When you drop into a match in The Cycle: Frontier, the fact that you don’t know what or who you’ll encounter is an intrinsic part of the design. That said, the game also does put solo players into the same match as those who are already in squads, and that has been a point of frustration for many players of the game’s beta. The game’s creative director Daze discussed this matter in a dev blog, explaining the rationale for mixing solo players and squads while also admitting that things need to be adjusted.
“We think there is a lot of special value in mixing solos and squads in the same instance,” Daze explains. “The Cycle: Frontier is so much about tense uncertainty, drama, and not knowing what waits around the corner… and the unpredictability in who has a friend and who doesn’t can add heaps to this (if done right). We want Fortuna III to be full of surprises, uncertainty, tension, and drama!”
With that said, Daze also agrees that squads have a few too many advantages over solo players, and so upcoming changes are in the works including changing matchmaking to weigh squads more heavily than solo players, which should potentially see squad players arriving with solo players less frequently without having to give both palystyles their own queue. Other plans include introducing solo-specific perks and adding more tools and gear specifically aimed at solo players to help them outsmart, counter, or avoid squads more easily.
Another benefit that squads have over solo players is more precise communication through a ping system; that system was removed in the latest patch, replacing it with a generic “Over there!” voice line and a point emote. The patch further reduced the carry weight of a wide variety of weapons and items, shortened the range of the Gorgon weapon, and introduced the aforementioned matchmaking features.