Modern Warfare skill based matchmaking

A common theory throughout the past years in Call of Duty has been that skill-based matchmaking exists. Known as “SBMM” in the community, this mechanic places players in public lobbies with players of similar skill. So, theoretically, if you hold a 2.0 kill/death ratio, you will be matched up with other players who own a similar KDR. While this may sound like a good mechanic to developers or lower-end players, it’s widely disliked by the community.

Within Modern Warfare, it seems as though the SBMM has been cranked to a whole new level. Although some version of SBMM is in every Call of Duty, Modern Warfare public matches feel like the CDL Championship. With this experience so far, some Call of Duty YouTubers decided to go in-depth and test for strict SBMM. Let’s see what they found in their testing.

Skill-based matchmaking in Modern Warfare

As stated before, some level of SBMM exists in every Call of Duty. There is a certain bracket for players who are either completely new to video games or simply aren’t as good at the game. This bracket is in place for them, so they can match up with other players of similar skill.

However, what we’re talking about today is strict skill-based matchmaking. This means that public lobbies are solely decided by your skill and not by connection like it should be. YouTubers Drift0r and TheXclusiveAce partnered up to test and analyze if there is, in fact, strict skill-based matchmaking in Modern Warfare.

Both videos are around 17-18 minutes long, so here’s the rundown if you can’t watch the videos in their entirety. Essentially, your overall KDR and win/loss ratio doesn’t affect your matchmaking. If you own a 1.5 KDR, it doesn’t mean you automatically get matched up with others who hold that same KDR.

Still, the YouTubers found that strict SBMM does exist in some capacity. Modern Warfare tends to match you up with players of similar skill based on your previous games. So, for example, if you post a high KDR in Domination for five straight matches, you will most likely get thrown into lobbies with players who did similarly well.

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Conversely, if you have a string of poor matches, your lobbies will tend to be easier than what you might expect. While this isn’t as bad as it could be, it technically is strict SBMM. With this information out in the open, players will want an explanation from Infinity Ward.

What do you think of skill-based matchmaking in COD? Let us know, and keep up with Daily Esports for all Modern Warfare coverage.

Joey Carr
Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 5+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.

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