Semi-Secret Tips to Find & Join a HON Matchmaking Game FAST!
This article contains a couple quick tips on how to find a standard matchmaking game in HoN / Heroes of Newerth as quickly as possible. During non-peak hours it can sometimes take 30 or more minutes to find a game but using these tips I’ve been able to find a game within a couple of minutes at any time of the day.
For whatever reason, the HoN matchmaking does not seem to be set up ideally. In games like Halo, you will constantly be automatically moved around to different groups of people until you find a full group. Heroes of Newerth has you join a random single group, then sit there until enough players happen to also join that group randomly.
After you are in the matchmaking queue, if there are only 1-4 players in the queue group with you, hit “Cancel”, then “Join Solo Pool” immediately. You may need to do this up to 5 times in a row, all very quickly. Very often you will eventually join a group with 5-9 players already and the match will begin within seconds. (Don’t ask me why you aren’t placed in the fullest group in the first place!)
Note that I don’t believe the S2 developers approve of this. I once noticed an in-game message sent to everyone by an S2 dev that somewhat jokingly told people that the games they were just in had just become full. However, there are no negatives to using this method whatsoever. Hopefully S2 will soon make the matchmaking system slightly more advanced in the future so it moves you into the fullest group automatically.
If you are a US player, be sure to select both East and West locations as options. I have almost never noticed a difference in ping when doing this, though if your connection is very bad you may consider not doing this.
On a similar note, if you are a US player and are having a ton of trouble finding a game (such as after 2 or 3 am) consider selecting the European EU servers as well. Personally, the game is still very playable and I probably go from ~70 ping to the low 100 range.
(This may be a very simple tip, but many people often don’t think to do this)
Use this tip at your own risk. When a game is found, every now and then on the small loading screen (where the green circles around the player silhouettes fill up to show loading progress), some players will start off as red–disconnected. At this point, if 2 players or more are already red, it is generally pretty safe to hit the small red “x” button in the middle of the screen to leave the queue.
If the game actually does find players and ends up starting, I believe you would receive a disconnect against you. However, I have done this a number of times and still have 0 disconnects listed in my stats.
This can save you 3 minutes of wasted time, as I have never seen a game with 2-3 disconnects at the beginning end up actually starting, despite waiting the whole time.
If your “Waited:” time on the “Looking for players…” screen has frozen, you should use the small red x in the middle of the screen to leave and rejoin the queue. On rare occasions this happens and I have seen it sit there for 15 minutes plus with no progress. It appears this is caused by some sort of communication error and does not fix itself.
So, that about wraps it up. This is a pretty simple article, but should help anyone who hasn’t experimented with the Matchmaking system too much, or who is finding it hard to get a game going late at night. Again, due to my schedule I often end up playing in the wee morning hours from the US, but still can almost always find a game within ~5 minutes at worst using the above tips.
(Note: Article is current as of 7/22/2010. The matchmaking system hasn’t changed at all since retail so these tips should remain helpful for a good long time unless the system is revamped. If you do notice some changes, be sure to leave them in the comments section below!)