Call of Duty has finally released its long-awaited explanation about matchmaking in MW3 and Warzone, and has also addressed fan concerns about SBMM!

Skill-based matchmaking, otherwise known as SBMM, has been a controversial topic in the Call of Duty community for years. Many players think it ruins the game and gives them unfairly difficult lobbies all the time.

Fortunately, after plenty of fan pressure to address it, the Call of Duty team has finally revealed how matchmaking works!

How Does Call of Duty Decide Matchmaking

The most important factor in Call of Duty matchmaking is Ping, ensuring all players have a good connection. The second most important factor is Time to Match, so everyone is sorted into a game quickly.

Then, Call of Duty also considers these other factors when matchmaking:

  • Playlist Diversity
  • Recent Maps / Modes
  • Skill / Performance
  • Input Device
  • Platform
  • Voice Chat

While Skill / Performance is still considered, Call of Duty has confirmed that it is a secondary factory when matchmaking in MW3 and Warzone. This puts it behind both Ping and Time to Match.

However, an explanation behind the skill consideration when matchmaking has also been offered.

Call of Duty Multiplayer Matchmaking Process

Why Is Skill Considered in Matchmaking?

Matchmaking in all Call of Duty titles considers Skill and Performance factors as it ensures a better experience for all players.

Firstly, using skill level when sorting into lobbies ensures that lower-skilled casual players are not going to lose every game. If players of lower skill levels lose every time, they will leave matches, causing unbalanced teams, and possibly stop playing altogether.

“We use player performance to ensure that the disparity between the most skilled player in the lobby and the least skilled player in the lobby isn’t so vast that players feel their match is a waste of time.”

Call of Duty Staff
MW3 Operator firing weapon on Rust

Secondly, employing skill-based matchmaking ensures that the game has a healthy player count. If casual players stop playing Call of Duty altogether, then matches become harder for everyone as the average skill level of players rises, and the time to sort into a game also increases.

This is certainly the case, as Warzone is much harder to win now than it was even a year ago!

Call of Duty has also addressed the effect of ‘SBMM’ on high-skill players, who complain about “sweaty lobbies”.

In response to this, Call of Duty says:

“We have heard this feedback clearly and will continue to test and actively explore ways to mitigate this concern.”

Call of Duty Staff
Warzone player standing over another

Will Call of Duty Remove SBMM?

It seems extremely unlikely that Call of Duty will remove skill-based matchmaking as it is standard practice for almost every multiplayer game.

Additionally, Call of Duty claims to run regular tests on the effect of using skill when sorting players into lobbies. These tests have always concluded it is better for games in the series, whether that is classic multiplayer titles like MW3 or the battle royale of Warzone.

However, CoD developers have considered removing SBMM from certain playlists and will “continue to examine if this idea makes sense”.

Warzone Ghost and other Operators

Make sure to read the full Matchmaking Intel post on the Call of Duty blog to get more information about how lobby sorting works, as well as some answers to FAQs about SBMM in MW3 and Warzone.

Senior Staff Writer
Django grew up with a PlayStation controller in his hands and loves all kinds of games, from Football Manager to Yakuza.
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