Battles can take place in eleven possible different battle tiers. Each vehicle, depending on its performance, is assigned a certain subset of these battle tiers that it is supposed to fight in. The matchmaking chart shows which vehicle belongs to which battle tier. An English version can always skill matchmaking wot found here. It sometimes takes Wargaming a while to update it after patches, in which case you can refer to the Russian versionwhich is usually updated much faster.
Players often confuse battle tiers and their vehicle's tier. The match maker does not try to match vehicles by vehicle tier. For example, T Light is a tier 4 vehicle assigned to battle tierswhile the M3 Leewhich is also tier 4, is only assigned to battle tiersthis means that despite both vehicles being tier 4 tanks, the T can potentially see tier 7 tanks in battle while the M3 Lee will only ever see vehicles as high as tier 6.
Another example, T29 Heavy Tank is a tier VII vehicle, but it takes part in battle tier 7, 8 and 9 matches. A battle tier 7 match consists of vehicle tier IV-VI light tanks, as well as tier V-VII regular tanks medium, heavy, tank destroyer, SPG. A battler tier 9 match consists of tier VI-VIII light tanks, as well as tier VII-IX regular tanks. Usually a quick look at the teams allows you to immediately recognize the battle tier. The selection of the battle tier you fight in depends on the amount of players available for each battle tier and is otherwise random.
To see which battle tiers a vehicle can fight in, find it on the left side of the chart. If it is not listed as an exception on the Skill matchmaking wot Matchmaking Chart, skill matchmaking wot default rules above apply. Take, for example, an MS It doesn't have unique matchmaking. Thus we go find the row for Vehicle Tier 1, Light Tank, and see to the right that this vehicle can fight in battle tiers 1 and 2.
Scrolling down, we see that nothing except tier 1 light tanks and medium tanks can fight in battle tier 1. For battle tier 2, we see that the MS-1 can meet tier 2 tank destroyers, SPGs aka artilleryas well as light and medium tanks. The T2 Light Tank gets unique matchmaking, and we see that it's listed on the Unique Matchmaking Chart. I, on the other hand, benefits from unique matchmaking, as it will never encounter tier 3 tanks. The applicable battle tiers for each vehicle are also shown on the right sidebar of each tank's page on this wiki.
Wargaming has announced that they are moving away from tanks with unique matchmaking. Many tanks that have unique matchmaking are being removed from sale, and it's unlikely any more tanks will be added to the chart in the future. Once enough candidates for a certain battle tier are found, the matchmaker tries to form two teams from them.
For this purpose each vehicle is assigned a certain weight, and the matchmaker tries to keep the weight of both teams as equal as possible. Weighting is performed by vehicle tier and vehicle type, some vehicles are individually weighted, and for some vehicles there are special restrictions. Whether vehicles are stock or fully researched, how they are equipped, nor crew skill is taken into account by the match-maker.
Vehicle tier is not taken into consideration when balancing teams. This is a common misconception among players. For example, under the current rules a tier 8 medium can be matched against a tier 7 heavy tank. The only relevance of vehicle tier is to determine the battle tier. However, the top tanks of each team have the same vehicle tier due to the current balancing rules. The vehicle tier should be taken into consideration as it reflects a preordained operating range of a vehicle also known as classification.
The range of each tier gradually increases with technology and tiers can overlap. If you are in a platoon, the entire platoon is placed into battles according to the platoon member in the vehicle with the highest skill matchmaking wot tier. This can produce unwanted results in particular for new players at the lower tiers. For example, a tier 4 scout can enter battles up to skill matchmaking wot 7, whereas a tier 4 medium tank skill matchmaking wot its own can only join battles up to tier 6.
If these platoon together, the scout will pull the other tank up into its battle tier, where the other tank will usually be hopelessly outclassed. The same thing happens when a tank with preferential match making is platooning with a normal tank. Please take this into account when forming platoons. A special case of this is when you see a top tier tank platooned with one or two tier 1 tank.
This is sometimes done on purpose. If you look above, a tier 10 heavy tank weighs points, whereas a tier 1 tank weighs only 2. Thus the platoon's team a priority has a massive point deficit, which the match-maker will balance out by either dragging more lower tier tanks into the enemy team or by dragging more high tier tanks into the platoon's team. The tactic is frowned upon but permissible. It has become rare these days, likely because the success chances are mediocre.
With two tier 1 tanks the team is missing The matchmaker does balance the number of skill matchmaking wot in platoons, but not the weight of the platooned tanks. This means one team can have 2 three-man-platoons with T8 tanks, whereas the other team skill matchmaking wot 3 two-man-platoons with T6 tanks.
This rule may not apply, when the server is low populated. Introduced in Patch 9. Standard Battles in battle tiers 1 to 3 take place on a limited subset of the available maps only. With each Tier there will be additional maps skill matchmaking wot the final map pool is reached at battle tier 8.