The King of Fighters 15 is honestly a pretty great fighting game. It may even be my personal favorite in the series, but there’s just one big problem — playing against other people can feel almost impossible.
SNK has released multiple updates for KOF15 in the 5 months since the game’s launch in February, yet its online matchmaking is still broken for many around the world — and pushing the limits of the playerbase’s patience.
We’ve witnessed too many reports and complaints to count about players across PlayStation, Xbox and PC waiting upwards of 30 minutes to find a match (if at all), and that’s not because no one is online.
Even when a match can be started, it’s also common for the connections to be much worse / farther away than the player’s preferred settings.
I personally didn’t have many problems initially trying to fight people in KOF15, but hopping online tonight took over 7 minutes to find a match after multiple failed searches — and it was completely unplayable.
I really hope some headway has been made at SNK regarding the matchmaking issues for KOF XV. This game is excellent but seeing new players get discouraged because they can’t find players of similar skill is understandable and heartbreaking
— Dr. Frickenfart (@BoomCube) July 22, 2022
This continues to be a huge black eye on an otherwise solid game, and the fact that matchmaking is still in this state is almost unbelievable.
From all of the digging we’ve done, no one in the community has seemingly been able to figure out what is going wrong, but someone did create iskofxvsmatchmakingstillbroken.com to compile all of the information that is known so far.
That also means there’s no known fix or real workaround for the problem, which has created a lot of frustration among the playerbase and is likely causing people to drop KOF15 until it’s fixed.
Damn. I love playing KOF but matchmaking makes that game almost impossible to play. Played for an hour and a half and got 3 sets.
— Dominic (@UltraNick24) July 21, 2022
Although we cannot view console player counts, Steam Charts shows only an average of 530 people online at any given time on PC over the last month — where as its all-time peak was over 8,200.
This is really not a good look for a game that’s less than 6 months old, especially considering the average population dropped by over 28% on PC just in June.
Meanwhile, similarly sized games that are over 5 years old like Tekken 7 and Street Fighter 5 are beating KOF15 in player counts handily.
The King of Fighters 15 also barely cracked the top 10 in our recent rankings of fighting game player counts on Steam.
SNK has not been completely silent on the problem since they acknowledged matchmaking issues and provided players with a survey to give the developers more information to help find a solution.
That was almost 2 months ago, however, and there’s still no word on when to expect a new update.
If a fix isn’t implemented soon, I’m starting to worry that KOF15 may end up with a similar fate to Samurai Shodown — a great game that most people moved on from too quickly because they couldn’t play online.
A fighting game basically needs at least a decent matchmaking experience to retain a healthy community in today’s ecosystem, especially with the amount of strong competition around and more big drops on the horizon like Street Fighter 6.
I hope snk announce a world tour event for Kof XV. And it’s us getting a tour through the valley of the shadow of death where we hit the matchmaking button to search for games and finally getting connected with other players that were considered lost and is now found 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
— Panda Kizzie Kay (@Kizzie_Kay) July 21, 2022
It’s not really going to matter how many DLC characters, costumes and balance adjustments SNK puts out if players can’t actually play against other people consistently.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much the community can do except continue to wait since SNK is already very much aware of the problems.
With a new DLC team set to launch sometime after Evo 2022 in Team Awakened Orochi, hopefully a solution will also be ready for their arrival.
I still certainly have high hopes that KOF15 can bounce back and be a strong contender for years to come, but the game cannot continue on like this indefinitely.