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Playing Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel As A Newcomer Is Painful

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has proven to be an excellent adaptation of the popular card game. However, it can be a difficult climb for new players.

While Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is an excellent way for players worldwide to play the card game, it can prove exceedingly difficult for new players. The game’s difficulty curve is a steep cliff that can feel insurmountable for newcomers. For the health of the game, it would be wise for Konami to address these issues.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel‘s focus is on allowing players from all over the world to play the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, which is a respectable endeavor. The ability to learn Yu-Gi-Oh! and build a deck around favorite cards is legitimately fun. However, more could be done to better help ease new Master Duel players as well as newcomers to Yu-Gi-Oh! as a franchise into the game. As it stands now, Master Duel is an extremely faithful recreation of the game, but a high barrier for entry is the biggest obstacle for the continued growth of its playerbase.

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Related: How Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Ranked Rewards Work

The matchmaking in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is in need of some adjustments. It is not uncommon for a new player with a starter deck to immediately be matched against someone with a fully-built tournament-level deck that they have virtually no chance of winning against. Frequently, this results in the new player having to wait for several minutes while their opponent performs several long combos to fill their field with powerful monsters that they have no response to. The experience is similar to watching someone play solitaire. Beginning with Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel‘s starter decks doesn’t help, as although they have combos, they lack speed and consistency. It’s obviously not a fun experience for the new player, and this happening too many times in a row could easily prove discouraging.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Needs To Ease New Players Into Dueling

Master Duel needs to let players more efficiently practice with their decks.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel does have a solo mode for dueling against the AI, but these duels largely consist of tutorials that are designed to teach players about game mechanics and using certain decks. While this mode does have some good rewards in the form of powerful cards such as Raigeki and Monster Reborn, it is still little more than a training mode rather than a series of legitimate duels. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is similar to MTG Arena in this sense, being much more focused on PvP. Because of this, players who want to duel have no choice other than to go into online matchmaking, which leads to the aforementioned problem of unbalanced duels.


There are a couple of potential solutions that could make Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel a much more welcoming game for newcomers. One would be an expansion of Solo Mode that allows players to face a selection of AI duelists similar to Duel Links. This would give players dueling experience without having to dive straight into the very difficult ranked duels. Another idea would be to tinker with the way that matchmaking works in order to keep duels more even. Perhaps an algorithm that takes into account both player skill as well as deck strength could be put into place, making it more likely that ranked duels will be evenly matched. With Master Duel already one of Steam’s top games, maintaining an active and happy player base should be paramount.


There is plenty to like about Master Duel, but it can be hard to enjoy when one is struggling to start playing. By making the game more friendly to new players, it could lead to a large community of eager players who will be enthusiastic about the game. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is a good game with plenty of potential. However, the developer behind the title still has plenty of room to make it better, especially for newcomers.

Next: Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel: Which Kuriboh Cards Are Best

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