Ladder theory: what’s the best time of day to play?

As discussed in my previous post, there is something odd with ladder that is resulting in certain players like IlyaK (and jaypeg when he played) to dominate the top spots.  There are three viewpoints:

  1. I’m just crazy and there is nothing funky going on.
  2. You gain an advantage for playing a huge number of games, but somehow NeonBlonde and other players who have played an insane number of games haven’t benefited from that.
  3. You gain some advantage from playing at certain times of the day.

This post will go into the “time of day” theory.

(By the way… congratulations to IlyaK for crushing ladder.)

Steam Tracker

Eternal stats can be found on sites that track Steam statistics like Steam Tracker, SteamSpy, etc.


Peak playing times are 3-4PM Eastern Standard Time, or 8-9PM Central European Time (the time zone that covers most of Europe).  Because North Americans typically have jobs or school during this timeframe, I believe that peak hours coincide with European players playing during their evenings.

Weekends see a little more players than weekdays.

Is the Americas meta tougher?

I actually don’t know.  However, by looking at this blog’s traffic, I can see that it’s mainly people from the Americas who visit this blog.  For the past 90 days:

  • Americas – 7776 visits
  • Europe + Africa – 5714 visits
  • Other – 1656 visits

While it seems that the bulk of Eternal players are Europeans, the bulk of people reading articles on Eternal strategy seem to be from the Americas.  This may suggest that the Americas metagame is tougher.  There may be a greater percentage of more serious players who would rather read some (potentially crackpot) theory on a blog than actually playing the game.

Finding out the best time of day to play

Anecdotally, 11PM-3AM Eastern Standard Time is tougher to rank on ladder than 8-11PM Eastern Standard Time.  If I had no job, had the time, and had the inclination… I could play at different times and gauge how favorable each time of day actually is.  I suspect that the answer is to play during peak hours when the Europeans are playing.

And I could be wrong.  Maybe the time of day doesn’t matter.

If you know the answer, I’d be interested to know.

4 thoughts on “Ladder theory: what’s the best time of day to play?

  1. The reason more people from the Americas are reading your blog is almost certainly a very simple one: language.

    The sources you mention are all in English. Most North Americans speak and read English. See where I am going with this? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In my experience (i.e., very regularly playing Hearthstone for years, Shadowverse for over a year, and now Eternal for the last two months), playing any time after 11 p.m. and before about 7 a.m. will give you a higher than normal chance of being matched with the hardest core of the hardcore players. And it makes sense: Casual players play casually; midnight rolls around, they start yawning, so they pack it in for the night. Hardcore players, however, are either aggressively chasing high ranks, are addicted to the game, or both, so the ridiculous hours and their insane fatigue levels mean way less. Hardcore players just push through and continue playing. And I should know–I’m often one of those very people.


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