On how to curb Smurf behavior

YeLastTeuton mentioned the unreasonable aspects of the current team ELO, which tends to increase the chance of smurf behavior.

However, I think there are other ways to reduce the occurrence of smurf behavior besides the new ELO algorithm.
This is the reason why I started a new post :slight_smile:

There are problems with the current team ELO, that’s for sure.

But this is just one of the reasons why Smurfs are rampant. While thinking about the new ELO algorithm, we should also consider how to curb the number of Smurf accounts.

For example:

  1. Ban steam family shared account players from ranked matches
  2. Give smurf players penalties, such as banning them from ranked matches within 1~30 days
  3. Add hidden ELO, adjust the hidden ELO based on consecutive wins or losses, and then match with other players after calculating according to the new algorithm.

All these can effectively reduce the occurrence of smurf behavior.


I think this whole issue is too big and complex for the Devs to completely solve on their own right know.

I think it would be more efficient to involve the community like other games do it.

This could mean, for example:

  1. an account gets reported for smurfing at least 3 times within one week.
  2. Now these games are marked for “overwatch” and trusted community members can review the replay and vote on whether they think the player was smurfing.
  3. If at least 5 of the first 7 people who watched the reviews voted the suspect to be a smurf he/she gets punished.

This could be a ban or just a bump up in ELO so the smurf account becomes useless…

I remember that Counter Strike GO implemented a similar feature to get rid of cheater a couple of years ago… It didn’t solve the cheating problem completely but it definitely did help in banning some of them…


Yes, this is indeed a very complicated issue.
But I think the first point is very important.

If official personnel are willing to do so, then smurf behavior can be reduced by at least 30% to 50%.

If they can do point 3, then they can reduce some players who are mistaken for sumrf behavior, and also provide some curbs on sumrf behavior

What you say about community involvement in the management of sumrf behavior is, I think, very true.
Officials can choose some good and righteous players in each country to help them identify sumrf players.

As discussed on other threads [Smurfing on RM team games must be addressed] i think that there are some viable options for the devs to adress this issue.

For example:

  • Limited ELO range between players on a same team (so you don’t have a 1100 with a 2100 playing against two 1500’s)
  • Take in consideration the winning % or streak of users after lets say, 10 matches… (so u won’t be matched with a 92% victory player that has a low ELO just because he has 50 matches)
  • Allowing a report option for smurfing (currently only in “others” and then typing Smurf).
  • Return to older system where different players got different ELO points based on his score, this obviously dissincourages smurfing and if you loose to a smurf, at leas don’t get that much a lost in ELO.

Of course these ar only some random ideas, but as said on my thread, this must be addressed because the actual TG expierience its quite frustrating.

Excuse me if any grammar mistakes were done.

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I agree with you, but I think there is a problem with the first point.

Predictably, many players want to play the game with their friends, but their friends’ ELOs may not be high. So, I don’t think this is feasible.


I absolutley uderstand your point.

But the ranked lobby points to be a “competitive” platform, where it should be more important to have a balanced matchmaking than a place that to have fun with friends.

Those matches for fun with high ELO difference between friends should take place in the unranked lobby or custom ones.

I’ve seen system like this in other ranked games (Rainbow Six Siege for example)

I just truly hope that the devs do something about this because currently 2 out of 3 matches are with some kind of smurfing involved…

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They will probably find a different way. I heard there are keys for 1 USD (someone was claiming that, i havent look it up). I dont really think this is the root of the smurfing on the ladder. As result this isnt the fix.

I do think this is a good idea, but it will take up many resources from the devs, who have to manually look at all the games. Just banning them wont really solve the issue. It will become a cat and mouse play between the devs and the smurfs. As result it wont fix the root of the issue.

I am not sure how this is really different to changing the current Elo calculation to something new (which is something you dont want to discuss in this thread).

Having the new Elo only hidden doesnt really make sense to me. People will still complain about unbalanced teams, based on the visible elo. So changing the Elo and make the new Elo only hidden doesnt seem to be a good idea.

The best solution is to just alter the visibl elo. Good new Elo calculations are already be posted in the following thread:

This would be really terrible. In the old system your rating was more based on the number for games you have played then on the your skill. A good player was winning most of his games for that reason and could be seen as smufing. Smurfing in the old system was not needed for these players, because the Elo rating was a complete disaster. Going back to that system would be really terrible.

There are much better new system posted in Analyses of the ratings - Spotting the issues. I suggest you to have a look at these ideas.

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+1 to this

you’ll just get more smurfs. So if people aren’t at the same ELO, you just got yourself 4 brand new 1000 ELO accounts.

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That’s why in other online, ladder based games such as chess.com, when you win your first 10 or 20 matchs in a row, your score/ELO skyrockets, in order to place you in matches with player with similar skills.

I still think the ranked lobby should aim to a fair matchmaking system, regardless if that means to not be able to play with friends with huge ELO differences. If not, other things should be taking into account, like taking the highest ELO player for the matcmaking and not an average of every one (or something like that).

Well, if people can’t play this game together. They might very well play something else. So I don’t like such solutions that much.


This is also part of AoE2. In the first games you can even gain or lose 40-50 points. After a while it became on average 16 points.

U bought game already. It’s enough for them. why u even discuss it for months. No one cares, no one will fix.

ALT+F4 discussion started 1 year ago, and no one cared.
The best they could do: they will put the issue in the backlog and forget about it…after several years they will find the issue and close it cause outdated. \\

this guy develops ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

They sure can, in the casual/unranked lobby…

If you move so many people to casual lobby, you might as well remove MM for TG completely :slight_smile:

I often play with friends, but they are hundreds of 1v1 ELO below me. But that should not prevent us from queueing up for a team game.

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Well maybe it should last more games, i’ve played against players with 32 consecutive victories and 0 losses and only at 1650 TG ELO

Nevertheless, is just a suggestion, of course i don’t know which is the best solution :disappointed_relieved:

I think that if you play with a friend with several hundreds ELO below you, that could be unfair to the other team with two average ELO players… beeing exactly the problem we have been disscussing here.

the other option as mentioned above could be to set the matchmaking based on the highest ELO player.

It wouldn’t prevent you to play team games, only not to do so on the competitive lobby, thats all… Currently the casual lobby is quite empty with long queing times, so maybe if some players move to that lobby wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

This type of argument does not contribute anything to the discussion :slightly_smiling_face:

Well, it contributes as much as the statement preceding it. If you discard a large portion of players from MM, then what is the point to have MM? To look at the ever-increasing timer waiting for the next game?

It is pretty hard on custom lobby with a decent elo. Most people wont join, and if you join others lobbies, you get kicked. So unless I can muster 6-8 people (which I sometimes can), the custom lobby is a no-go.

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