Get matched with those with a high ELO, and the site will start populating your queue with the people Tinder as a whole finds more desirable.
Get matched with those sporting a lower ELO, and the site will only show you people who don’t get as many matches from high-ranking users.
Dating is often framed as a competition, where one has to strive to attract as many people as possible.
In this context, it might make sense to use a system born out of competition to rank which “leagues” people fall into.
The system has since been adapted for use in football, baseball, and even video games such as League of Legends and Warcraft.
So when translated to Tinder, the algorithm can be understood on a basic level as one where who you match with determines who the app shows to you.
For a competitive system where everyone is trying to achieve the same goal—win—this makes sense.
As a result, she may find herself matched against lower ranking players until she can prove she’s ready for a tougher opponent.“I used to play a long time ago, and whenever you play somebody with a really high score, you end up gaining more points than if you played someone with a lower score,” explained Badeen, recalling his days playing Warcraft.
“It’s a way of essentially matching people and ranking them more quickly and accurately based on who they are being matched up against.”The result is a system where rankings are determined by how users compare to other people rather than their personal stats.
If the high-ranking player beats the low-ranking player, then her ELO score will only go up a small amount, to reflect the suspected ease of the matchup and suggest more challenging opponents in the future.
But if a higher-ranking player loses to a lower-ranking player, her ELO score will drop significantly, to reflect the severity of the upset.