Suggestion: FFA Ladder

As title says, there is a community who only plays FFA (I’m one of those) and it would be nice to have a ladder for ourselves, before you say somthing I know that people would gang up with the highest ELO, which is why I have some ideas for that:

  • The player’s name can either be changed to “Player #” as name, color the person has or just have a list of names just for FFA (either made by the player or a random name generator).
  • The ELO of the player is not seen in the lobby, it can be seen after the game ends OR only on the FFA ladder online.
  • After a player is defeated or when the game is over, its real name is shown (If we use Player number or color)
    I believe this could work showing of course the real (Steam/Microsoft) names for the online ladder either here on

Do you agree with me? Do you think something else should be implemented?


Something can get it seperate ladder + match making if the player base is big enough. I feel like FFA is pretty much a niche compared to the ranked ladder. A specific ranking for such niche dont really make sense to me.

Note: This is kind of my reply to all these kind of request for adding thing to a ladder. I have nothing against FFA or diplo games. I can see why people enjoy those games. So please continu with enjoying FFA games.

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I think the niche status of FFA is due to it not possessing a ladder/ranking more than anything else though, it is much harder to join appropriate skill level games in custom lobbies than through the ranked matchmaking system, and a huge portion of the player base exclusively joins ranked matches because of the huge variability in skill levels in custom lobbies + the proven concept that watching a number increase on screen through repeated effort is enjoyable to most humans at a psychological level


They should add ffa to ranked. They have death match with only 1.1 k active players. why not add FFA to ranked? I would play it all the time.


I agree, I’m pretty sure there are more FFA player than DM, the thing is you can do 1v1/2v2 there and a FFA needs at least 6 players to be interesting. I really hope we get a FFA ladder eventually


In FFA, there is no good reason to attack other players. The first players to lose are the one who gets bored and attacks first and the one who gets attacked by that player. If everyone plays optimally, nobody ever attacks and the game never ends. This is how all high level FFA games would be if there was an FFA ranked ladder, which is why an FFA ranked ladder would not work.

There are specific gamemodes in which FFA does work, like Battle Royale, King of the Hill and Capture the Relic.

So what? Let them add it and we’ll see how it goes. The maps can be smaller if you’re worried about people camping. From my experience people die fast in FFA


Seems like you don’t play much FFA.

FFA is basically all I play and let me tell you it’s not how you paint it since the usual settings are:

  • If open map is a map with a lot of resources: Nomad, Pilgrims, etc…
  • If closed map: Arena, Black forest, etc…
  • 300 pop
  • Nomral speed
  • Standard/Conquest/Regicide are optional but the most used
    And the usual meta is:
  • Fast castle
  • Attack whoever you want clockwise or counterclockwise, if you get 2v1’d you try to find a new place to stay or escape wherever you can, the thing is that as long as there are at least 3 people in the map you still have a chance to win.
    The only reason you attack people on the other side of the map is because you know they’re really good, which is why I proposed to change the names and ELO.
    You don’t usually do FFA in KotH or CtR because it’s not as chaotic.

This is the USUAL stuff, may vary but with this being said I hope you get the idea and why I say that your statement is pretty much erroneous.,


I don’t play FFA anymore, but I have played a few FFA games back on HD and won a considerable percentage of them, even though I played against players who were more skilled overall than I was at the time. I managed to win by simply not attacking anyone and not making myself appear to be a threat while hoarding more and more resources.

The current meta in FFA games is not so relevant as you might think. Since there is no ranking for FFA games, there is no way to tell whether the meta makes any sense, or whether the majority of the FFA playerbase has not figured out the optimal way to play FFA. Plus, since I think most people would see the optimal way to play FFA as very boring, it does not surprise me not many people are not playing FFA optimally.

If there was a ranked FFA, the winner in the highest rated games would be whoever loses the will to play last.

And don’t get me wrong, I like FFA mechanics. I even play another game online that uses a rating system and that is pure FFA (the online version of the board game of Diplomacy). But FFA (barring a few special game modes) simply does not work for Age of Empires in any competitive way due to the high cost of war. If two players attack each other, the third one wins the game; thus, if everyone knows this fact and wants to win, no one attacks, and the game never ends.

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That was actually my approach for br, and even though I’m just an average player with poor micro I could get good results with the don’t attack let the others kill themselves strategy.

No, it should not be implemented because FFA is not a balanced mode.
You can’t balance a mode where the strongest player could lose just because it was attacked by 4 players. It’s a perfect mode for lobbies, no reason to make a ladder

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After the tweaks I proposed on my original post, explain to me how to know who is the strongest? Points should be hidden and stuff. Please, read more carefully.

I read it, it doesn’t change in any way. People would simply focus on the one with the highest score, which is usually the strongest player with the better boom.
I get it, you want the game mode you play to have a ladder, but it simply would not work. This is not RM, DM or EW (that, btw, should get his own ladder considering that RBW exist) where the one who plays better wins the game, people could simply decide to gang up on someone and, no matter how good he is or how well he is play, he’d lose.

You can’t have a ladder for a mode that is not fair, and this goes also for diplo

I disagree you can’t have a ladder for a game where people could decide to gang up on someone. Preventing players from wanting to gang up on you is a skill in itself. Of course part of it is luck based, but this is the case too for random map generations in the 1v1 RM ladder. Ranked FFA only does not work because FFA is not suited for Age of Empires.

No, they wouldn’t, this is the exact opposite of what you would want to do, you do not have teammates, other players are not going to help you, the first person to attack the player with the highest score is the one that will get dogpiled in 99% of situations because they will be a weak target that costs little to eliminate and gives access to any unused resources in their starting area

Nobody is going to rely on teamwork in FFA in random lobbies, it’s iffy to rely on help in diplo LMS, complete suicide to try to get someone to help you in FFA, sure they might help you, then again it’s in their best interest to tell you they will help, then let you waste resources on the strong player and mop you up after you’re almost broke

This leads to the strong player being almost ignored as a target for aggression until they attack someone else, the highest score player is normally the person that winds up initiating aggression and nobody is going to help the person they attack because that makes them #2 on the attack list, everyone wants to be the last person that gets attacked

In an ideal outcome cooperation leads to a better outcome for everyone, but you don’t want a better outcome for everyone, you want them to get a bad outcome so you have more chance to win

My thought process if I am in a game diplo or FFA and someone’s score is shooting to the moon is 1- Is he next to me? if yes > Can I ally him?(diplo) if no > Build really thick wall between him and me so he kills the person on the other side of him instead - if wall is not viable, kill someone else and move into their starting location instead to get away from the dangerous person

If he is not next to me, my thought process goes about like this “I guess there’s going to be at least 3 less people for me to have to deal with myself”

This is more likely to happen than previous situation

The thing FFA could use is a matchmaking system based on 1v1 ranked if it turns out impossible to balance it on it’s own ranking system, the point is that custom lobbies don’t do very well at matching people even slightly in skill level, the typical custom lobby will have a range from 700 to 1500 1v1 elo - the 1500 gets a boring game and the other 7 players get roflstomped 7v1 - could even use quick play system if they ever fix it to actually work properly

FFA should start the game with BR mode to limit length time of the game(2-3 hours in game)**
**it’s my suggestion, mb no one play FFA with BR mode, but…

PS U should not discuss FFA if u never played it (or even not watched FFA games with T90 for ex.)


I disagree with you. If it were in the ranked lobby you’d get random players playing each other similar to 1v1. So I don’t think people will team up as much as you think. I’m not saying it won’t happen. It might happen here and there, but that’s part of of the fun in FFA, and only one person can win in the end anyway so it’s only temporary alliances. This will add a whole new dynamic to the ranked ladder.


Looks like most of us know how FFA usually works, also, I 'm pretty sure most of us FFA players enjoy 2h+ games so the lenght of the match shouldn’t be a problem, we feel some kind of sense of accomplishment.


What exactly does FFA game mean?

It stands for Free For All, meaning everyone is on their own team and the last player standing wins.

I personally like the idea of an FFA ladder and would love to play some games if I was matched with people near my ELO for it.

The math for winning/losing ELO would definitely have to be adjusted, I believe formulas exist for this kind of thing already. e.g. If I win a 6 player FFA I probably should not get +15 pts from each player that lost, points have to remain balanced otherwise we run into inflation/deflation problems like in the TG ladder. 5 points from each player might be a good example(so +25 for winner, -5 from each loser in a 6 player game), adjusted for average ELO different, of course.

I do not know if I would agree to changing the settings to something liker 300 pop instead of 200, though, why is this typically done in FFA games? It seems like Civ balance changes drastically when certain civs may be allowed to have a 150 villager economy while still being able to yield another 150 military units.

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