elo they are originally originally calibrated to. Because just because you’re practicing and are doing it, it doesn’t mean you’re learning.

This is true in real life as well. You can practice how to play football 1000 times and still be a below-average player if you never stop and look back to question: what did I do wrong? where can I improve? and if you never learn what to do to become a better player: positioning, dribiling, shooting, etc.

So you can have players, seriously set to learn, doing a lot of practice with AI to improve upon the skills they need, looking back at their games to see what they did wrong and generally looking online to learn new things about the game, how to become better. And they will become better, because of that alone with AI practice and new information. And suddenly you have a 1200 elo player with the skill of a 1400 player. But not a smurf.


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The TG ladder is one big mess. Smurfing is just one solution. Smurfing is just one of them.

The TG ladder is broken because of issues of the past. These issues are kinda fixed, but the devs still didnt clean up the mess. As result TG rating became meaningless. Their “kinda fix” turned out to be a bad fix. Many playerrs use smurf account to lower the TG rating of a team so they can play against weaker players and boost a main account. This give people a bad experience.

Then you also have the inflation on the ladder what happend due to all issues in the past. As result new players start at 1000, but some have to grind their way up to much higher, which is much harder as solo on the TG ladder compared to playing on the 1v1 ladder. The outcome of a game is not only based on your own skill, but also on others.

As result you will see many players of 1600 elo with a win rate around 70%. They are probably no smurfs. They are players who still havent reached their true elo yet. Their elo still have to go up before they reach that level. But since the TG rating is already streched to 5K (while 1v1 only goes to 2.6k) it can really take a lot of games.

The solution to all of this is pretty easy. All of the following needs to be done:

  1. Reset the TG ladder. It will take some time again to resettle. But after a while it will settle.
  2. Change the Elo calculation for team games. There are many suggestions posted in this thread. It goes into all of this in much more detail.

It is ashame the devs are still ignoring this issue. The fix doesnt seems that hard. In the past they put it into the patch notes under “Ongoing Investigation”, but in the latest patch notes it isnt even mentioned anymore. It isnt mentioned in the road map as well. So i really start to lose all hope. It looks like the devs dont think it is an issue, while threads like this pops up pretty regularly.

Smurfs are everywere, 50% of the team games have smurfs, they create a lot of a ccounts to get unfair matches forerver, also the 1st Team game player elo 5000++ ever play with 900++ “friends”, there are a lot of cheaters, and the solution is:

1.- Automatch, must consider win ratio, so 1000++ players with 100% win, should play with 2500++ till the ratio of a new acc get stable, will be a rough start, but at least its prevents all players, and noobest ones to being abused daily by smurfs.

2.- Ratio manipulation accounts must be banned forever like cheat.
Like losing a lot of games to get low elo, and then trade points for a team match to “friends” account; any human moderator can check if some 900 elo, play like some 2200+++.
Both accounts must be banned, the low elo, and of course the cheater overrated, so the “high elo” is not a motivation for cheat.

Thanks for referring. Maybe I just post here again for everyone easy reference

Check out the 1st of Team Game Rank. That guy just team with his friends with below 500 rank

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They need to analyse game. See how long was the tc idle.
Give some elo to the player and make them play against very high elo when the win rate is high