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How the Tinder Algorithm Works: The Secret to Getting More Matches

  • 12 min read
  • Mark 

The Tinder Algorithm: How It Works and How to Get More Matches

If you are a user of the popular dating app Tinder, then you might have wondered how Tinder matches work and why you have shown certain potential matches, are people ranked?

Well, kind of, the Tinder algorithm has always relied on a ranking system to find the perfect match for people, it does this by rating the desirability of users based on how many swipes right they got and how many swipes right the user who liked them got too.  

However, from 2019 onwards Tinder does not use the Elo ranking system anymore and many other factors influence the Tinder algorithm nowadays to be considered, we’ve put all the important info down in our guide below to help you out.

Why Is Understanding Tinder’s Algorithm Important?

Many users of Tinder don’t consider how Tinder shows potential matches and desirable people, they instead just play the game, however, taking the time out to understand Tinder’s Algorithm is important to your success on the app. 

Once you know how the Algorithm works you can then use it to your advantage and score better, therefore be shown to higher ranking tinder matches.

The History Of Tinder’s Algorithm

Tinder’s complicated matchmaking algorithm has been around for a while although it has been said they no longer use their old ranking system.

The ELO ranking system which was used is the same ranking system that has been used in games such as chess and essentially rates the Tinder user a personal score based on many factors, but mostly on their attractiveness by keeping scores of the swipes.

Although Tinder nowadays does not use the ELO score system anymore they do use a similar method, we reckon it’s a mix of ELO and some other factors which we will dig into below. 

How Does The New Tinder Algorithm Work?

The new Tinder algorithm works by taking into account even more factors, for example, users are still ranked by attractive profiles from swipes, but also if you have an informative profile with lots of profile pictures for example. 

Its algorithm may also use other data to score your match rate with other users such as your Facebook, Spotify playlist and more, personal preferences are more in the mix this year. The new algorithm is also more affected by how you use the app and your behaviour, such as if you have an active profile or not and how you swipe.

Many people have also rumoured that the new Tinder algorithm is based on the Gale-Shapely algorithm which matches users on how much they could mutually like one another, this gives you different options to say no or yes to until you pick one stable match. 

This algorithm was created way back in 1962 as a stable marriage solution for people who needed to be matched.

External Factors Affecting Tinder’s Algorithm 

To make understanding Tinder’s Algorithm a little more simple we’ve listed the external factors of the app below which can affect how the algorithm works depending on a model user. 

Your Activity 

Tinder aims to match users and get them to meet in everyday life so you can have success in the app and your real-life dating, it will not rank users highly who do not use the app often.

The more of an active user you are on Tinder then the more Tinder will show you to other active users, they also rate you better because you are more likely to engage with the app and message back.


Another factor affecting the popular dating app algorithm is location, depending on whether you are will determine the tinder profile options you are shown since Tinder only wants you to meet up with users near you for real-life dating.

The ELO Score 

As we mentioned above, Tinder used to use the ELO score for ranking people and still do in some parts, the more swipes right you get, the more shown, therefore optimising your Tinder profile is very important if you want to do well in the algorithm.

What Was Wrong With The ELO Tinder Algorithm?

There were many sceptics against Tinder using the ELO algorithm due to the fact it was loosely based on just how attractive you were, this meant that people who were thought to look ‘desirable’ were ranking high all the time due to users swiping right, while people were not thought to look ‘desirable’ were ranking low. 

Many other factors come into play rather than appearing as to how two people can be compatible which is why Tinder’s new algorithm is said to move away from the old ELO model. 

Internal Factors Affecting Tinder’s Algorithm

Other factors which affect Tinder’s new algorithm are about how you use the app, your behaviour can dictate what Tinder shows to you, we’ve gone into further detail below.

The Tinder Profile 

Your Tinder profile is a huge factor that you can control that affects Tinder’s algorithm, to get a better desirability score and ranking for swipes per day you have to ensure you’ve got a strong profile.

Consider your main picture, make sure it’s a high-quality one showing your face, also load a good bio and fill in any other missing information on your profile.

Swiping Behaviour 

The way you interact with Tinder’s algorithm through swiping can change what you see, if you try and swipe right through thousands of people per day, Tinder will class you as being spam, therefore, will not rank your profile well in the algorithm. 

If you be selective with your swiping, Tinder will reward you by boosting you in the Algorithm for using the app properly.

Messaging Users 

The more you open up your Tinder app and message back users the more Tinder will rate you as a real and active user who is using the app properly. Always reply to messages and reach out rather than just gathering matches otherwise Tinder will likely show you fewer matches.

What About Super Swipe?

Many people wonder how Super Swipe works within the Tinder algorithm and if it ranks you higher or lower, super swipe is an option on the app which allows you to essentially double swipe on someone you like which will notify the Tinder user. 

Tinder likes users which use the super swipe since it shows pickiness and shows that you are using the app properly.

Do Tinder Gold And Tinder Plus Boost You On The Algorithm?

Paying out for Tinder gold or Tinder plus will not boost you by a huge amount in the Algorithm directly but paying out for these subscriptions will make you more likely to use the app which in turn will class you as a more active user, this can then boost you on the algorithm indirectly.

How To Score Better With Tinder’s Algorithm (Tinder Hacks!)

Now we know about all the factors which affect Tinder’s algorithm and what you can control, let’s discuss the different tricks and methods you can use to help you score better with the algorithm and get shown to more people.

Always Message Back 

A great way to get matched with a bunch of people and hack the Tinder algorithm is by messaging back as soon as you can. A key to this is also messaging back fast, don’t message back after days have passed otherwise you will be regarded as an inactive user.

Use The Features & Pay 

Although many factors affect how well you perform on Tinder such as your desirability score and physical appearance, one of the best ways to do better and hack the algorithm is by using the features which are on Tinder, even the paid ones (if your willing!).

Any new features you utilise or paid in-app features you buy will make you a more favourable user to Tinder.

Behave Well 

No inappropriate behaviour or over swiping on Tinder, always be on your best behaviour and be a good engaged active user to rank better on the algorithm.  

Better Yourself 

Keep updating your Tinder profile when you can, whether this means adding new info to your bio or updating your photos weekly, the more effort you put into your tinder profile the higher you will rank.

Use The App Everyday

Log into Tinder daily when you can, this will ensure Tinder knows your an active user and that you engage with the app all the time.

Try Tinder Passport

Tinder passport can be used while you travel to meet new matches in different places, it’s an excellent feature to try out and Tinder rates users who travel and use it highly, boosting you on the algorithm.

Never use Tinder passport when you are not travelling however since Tinder will downrank you and even ban you for misusing the app.

Reset The Account 

One of the newer hacks for hacking the Tinder algorithm is by resetting your account. This should be your last option as there is always a way of Tinder figuring out that you are resetting your account and you could potentially become shadowbanned.

What Algorithm Do Other Dating Apps Use?

As we have discussed, Tinder used an ALO system for rating its users’ matches, but what about other popular dating apps, do they also use the same algorithm?

  • Bumble – It is said that Bumble also uses an ALO system on their algorithm, people who swiped right (or super swiped) on you will also appear first to you, they do punish people who swipe right too often but unlike Tinder they do not care whether you are an active or inactive user.
  • Hinge – Hinge unlike Tinder and Bumbles uses the Gale-Shapley algorithm, this algorithm focuses on the type people of you like and presents you matches in terms of groups who all like a similar person in terms of interests and physical appearance.
  • Okcupid – OKcupid typically changes its algorithm by matching a percentage on how compatible you are with someone. Similar profile set-ups and responses to questions can match you similarly with someone.
  • Grindr – Grindr does not disclose much about the algorithm they use but they tend to also use a compatibility score, the more matching questions and the closer in proximity you are to another user, the higher you appear on someone else’s feed.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Use The Tinder Algorithm

Will tinder know all my interests? 

Tinder takes your interests from you Facebook, it does not however use all of your interest data, it can only see the ones which you have in common with someone else on the app to help them formulate a match and show you preferable people which you are more likely to swipe right on.

Why does your score drop when you sign up to Tinder after a while?

When you initially sign up to Tinder you do get a boost from the algorithm for you to find more matches straight away and have a good experience with the app (so as you will keep using it), overtime, unfortunately, this score can drop the less you use Tinder or the less you interact with other users on the app.

Does paying boost you higher on tinder?

Many people assume that if you pay out to use the futures on Tinder then it will give you an advantage over other Tinder users, while it is true you can get a boost for doing this, you could also achieve the same effects by using the app consistently and having a solid profile. 

Paying out for these features can boost you indirectly since you will be using the app more and staying active to not waste your money.

Do you do better on Tinder if you are more attractive? 

There was a time when Tinder was based on the ELO algorithm, this didn’t rate you higher according to how attractive you are but it does rate you higher according to how much other users find you desirable.

What’s the best way to boost yourself on Tinder algorithm? 

The best ways to hack the Tinder algorithm are by using the app daily, being active and replying to messages, being selective with your swiping and having a good profile, all of these help Tinder to identify you as a real user who is interested in finding a match.

Why have I been banned on Tinder?

Any spamming or abusive behaviour can get you banned on Tinder, if you are found to have multiple accounts you can also get banned.

Where did the ELO system come from on Tinder? 

The ELO system or algorithm originated in 1939 and was invented as a way to rank and score players to predict outcomes, for example, in chess games.

Does Tinder work? 

Tinder can indeed work to find your match if you are compatible with someone, you should, however, be careful with online dating apps as not everyone is looking for something serious, it’s best to state what you are looking for on your profile to avoid any disappointment.

What does shadowbanned mean on tinder? 

Shadowbanned on tinder means that you are technically banned from being swiped right on tinder, you can still log in to the app and use it as well as message, but you will not find any new matches. 

This type of banning can happen when one other user reports you for inappropriate behaviour, therefore banning you from meeting new people, one way to fix this is by messaging tinder support with the issue.

Final Words 

To conclude, the Tinder algorithm works by using elements of the ELO system and bases its algorithm on external factors such as location and usage as well as the swiping behaviour and profile details of its users showing compatible matches for people to keep using the app. 

You cannot exactly hack the Tinder algorithm in a specific way, but you can score better by putting more effort into your profile, being an engaged user and having selective swiping, avoiding being spammy and using the app how it’s meant to be used then the algorithm will reward you.



Mark is a Qualified Psychologist & An Algorithm Coach at some of the leading online dating sites. Besides his work, Mark enjoys writing about topics people tend to ask when starting out in the online dating scene, and hence the site A place to share insights and answer some of those pressing questions.View Author posts

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