What is the difference between a skill floor and ceiling?

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Help me understand these terms. I wasnt even aware a skill floor was a thing until this game, and ive been gaming since i was about 4.
Highly Rated
Skill floor = minimum amount of skill needed to get value out of (or be good with) the hero.

Skill ceiling = maximum amount of value you can get out of a hero, despite having more mechanical skill that goes unused.

Generally speaking, Winston has a lower "skill" ceiling because he requires less aim, but I put skill in quotes because situational awareness, timing, and whatnot are also "skills", just not mechanical skills.

The highest skill ceilings in the game (and most games) typically belong to snipers, because there's a theoretical level of mechanical skill that would allow a player to be so good that every shot is a headshot. This is purely "theoretical" because this level of skill is typically never actually reached, however.
skill floor is the ease in which a character can be used competently, skill ceiling is how effective a hero can be if played well.
Skill floor describes how easy a character is to pick up, or how easy it is to be effective with them. Heroes like Junkrat and Pharah have a really low skill floor, which means that they're easy to pick up.

Skill ceiling dictates how powerful a character can be in the most skilled hands, and how much those skilled hands will be capable of doing what regular players can't.
Heroes like Widowmaker and Genji have some of the highest skill ceilings in the game.
For example:

Lucio has a HIGH skill floor/HIGH skill ceiling, meaning that you can still be pretty useful as a Lucio with just a basic understanding of his abilities(you can just run around with your healing AOE and do nothing else and still be OK), but he also is hard to master.

Genji has a LOW skill floor/HIGH skill ceiling, meaning that with just a basic low level knowledge of Genji, you will get wrecked over and over again. You'll suck. You need to have a good amount of practice with him to be even a little useful. But he also takes a LOT of practice to master.

I hesitate to say ANY hero has a low skill ceiling, because all characters have their nuances... but some of the heroes I personally think have a LOW skill ceiling would be say Winston.

With Winston, as a LOW skill ceiling, You don't really need any aim with Winston, his skills are pretty basic to learn and to master. Game sense, when to jump, when to drop a shield, those require more practice, but they are not what I would consider HIGH skill ceiling.

Widowmaker has a LOW skill floor, LOW skill ceiling. WIdow is all about aim, you have it or you don't. The rest of her kit is relatively easy to master. She a low skill floor in that you HAVE to have good aim in order to do anything useful with her, but also a LOW skill ceiling in that if you have fantastic aim, that's all there is too it. Obviously, as with every other character, positioning and game sense comes into play... but for just her kit, her skill set, she is LOW floor, LOW ceiling.

A low skill floor means hard to learn the basics well enough to not die all the time. A high skill floor means that you can be relatively good with little skill.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=AQ4BAG520LY

High skill floor: Lucio
Low skill floor: WM

High skill ceiling: Genji
Low skill ceiling: Symmetra
09/15/2017 01:46 PMPosted by Warchild

A low skill floor means hard to learn the basics well enough to not die all the time. A high skill floor means that you can be relatively good with little skill.


You have that backwards, man.

Skill floor = difficulty to learn the character

skill ceiling = overall potential to keep improving with the character

So, Lucio would be considered low skill floor because he's really easy to learn. He automatically buffs his teammates simply be being alive and near them. You don't need to be able to aim to play him effectively since he's a healer. So at his most basic, you need to just be alive and aware of what song you're on(healing/speed) and maybe spacial awareness to understand how many people you're boosting.

Someone like Genji would be high skill floor since it takes a lot to learn to play him effectively. He is DPS, his weapon can be tricky to aim effectively, his abilities are high risk/high reward. In other words, it may not be as clear how to play him properly immediately.

When you say someone has a low skill ceiling, that means their potential is fairly low.

One example is that some people would argue that Mercy has a low skill ceiling because outside of making sure her rez gets good value, there's only so much she can do.

Heroes like Genji have high skill ceilings because there is a lot of room to improve between being a good Genji vs being a great Genji. And you can tell a distinct difference between them.
09/15/2017 01:56 PMPosted by c2dizzl3
09/15/2017 01:46 PMPosted by Warchild

A low skill floor means hard to learn the basics well enough to not die all the time. A high skill floor means that you can be relatively good with little skill.


You have that backwards, man.

Skill floor = difficulty to learn the character

skill ceiling = overall potential to keep improving with the character


No... I am correct. You have it backwards.

lucio's floor and ceiling are close together, genji's are far apart.

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floor

a low skill floor means it is more difficult. a high skill floor means it's easier to contribute with low level of knowledge.
09/15/2017 02:13 PMPosted by Warchild
a high skill floor means it's easier to contribute with low level of knowledge.
That's what a low floor is. Skill ceiling is a cap, how good you CAN be. Floor is a minimum requirement. You do have it backwards.
09/15/2017 02:13 PMPosted by Warchild
a low skill floor means it is more difficult. a high skill floor means it's easier to contribute with low level of knowledge.
Man.. Do you even know common sense?
09/15/2017 02:13 PMPosted by Warchild
09/15/2017 01:56 PMPosted by c2dizzl3
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You have that backwards, man.

Skill floor = difficulty to learn the character

skill ceiling = overall potential to keep improving with the character


No... I am correct. You have it backwards.

lucio's floor and ceiling are close together, genji's are far apart.

ceiling
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floor

a low skill floor means it is more difficult. a high skill floor means it's easier to contribute with low level of knowledge.


How does low skill become more difficult and high skill become easier?

Something that has low skill requirement is easier and something with a high skill is more difficult.

The floor represents the basics and the ceiling represents mastering the hero beyond the average player skill.


No... I am correct. You have it backwards.

lucio's floor and ceiling are close together, genji's are far apart.

a low skill floor means it is more difficult. a high skill floor means it's easier to contribute with low level of knowledge.


No.... Skill floor and ceiling are independent definitions.

Skill floor is the perceived entry point. If the skill floor is low, then its entry point is easier. In this case, that would mean the character is easy to learn.

Skill ceiling is max potential.

You can't merge the two terms and say that the space between the floor and ceiling is equal to the character's difficulty to learn and master.
you guys are all wrong, but stick with what you think is correct.

a skill floor is HOW BAD CAN I BE.
a skill ceiling is HOW GOOD CAN I BE.

Create a scale, 0(floor) to 100(ceiling).... 0 is useless, 100 is useful. THIS IS CORRECT.

Your scale would be 0(floor)-100(ceiling), 0 being useful, 100 also being useful. That makes no sense. THIS IS INCORRECT.

a really bad Genji could be considered a 0, completely useless. Doesn't get any kills, charges the enemy team, dies, gives them Ult charge.

On that same scale, a really bad Lucio would be like a 40. Lucio has a HIGHER skill floor than Genji because even with no skill as Lucio, you'll still be giving your team a pretty decent benefit. You can't go lower than 40, no matter how bad you are. Unlike Genji who can go all the way down to 0.

That is how that works.
you guys are all wrong, but stick with what you think is correct.

a skill floor is HOW BAD CAN I BE.
a skill ceiling is HOW GOOD CAN I BE.

Create a scale, 0 to 100....

a really bad Genji could be considered a 0, completely useless. Doesn't get any kills, charges the enemy team, dies, gives them Ult charge.

On that same scale, a really bad Lucio would be like a 40. Lucio has a HIGHER skill floor than Genji because even with no skill as Lucio, you'll still be giving your team a pretty decent benefit.

That is how that works.


Where did you find this definition, because when I search for skill floor and skill ceiling, everything I see is.... not that...
you guys are all wrong, but stick with what you think is correct.

a skill floor is HOW BAD CAN I BE.
a skill ceiling is HOW GOOD CAN I BE.

Create a scale, 0 to 100....

a really bad Genji could be considered a 0, completely useless. Doesn't get any kills, charges the enemy team, dies, gives them Ult charge.

On that same scale, a really bad Lucio would be like a 40. Lucio has a HIGHER skill floor than Genji because even with no skill as Lucio, you'll still be giving your team a pretty decent benefit.

That is how that works.

That is completely incorrect, but you seem to be really convinced that you're the sole person that has it right.
09/15/2017 02:34 PMPosted by Warchild
you guys are all wrong
See the skill floor as some kind of stair.

Some stairs are easy to climb up, because they're low. Other stairs are higher, so more effort is required to reach the higher level.

Some stairs are short (low skill ceiling) and some are longer (high skill ceiling).
09/15/2017 02:13 PMPosted by Warchild
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a low skill floor means it is more difficult

You've got it backwards.

Low skill floor means:

The floor is so low that even a noob can play it.

Because the floor is LOW ENOUGH for noobs to step on.

While your take is that:

Even though the floor is so low, only experts can play it.

And that even though the floor is LOW ENOUGH, noobs still can't step on it.

You do not make sense.

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High skill floor means:

The floor is so high that only experts can play it.

Because the floor is TOO HIGH for noobs to step on.

While your take is that:

Even though the floor is so high, noobs can still play it.

And that even though the floor is TOO HIGH, noobs can still step on it.

Again, you do not make sense.
09/15/2017 12:59 PMPosted by Destian
Skill floor = minimum amount of skill needed to get value out of (or be good with) the hero.

Completely misunderstanding the term. The high number of upvotes shows how commonly misconstrued this term is!

Watch this video. It explains the concept super well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ4BAG520LY

Seriously, WATCH IT!

09/15/2017 12:59 PMPosted by Disco
skill floor is the ease in which a character can be used competently, skill ceiling is how effective a hero can be if played well.

Yes. The higher the skill floor, the "easier" the character is to be effective with at a basic level.

For instance, Lucio has a higher skill floor than Widowmaker, meaning a bad Lucio will still get some value because his skill floor is high enough to get value by default due to his auras (although less so now than before his rework). A bad Widowmaker has an incredibly LOW skill floor because a bad Widow can potentially get zero value for his or her team.

Oppositely, Widowmaker arguably has a higher skill ceiling than Lucio because a Widowmaker with "godlike" aim could theoretically win games by getting perfect kills constantly on every hero under 300 HP.

09/15/2017 02:58 PMPosted by LedFox
High skill floor means:

The floor is so high that only experts can play it.

Because the floor is TOO HIGH for noobs to step on.

I think you're getting floor and ceiling mixed up.

09/15/2017 02:20 PMPosted by AdunSaveMe
09/15/2017 02:13 PMPosted by Warchild
a high skill floor means it's easier to contribute with low level of knowledge.
That's what a low floor is. Skill ceiling is a cap, how good you CAN be. Floor is a minimum requirement. You do have it backwards.

Nope, he's right. You're the one who's getting it backwards. Watch the video.
You are using skill floor as the definition of barrier to entry. But that isn't an actual skill floor, there is no scale that makes sense of the words skill floor and skill ceiling, in your usage.

Please, in your words, describe what kind of mathematical scale we're working with.
09/15/2017 02:34 PMPosted by Warchild
you guys are all wrong, but stick with what you think is correct

You are now under Cognitive Dissonance.

Your brain has just discovered that something you thought about the world, is not how you thought it was.

Many brains can't handle this. (look it up, there are studies on this)

And will try to "re-interpret" things to fit their previous world-view.

It takes a flexible & adaptable brain to actually take the new information in.

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