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Synchronous Match Making: Critical Mass CCU/DAU Needed?

2018-03-22 20:27:19


I am trying to develop a synchronous multiplayer mobile game. Right now I am going through the exercise of trying to figure out how many active players are needed (each hour, minute?) in order to support low matchmaking times (10-15 secs) 24 hours a day.

For the sake of this conversation let's assume we have very few matchmaking criteria (skill, player level etc..) and anyone can join with anyone else online randomly.

Does anyone have any hands on experience with this topic? Maybe some advice for attempting to calculate the necessary traffic? Any information would be much appreciated.


2018-03-28 11:25:45

Hi @clem.

Let me publish the answer here that I have given to your question in private support already, so that others with a similar question can find it as result to their search queries:

Let me clarify terms here: CCU stands for concurrent user, DAU for daily average user. Accordingly by definition there can't be something like CCU/HR, CCU/minute or DAU/hour, etc. A DAU is always per day and a CCU always means users at the same moment in time. Hence just 2 CCU (that don't rule each other out as a match by the filters that they have set and that are not already inside any running matches) already mean instant matchmaking without waiting time.

The average time that a running match takes to be completed determines how long it takes until the players in it are available again for matchmaking (provided that they want to play another match). Hence you will need a lot less players if the average game duration is rather short than if it is rather long.

From our experience for the average game the conversion rate between CCU, DAU and MAU is 1 to 20 to 20, meaning that for each CCU that you want to generate you need 20 DAU and 400 MAU.
However that conversion rate is for peak time CCU (and includes the players that you have already matched and that are hence already playing).
CCU will vary depending on the time of the day in the region of the world in which your player pool is and might easily be up to 5-20 times as high at peak times than at the time of the day when user traffic is lowest.

On average on the Photon Public Cloud the peak CCU is 3-5 times higher than the low peak CCU (it varies a bit between regions). However this depends a lot on the game and its audience. You might as well experience the peak CCU being 10 times higher than the low peak CCU.

"Let's assume that our games last for 2 minutes, we want matchmaking to succeed within 10-15 seconds"
Well, lets do some math here: 2 minutes are 120 seconds, so to have one of the running games end on average have every 10 seconds, you would need 12 games, for 15 seconds you would need 8 games. So with 12 (or 8) running games some new potential opponents from a previously running game would become available for matchmaking every 10 (or 15) seconds. 12 one on one games means 24 players, 8 games means 16 players.

So 16-24 would be the low peak CCU number.
That would translate into 48-240 CCU for the peak CCU depending on how much low peak and peak CCU turn out to differ for your game.
Accordingly the resulting DAU would be 960-4,800 and the MAU would be 19,200-96,000.

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