Gran Turismo Sport’s “Advanced Matchmaking System” & “Sportsmanship Points” Detailed

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With online racing taking center stage in Gran Turismo Sport, there has rightfully been many questions about the game’s match-making capabilities. Playing with drivers outside of your own skill set – whether they are faster or slower than you – can be a frustrating experience, especially if you end up with the rude and childish players who often plague online lobbies.

To solve this problem in GT Sport, Polyphony Digital is building a reputation system which will be used to match players of similar skill and maturity levels. At E3 last week, Kazunori Yamauchi explained the system to GTPlanet in more detail.

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“You’ll notice – if you go online in GT6 – the world out there is very rough. It’s like the African savanna,” he joked. “That situation is obviously not very good, and in order to achieve clean online races, you need some type of rating system.”

GT Sport’s driver rating system will be based on two indices: Driver Class and Sportsmanship Points. Driver Class will represent the overall speed of the player and how well they perform in races. Sportsmanship Points will keep track of the player’s behavior and manners on-track.

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“These two scores will affect your driver rating. For example, if your Sportsmanship Points go down because you have been driving very rough in some races, you will only be matched with other players who drive rough on-track. On the other side of the spectrum, people who run clean races, will be matched with other clean drivers,” Kazunori explained.

Driver Class ratings will be grouped and organized by letter (S-A-B-C-D-R), though this letter rating will presumably be determined by some underlying numerical value. Class ratings will be calculated based upon qualifying results, race results, and the average rating of the drivers you’re racing against.

Sportsmanship Points will be calculated on additional metrics which can either increase or decrease your overall rating:

Factors For Increase

  • Race distance
  • Course difficulty
  • Race category

Factors For Decrease

  • Driving off-track
  • Wall contact
  • Entering restricted zones
  • Ignoring flags
  • Ignoring speed limits
  • Pushing other cars off the track
  • Collisions with other cars

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Driver ratings in GT Sport will almost certainly be a controversial topic when the game releases this November, though the system will be required for a competitive online ecosystem.

Polyphony’s design is clearly inspired by iRacing’s Safety Rating, which has been a hallmark of the PC simulator since it was first introduced. As any iRacing player can tell you, such a rating system adds the notion of “consequence” to online racing – an essential ingredient to high-level competition – which ultimately makes the game more fun as well.

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Comments (81)

  1. XXI

    We all have friends we like to race with, you know where I’m going with this.
    If you have a higher or lower reputation rating than friends, I assume a private lobby would be the only option?

  2. TomBrady

    I’m glad Kaz realizes how bad GT6 is online. I would still be playing GT6 online if it wasn’t for all the people running qualifying tires all the time or idiots ramming everyone. Even worse are the people who just push you out of the way when they want to pass you.

    1. TomBrady

      All of this will be completely useless if they don’t have mechanical damage on at all times. What’s the point of having all these systems in place if you can’t even have the biggest real world system that keeps drivers in line, damage. And I don’t mean visual damage, physical damage is what matters.

    2. Johnnypenso

      There are two sides to every coin. It’s one thing to be in a ranked race with someone, have them brake check you and cost you a point on your rating, it’s another thing altogether to have someone brake check you, cost you a point and damage your car ruining your race at the same time. You have to remember this isn’t iRacing, it’s a console racing game that aims to be inclusive and playable by a wide range of players both serious and casual.

  3. stupidstormy36

    I’m just hoping that this won’t be exploitable like I’ve seen similar systems have been. We’ll have to wait and see just how powerful this system will be. I’m glad PD is implementing something like this, something similar to iRacing’s safety rating?

    1. Johnnypenso

      I don’t think it’s possible to have a system that isn’t exploitable to some degree. PD really has to put themselves into the position of the cheating gamer and try and determine which exploits will be used and how to combat it. It’s all well and fine to give hit points for violations but a smart player will know when to intentionally take hit points to have a minimal effect on his/her rating and a maximum effect on the outcome. Two perfect examples would be the intentional bump and run and the last lap corner cut to victory. With the bump and run if it only counts as 1 hit point for contact and both get penalized, it’s going to be worth it on a fairly regular basis for people to bump you out of the way for the victory. Likewise with the corner cutting. If it’s just a point to cut a corner, why not save it until the last lap when the battle for final position ensues?

      There are ways around this but it takes some foresight on PD’s part and, just as importantly, some awareness that it’s going to occur and a willingness to correct it in the interests of fairplay. Given that the long term success of this entire game is going to be based on fairplay you’d think their interest would be maxed out but they do have a bit of a history of having their head in the sand when it comes to some aspects of racing simulation.

    1. Tenacious D

      Me too. I’m all itchy to see all kinds of things, but since this is a more limited Gran Turismo, the info drip might be a little slow this time, and have more filler of stuff we knew already. Still, I’ll drink down every thimble of nectar we get.

      By the way Jordan, is this discussion with Kaz going to be shared any time this week? ;D

    2. Thedetailer

      Speaking of tidbits of info, has anyone heard of a possible release on the gt sport thrustmaster wheel?

  4. DMGx

    What i’m wondering is

    Will getting hit by a car affect me negatively?

    If one does get lumped with dirty racers, how can they possibly make it back if everyone is playing dirty?

    1. Tenacious D

      We may have low class races like that, in which a handful of participants are lucky enough to finish, or just one or two. As with all things GT, we’ll just have to see.

    2. Johnnypenso

      It’s going to be really critical that PD allows you to build up a bit of history in your rating over time before throwing you into the matchmaking end of things. If you are given points in your first race and then instantly aligned with other players with similar ratings it’s going to be hard to bring your driver rating back to respectability. What would work best IMO is that all drivers new to the system get put into a rookie class and are then allowed to race against other rookies until they reach a point where their driver rating has a certain number of races or laps behind it or they have achieved a certain minimum rating in order to progress. That way you have time to manage your etiquette and you aren’t penalized for having a bad race or two right out of the gate.

    3. SavageEvil

      I think that is why the offline is geared to sportmanship and the like, you increase your rating with clean racing, race difficulty, class and the big one race length. So if you are a consistent 10+ lap racer you’ll incur a higher grade than short lap racers. So collisions won’t all of a sudden just toss you into the wayward rooms. I have a feeling that offline grades will carry over the first time you go online for a starting reference point.
      I mean dedicated trolls can use offline to get into the good rooms to wreak havoc but that would be short lived, but you can’t underestimate the mindset of such people.
      I just hope the AI also get penalized and aren’t driving on severely limited physics like GT 5 did, immovable tanks that never spun out, hope they go with DriveClub’s close approximation of grip, so fun to play that game with hardcore mode engaged, no one is exempt from the rules, lol.

  5. Fredzy

    6 classes? Seems a touch excessive, though I’d imagine the lowest class is really easy for anyone to graduate from. Makes it interesting for everyone.

    I know the first days of online match racing will be very tough. Getting mixed in with all of the barbarians, taking penalties left and right as the obvious victim. It’ll be quick match on steroids. But I trust it’ll shake out in due time…

    1. BrunetPaquet

      Nope. Forza 6 you cut corners and you still end up in Pinnacle leagues, In Gran Turismo Sport you cut corners and ram others, you’ll be rammed with others like that.

      Think of XboxOne rep. system and it should more or less be close to that…

    2. BrunetPaquet

      Good lord, sorry for the double post, I seem to have stroke… I meant to say “Matched with others like that.”

    3. Johnnypenso

      You’re only assuming that’s how it works Brunet. There are always ways to game the system and, at this point, we have no idea how the system works in practice. For example, maybe a corner cut is 1 point but there is no difference between cutting 2 feet inside the official apex point and 50 feet. There may also not be a difference between cutting a chicane which produces a huge advantage and accidentally cutting a larger, more sweeping corner which might actually hurt rather than help you.

      The devil is in the details as they say and if they don’t get the details exactly right there are going to be ways to game the system and with hundreds of thousands of people playing those ways will be exposed and up on YT faster than you can say FIA. Let’s hope PD doesn’t take months to respond like they did with the game save glitch and other issues in GT5 and GT6.

    4. BrunetPaquet

      You got a point, Johnny. I hope they make the game correctly and implement the driver ratings correctly…

      An example: I don’t wanna be lumped in with the R class drivers just because a griefer rammed me at 300 km/h (180 mph) when I tried to enter a corner cleanly and I end up into a corner cutting area.

      Happened so many times in my lobbies… As said in my previous post, I’ll be avoiding Sport Mode and going into Singleplayer and Custom Lobbies… I want fun.

      I expect Custom Lobbies to be here because there’s Online written in the home area’s screen top.

      Ugh, I hope Custom Lobbies will give you a chance to decide whether an event counts in your driver record. Failing a drift and getting dubbed a bad driver isn’t something I’d enjoy.

      I’m expecting to enjoy GT Sport’s Custom Lobbies and singleplayer more than Horizon 3. Saw a video of it with a huge chopper carrying a Jeep with someone in it and then when he gets dropped at the end of the event, he gets dropped aside of you and the driver lets you win. I was like “What is that…?”

  6. BrunetPaquet

    Knowing how I’m gonna completely ignore Sports mode and go into custom lobbies or single player (Gotta make those bucks to get the cars.), they better not force a same-type-of-driver-than-you in custom lobbies or ruin your stats because of something as simple as a cruising mistake. *sigh*

    I just wanna cruise and show off liveries or do some a few races with my friends.

  7. Steph290

    Well I for one have been patiently waiting for the development of a driver reputation system in GT. This looks promising if it is done well. How many great races have been ruined by some hotshot flying across the track at the last chicane?

    1. Tenacious D

      The people below are right about it being a “no fault” system, in which everyone involved in an accident gets gig points. Kaz discussed the penalty system in that way, that an artificial intelligence judge is just too hard to make because the variables involved in judging an incident are too great to manage reliably. It’s actually more like “all fault,” but that sounds heavy handed, and they had to call it something.

      I think even a basic system should be fine, as long as bad points aren’t too big and too easy to get. For instance, light incidental contact should be no points. Collisions which disrupt your car’s path, 1 point. A good driver will even this out and have a nice low score.

      Another question is, will the driving missions have this grading system in place? I’d think it would since this will be schooling. Will there be full races in training missions? Will Arcade Mode races count? It would be interesting if everything counted to give you a grade which would be used to match you up with other racers. Race more to improve your score.

      So… let’s race carefully. ;D

  8. panjandrum

    And suddenly I’m interested in the GT series again. Sportsmanship points. Brilliant. Then start racking-up point and only joining races where “x” number of points is required to enter. I love the idea. I hope they pull it off correctly. I still won’t be back unless the physics are absolutely spot-on and the FFB is communicative however. It’s got to be excellent in those areas also. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect “very damn good.”

    1. Johnnypenso

      I’m not sure that’s how it’ll work. It looks as if you register or choose an event, it has a fixed start time, and the game software will do all the matchmaking for you. I doubt you’re going to be able to pick and choose your lobbies in any of the sanctioned events.

  9. Thedetailer

    But what about people like me that are clean and quick in a race but other times like to drift or play other types of events that could potentially ruin our clean driving score?

    1. Thedetailer

      I’m very curious how this system will work. I know if I accidentally take someone out I will pull over and wait until they pass.

    2. stupidstormy36

      Thedetailer: That is actually a really good point you bring up. I’m the same way.

      As for the OP, I’m sure they’ll have what I’ve known as exhibition races or lobbies, where rankings won’t be affected either positively, or negatively. Or at least I hope.

  10. Lambob

    upon hearing of GTSport announcement, I was quick to say I’m out due to potential blatant lack of sportsmanship online esp in this category class of cars offered in game.

    just when I was pulling out…news of this has brought me back in,

    whooo-wahhh

    awesome news.

    can’t wait for Porsche DLC on AC!

  11. Northstar

    I’ll be shocked if the matchmaking system actually works. Can’t say I’ve ever played a game where it has.

  12. dylanlikes88

    dylanlikes88 approves of this system. Hopefully no more races with 10 experts and then that one guy who can’t keep up so he turns around and drives backwards…

  13. Cote Dazur

    if this is done well, it could bring back a lot of SIM racer to GT sport, just for the online experience. Most PC SIM have a too limited player base to implemented a sophisticated rating system to allow players of same talent level and similar driving cleanliness. with a limited player base, compare to games like GT, the fragmentation of the different rating results in empty servers.
    GT will presumably have a large enough player base to, if implemented well, creates different group of like minded racers who will have a great time online as the result.
    looking forward to it, they are definitively into something interesting.

  14. Oyashiro-sama

    And how about a much simpler “real simulation” like this:

    -> Realistic damage that can’t be turned off. You crash, you will most likely abandon race or, if lucky, need to make a pit-stop.

    -> Wreck the car, you need to buy a new one. Or spend $$$ repairing it (if repairable).

    And these are totally just as a joke (or not):

    -> Crash too hard and you will be injured and banned from racing online for a few days/weeks/months while recovering.

    -> Crash extra hard, and you die. Permanently banned.

    This is simulation! And I bet everyone would drive extra super ultra clean. Think about it.

    1. TeamCZRRacing

      That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. There’s a line between being realistic, and being TOO realistic.

    2. jimantonic

      Personally I like your thinking Oyashiro, maybe a slight modification to the permanent ban if you ‘die’, a progress reset instead perhaps? (having to restart from scratch).

      Possibly even give the option for these rules to be on or off, with the top three levels S, A and B only being available to those that use them.
      Just thinking out loud.

    3. Deatharrow

      you kidding right ? who will buy 70€ a game ” A GAME ” ” GAAAAMMMEEE ” that you ban if you die , GO on track crash and die , if you wanna replay ? you ask what ? buy a new PS4 ? a new blueray ? make a new account PSN ? you don’t think you are stupid bud ?

    4. infamousphil

      GTEFGHA, lol great answer.

      Oyashiro-sama, you could develope your own racer and lawyer up for the lawsuits.

    5. TomBrady

      That’s way too much. Won’t even be fun. Your first point is a good one though.

      Mechanical damage needs to be on at all times. That alone would teach people to race clean

  15. Magic Ayrton

    This isn’t fair, as the engine sounds will invariably make you want to drive off track and into the nearest wall. :)

  16. SolidRacer

    My concern about this is, knowing that both cars will get penalty for collision and knowing how bad and unfair was gt5, 6 penalty system.. It raises question.. What if I enter my first race then some maniac hits me all the time, I will be lowered in rank and put into children or smash cars lobby where everyone will continue to hit me and lover my rank, does it mean some unlucky people will be thrown into this dramatic chain of events forever, without no chance of getting out of it? :))

    Meanwhile I can’t wait for gt sport and love to hear about this system.. Rainbow six siege also does that separation with ranked lobbies.. Hope it will work properly…..

    1. Johnnypenso

      It’s bound to happen that you’ll have bad races. I started in the Sim Racing System on Assetto Corsa recently and it works much the same way in terms of driver safety ratings. My first race, first corner, there was a big wreck, cars all over the place and I think I took 8 or 9 points in my first race!!! It settled down really quickly though and after a few races I was averaging less than 2 and now I’m down to around 1. Things just work out over time and I think it’ll probably be fine but it all depends on what criteria they use, how long they measure you before they start putting you with people like you etc.

  17. Aggserp4

    This is needed but I’m sceptical about its effectiveness. Surely it wouldn’t take long for players to find a way around the rules, right?

    1. infamousphil

      Rules are made to be broken. It’s your job to navigate the enviorment you find yourself in.

  18. Isho

    So if someone uses you to brake and hits you off track or into the wall, you’re still going to be penalized for it?

    1. infamousphil

      That’s a damn good question Isho. The offender can argue that you broke too early when going into the corner. At first look it can seem pretty simple by setting or idenfiying the breaking zone. But stewartship can become increasingly problematic as you add vehicles into this equation or zone.

      Almost assuredly, there will be a way of redeeming such infractions.

    2. ZEROTHEKNIGHT

      Simple solution – enable damage & he won’t even dare to take chances on dangerous braking situations to avoid damaging his car for not to lose the race :)
      On the flipside – even if your opponent did brake early on purpose to mess you up – he’ll also cause himself to lose the race :)
      Unless your opponent’s real intention is just trying to make you lose the race out of revenge – the sportmanship points will be effected if he is behind you – but if he was ahead & braked early on purpose he’ll cause himself to lose the race so it is gainingless.
      Hope i made a valid point X)

    3. ZEROTHEKNIGHT

      One more thing i remembered :
      Let’s say he is trying to slow you down on purpose when he is ahead – if he stayed doing that for too long – his sportmanship will drop because he is slowing down the traffic behind him X)

  19. acedition333

    I wonder about “ignoring speed limits” will work?? Will it be just entering pits? And “ignoring flags”?

    1. TeamCZRRacing

      Seems to me that there’s gonna be a safety car system in place, and perhaps a blue flag system also.

    2. SavageEvil

      If it’s like Project Cars 3 violations and you are sent to the paddock, end of your race buddy. That would be nice to see and will drill into folks heads follow the rules or play something else.

    3. acedition333

      That would be nice. Makes for a better all around experience in the race. People would be more cautious.

  20. Baron Blitz Red

    Although I think it’s about time for a system like this, I really hope it’s based nothing like the penalty system in the Quick Matches. I strive to race as cleanly as possible, yet I get penalties for someone else hitting me. And there are players who seem to excel at giving others those penalties cause they’ve mastered playing the system to their favour.

    Hopefully, this new system will distinguish between those who are clean “victims” and those who are dirty drivers, but see the loopholes and take full advantage of them.

    Cheers

    1. SavageEvil

      Depends on the system, but we’ll have to wait and see how it works first. Of course it will be evolving as the game ages. A system that can accurately determine who caused the collision is not easy, remember it’s a computer and it’s unable to judge as humans do. So for the time being a system that checks speed of entry, angle and position of other car it should be able to gauge which car is the culprit, but what if there were only two cars and both were driving out of the ordinary and there is a collision–that is a harder call to make so for now both parties involved with get penalized.
      Every system has to have a starting point, but human consumers seem to forget that and want something up to their standards from the onset, that isn’t how anything in this reality works. It takes time and data to increase the precision of any system of judgement, all we can do is experience it and hope PD are open to suggestion from people running in the data pool.
      Time will tell just how good the system will get, until then the alternative isn’t so appealing.

    2. acedition333

      I agree….. a lot of the times we get penalized for someone hitting me. Hopefully it will be a good system. Sounds simple.

    3. Johnnypenso

      My guess is it’ll be a no fault system as in iRacing. If you’re involved in an incident you’ll all get hit points. It’s almost impossible to assign fault in most instances outside of someone running the wrong way or entering the track unsafely etc. Not only that, if there is a way to assign fault it means there will be a way to game the system whereas if there is a no fault scoring method and you get points for contact even either way, the system can’t be gamed in that sense.

    4. SavageEvil

      I’m pretty sure it’s no fault system so everyone will try to be as clean as possible since both will get points on collisions. This would greatly thin out the annoyances, but still they will have to accumulate data and make it better as not collisions warrant points but, we’ll have to see how much of an impact is an impact and what counts as a no fault collision.

      What if you are passing on the outside on an oval and you just reached the rear quarter panel and the inside car all of a sudden makes a move into your line, how would the system judge that? Lots of things to test out for sure I mean with a computer game, it has all the data and can tell who encroached where, I just want to test this thing out to the max.

      I already envision public online racing where people drive with respect and not turn into babies especially when you are faster out of a corner in the shoot out to the finish line, I feel rage building up just thinking about the amount of times I have witnessed the baby-fication of racers in Forza or the desperate kamikaze into the final corner. Turn10 needs this and they need to take out those stupid tire walls that ruin my line of sight.

    5. DK

      I’d like to assume that the FIA partnership means some rigorous testing of the penalty system, lest they get a very public case of egg on their face.

    6. Gyro1780

      ” I really hope it’s based nothing like the penalty system in the Quick Matches. I strive to race as cleanly as possible, yet I get penalties for someone else hitting me. And there are players who seem to excel at giving others those penalties cause they’ve mastered playing the system to their favour.”

      This is the exact reason i gave up on the quick matches in GT6. I race clean & rarely make contact with anyone during a race but i was always getting penalties from other dirty drivers in those quick matches.

    7. SavageEvil

      @Gyro1780 There are other things you are graded on not only collisions, so if you were already driving ace and putting down clean lap times you’ll still have a better grade than someone who has been driving dirty the whole race.

  21. Johnnypenso

    I am pretty sure I heard Translator-san in one of the interviews say that we won’t get a running total of our sportsmanship points as the event is happening, we will only get a summary when the race is done. Can anyone confirm that or do they recall where that was said?

    1. sircarltonlotus

      Someone asked if you do something like cut a corner will you get an on screen notification. He said no not during the race but you’ll get a break down of it at the end of the race. As far as running grand totals, I have no idea

    2. Johnnypenso

      Yes, that’s how I recall it. I’d rather see a running total during the race like iRacing does. For one thing, track limits are not always easy to determine and I don’t want to be accumulating points for going over a certain line or curb and then at the end of the race see a generic point total and not know which particular line or curb I crossed to gain points. We need direct and instantaneous feedback if we’re to make good decisions on the track.

    3. sircarltonlotus

      Good points, I’ve never played anything with this kind of system. I’m hoping for an initial pre season where bugs are cleared and the system is ironed out

    4. SavageEvil

      That system can be abused to the point where a player can gauge how many points they’ll lose and whether to risk breaking a rule that still gives them an advantage despite losing points here or there. This is my thought on why they won’t have an actually running tally while racing to prevent that type of premeditated cheating.
      I would say that they have something like Project Cars that your pit boss lets you know how many infractions you incurred, visually not aurally(that’s too slow and could cause problems) in tight races.

    5. Johnnypenso

      Without a running tally though, how are you to know what you got violations for and when they occured. If you are constantly using the whole track as much as possible, how are you to know that they don’t have wonky track limits in some corners and not others? If they aren’t going to do a running total they need to clearly and specifically outline the track limits and other things that will cost you points.

    1. cfc

      I hope this is sarcasm – in depth because of some sorta penalties? IMAO – racing games using this “in depth” since 1990’s.So in other news – there is nothing new about GT.Meh,Forza Horizon 3 cant come quick enough

    2. ArR29

      ^Well, this is good news for people who wants to race cleanly nonetheless. This something new on console, I think Grid AS has some kind of match making too but not as in depth as this.

    3. Johnnypenso

      Pretty sure Chameleon is referring to the depth of the rating system not the depth of penalties or the game itself.
      Grid AS had a very simple rating system but it gave no details on incidents, points totals etc., not that I recall anyway. It was effective in the sense that you could see a person’s rating as you were driving and you avoided the bad drivers and could race the good drivers harder.

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