Fans are already calling on Sledgehammer Games to remove SBMM in MW3, even though the latest Call of Duty title is yet to be released.

One of the most controversial elements of Call of Duty in recent years is the introduction of SBMM.

This feature aims to pair players with others at their skill level, and while that sounds good on paper, it frustrates a vocal part of the community to no end.

Fans Want SBMM Removed From MW3

Call of Duty MW3 may not be out yet, but fans are already demanding the removal of Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM) from the game.

Modern Warfare 3 will be the latest Call of Duty title to feature SBMM, a hidden mechanic that has caused a great deal of controversy in recent years.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a number of posts on the steadily growing MW3 subreddit and across social media, calling for Sledgehammer Games to remove the feature.

But according to CharlieIntel, a community member invited to several Call of Duty events, Activision simply refuses to talk about it, even in person.

Even in the MW3 Beta, players were discovering that SBMM was as strong as ever:

“My friends were conflicted about playing the beta with me…” Reddit user Big_Tuna13 writes. “They were getting destroyed in my lobbies. I’m not sure if it’s the case for everyone, but SBMM made it impossible for my less skilled friends to have a good time with me in the lobby.”

Many users call for SBMM to be removed from MW3, at least in non-ranked modes. Others have accepted that, after years of complaining, the feature doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

And some users are instead looking to Ubisoft’s upcoming shooter XDefiant, which promises not to have Skill-Based Matchmaking in its casual modes.

What Is SBMM in COD MW3?

Skill-Based Matchmaking (often abbreviated to SBMM) is a mechanic that aims to place users in lobbies with other players of a similar skill level.

The feature’s goal is to ensure that weaker players don’t end up in high-skill lobbies. It also means that more talented players will face off against other experienced users, to ensure a fair challenge.

MW3 Highrise Multiplayer

That all sounds good in theory, so why are players complaining?

Why Is SBMM Bad in Call of Duty?

The reason that many fans believe that SBMM is a bad thing is because they want to return to mixed-skill COD lobbies.

People remember playing MW2 and Black Ops back in the day with lobbies full of players ranging from those new players to Call of Duty veterans, and believe that was a more fun way to play.

While SBMM is great for lower skill levels and new players, the problem arises as you get better at the game.

MW3 Armory of Guns

Talented Call of Duty players are put in games with users at their (higher) skill level, and many believe this to be a less fun experience. After all, harder players mean fewer massive kill streaks, and games where you’re top of the leaderboard are few and far between.

A Less Fun Experience for the Experienced Gamers

On top of that, at higher levels, running anything but the most dominant loadouts or playing casually without ‘sweating’ will lead to a poor experience, as you’re met with nothing but a lobby full of hardcore players with meta builds.

Sometimes, extremely talented players even find that their lobbies are stacked against them, with their team filled with weaker players and the system expecting their skill to balance out the match.

And should you party up with a friend who’s not as good at the game, that player will be thrown into your harder lobbies too.

Ghost with a Knife in MW3

What’s more, if there are only a few high-skill players in your area, your connection to the servers may be worse, due to MW3 prioritizing to group users by skill instead of connection strength.

It’s because of this system that some players try to tank their SBMM rating, by losing many games intentionally to lower the skill level of the lobbies they’re placed in.

Despite player outcry once again, we don’t think this will be the year that Activision acknowledges SBMM publically. After all, the company can clearly see the system working for casual users, who no doubt make up the largest chunk of the player base.

Managing Editor
Max has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a lover of all things video games, situated in Manchester, United Kingdom.
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