Ranked Population Shows Massive Decline Since Reset - Is Ranked Doomed?

Semi-sensational title on the “doomed” bit, but probably under-aggressive on exactly how bad the dropoff looks.

Per HaloTracker, which admittedly is not the whole universe of players, the total number of players who received ranks since the reset is around 10,000-15,000 for Crossplay, 2,000-3,000 for controller, and zero for MnK. Even if we double these, we’re talking about a population not much larger than 30,000. This is a catastrophic dropoff from the initial S2 numbers which were over 200,000 for Crossplay alone.

Ranked is already showing low population signs in terms of wait times especially at off-peak times, poorer team balancing, and repeatedly matching the same people over and over. These are exacerbated in non-US servers.

What’s more, per the 343 update, it’s pretty unlikely the next year or so for Ranked will consist of anything other than 1-2 maps, one new gun, and possibly one piece of equipment (there is no guarantee shroud will be in ranked). So, in all likelihood, we will see more dropoff rather than re-capturing players.

So! For those that play Ranked regularly, I’m genuinely curious what folks think the state of play will be in by, say, January 2023?


Shroud screen WILL be in Ranked, it is clearly designed with Esports in mind. Its basically a smoke grenade type ability, obviously not meant for casual play.

The dropoff is probably just because the beginning of each season gets a spike in players, then they dwindle out, so basically it makes sense that less players would be players months after S2 launch then at the start.

The biggest question for Ranked/Esports is if Bandit rifle will replace BR… its an up in the air conversation that nobody can really answer yet. I personally would love it if they just swapped starting guns once a year or so to keep meta alive (BR season, Bandit season, Commando season maybe, then it just rotates or something)


I agree–what it shows us is the real number of current Ranked players, which is incredibly low. It’s no longer obscured by a huge number of players who placed and then stopped.

Controller might even start flirting with triple digits pretty soon–do you disagree?

The ranked sandbox is currently so unbalanced pros have had to agree to just not pick up certain items.

There has been 1 new ranked map introduced in the previous 9 months (and lets remember ranked lost a map after launch).

There has been 1 new ranked game mode introduced in the previous 9 months.

Ranked games only progress a small subset of XP challenges.

What exactly new experience and reason is there to play ranked for most players? The answer to that question is why no one is playing ranked

Edit: Tbf, my comment is pretty much dismissing the existence of 2v2 ranked, which I think is pretty fun


2v2 is fun, although it’s a balance mess. It’s kind of like fiesta with all of the power weapons spawning all the time! Also, the CSR placements were so low that at least for me, there’s no stress because no matter what I do, my CSR is going to be catching up to MMR for a while.

I tried ranked for the first time since season 1 and found solo/duo que has like a 3 min wait time In East US and searched for like 5 mins without finding a game. Theres no reason not to scrap MnK and Solo/Duo queue at this point

Their population is so low it probably make much of a difference, but you’re probably right.

I can’t play ranked with my friends anymore because our skill levels are too wide (diamond 4 to silver 6). This is a change since the rank reset and it’s BS we are looking for another game to play. Anyone play any other shooters with 4 player squads that they recommend? I think after 20 years halo is dead for me.

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If you want to play ranked mode with your friend in another game you’ll probably encounter the same issue. Most games have the same system where people that are vastly different ranks cant search together. It just took 343 some time to catch up

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Yeah, the CSR limits within fireteams is pretty common, so I don’t have an issue with that piece.

Rank Matchmaking will continue to drop because its just not fun anymore. I’ve been playing Halo since day 1 and I will continue to play until the last day but Halo is boring to play. You aren’t even being rewarded for winning the game. No instead its how you win which is just stupid because now you are literally controlling how people play the game and what they do.
Competitive Gaming is already very controlling as it is by forcing people to use certain weapons and now your forcing people to play a certain way. For what a stupid emblem mmm not worth it. :unamused: Not to mention you don’t even have a choice in playing just Team Slayer or Team Objective no you are being forced to a Playlist that’s both in one.
Like MCC is literally a perfect example of how not to do Rank Matchmaking. But here we are almost year for Halo Infinite and 343 isn’t making people want to play the game but delete it instead.

People probably got frustrated because their rank got reset.

Since the release of Halo Infinite each and every time that I search either by myself or with friends in ranked matchmaking, it takes less than a minute to find a match. Matches are competitive and my team and I have more success when we’re communicating and strategizing with one another. The social aspect of ranked is a real thing with my friends and I. We get together to play Halo online a few times per week and I see us continuing to do so in the coming months through January 2023.

There is a massive movement on Twitter right now about having “gentlemen’s agreement” to not use weapons such as the sword. I believe that the sword is a tactical weapon and if you don’t want to die from it, you better play to pick it up.

This piece is extremely frustrating because I genuinely enjoy playing ranked and believe that if I’m going to spend my time gaming with friends trying to win we should rank up as high as possible. Why exactly I’m very excited about an overall Spartan rank coming our way.

The 2v2 playlist is loads of fun and the only piece of feedback I’d give to it is that weapon pads spawn super quickly. On one hand it keeps the gaming moving in a fast pace, but on the other hand it can create some very one-sided matches quickly.

Ranked arena matching, but too often the ranks of the enemy members against the full party are unreasonably low. This will result in the loss of solo players.
Since a full party has the advantage of being able to communicate, the opposing members should be of equal rank.
I believe that a game that leaves solo players will certainly go out of business.

I’m glad to hear you’ve still got a squad going. All the players I queued with in open have left due to staleness and lack of content–even I as a huge Halo fan can only play so many non-playlist-select matches on the same combination of Streets, Recharge, and Live Fire (which are all overweighted in rotation due to having the most modes available) before I ask myself what I’m still doing here. It’s a year in and the only freshness the comp sandbox has seen is the (admittedly much-needed) mangler nerf.

2v2 is fun but closer to fiesta at this point with weapon spawns than a real ranked experience in my opinion.

Also, have you been playing much solo/duo queue? I’ve observed noticeable degradation in matchmaking time (especially off-peak) and quality of matchups in solo.

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just played a match, where ALL the enemies had over 2.5k games played EACH! mine… I have 2k matches played and the rest under 900… and one just 27 games played. He ended 0-12 in a Diamond match. Annoying as hll… Why did the system put him there? idk

I don’t think that I’ve gotten ranked yet in solo/duo now with 2v2 ranked playlist.

is a smoke grenade anti casual? what classifies as a casual equipment?


it would still be fun, so it wouldn’t exactly be anti-casual. ALL of the equipment in Infinite is designed around competitive play, its why they’re all in Ranked/Competitive, yet as you know they’re all fun for the most part.

Its clearly designed for Esports because sightlines and FOV blocks is more geared towards good commed teams, its not a piece of equipment that you just pick up as a newer player and dominate with, its meant for higher level play as you can use it to throw off opponents.

Just for reference I would argue that pretty much ALL of the equipment in Halo 3 were casual… the difference is how they’re balanced and how they impact gameplay and whatnot. Great question though, thank you for asking :slightly_smiling_face: