You've probably seen your favorite YouTubers complain about skill-based matchmaking, but how much of a difference does it really make?
What is Skill-Based Matchmaking?
SBMM or Skill-Based Matchmaking is when the game puts you against the most equally matched players to your skill level. Essentially, it was put in to protect the lower-level players from those with much more experience.
Now, in theory, this sounds like a good thing. The problem, however, arises when an above-average player goes into a game.
A good player will always have to go against others of their skill level. This, in turn, leads to playing their best in every game, which can ruin the fun aspect of casual Multiplayer.
It's no surprise that Black Ops Cold War players want SBMM changed more than any other issue.
After all, if your game is filled with players all running Black Ops Cold War's most over-powered guns, you'll need to use them too just to keep up.
SBMM in Black Ops Cold War
In terms of Black Ops Cold War, the SBMM takes into account everything from your kill/death ratio to how many times you jump and slide in a game. If you were a low-rank player watching a high SBMM lobby, the game would be almost unrecognizable.
The highest of lobbies consist of the best of the best players, and by contrast, the lowest SBMM lobbies contain some players who don't even shoot back.
Reddit user CapptivatingRunner showed a clip of their experience being in the lowest bracket of skill-based matchmaking. Posting to the Black Ops Cold War subreddit, the user demonstrated just how severe the impact of SBMM can be.
As shown in the clip below, this lobby consists of a group of "protected" players. These low-skill users are placed in lobbies that are much easier, ensuring that they have a more enjoyable time in the game.
Put a single one of these players into a regular match and they likely wouldn't emerge with more than a single kill. In this way, Activision is able to protect the casual players that make up a large percentage of purchasers.
Why Do Call of Duty Games Use Skill-Based Matchmaking?
If a gamer is enjoying their experience, they're more likely to carry on playing. They're also more likely to spend money in-game and buy next year's installment too.
However, it's because of this Skill-Based Matchmaking that higher skill users struggle to enjoy the game. Those who grow better at playing will eventually end up in lobbies where they have to keep performing at 100% in order to place well.
Thankfully, there's a way to lower your SBMM in Black Ops Cold War.
For a while now, players have been hoping for a more permanent solution that just isn't surfacing. Despite heavy requests from fans, Treyarch doesn't seem to want to put a Ranked mode in the game.
The idea behind the concept is that here players that want heavy SBMM could focus on performance. Everyone else could simply be placed into a mix of all skill groups Casual lobby.
This would certainly help prevent Reverse Boosting in Black Ops Cold War. This controversial strategy has players performing poorly on purpose to get themselves into easier matches later.
Hopefully, we are able to see some form of Ranked mode implemented, with rewards for climbing up the ranks. For now, though, we'll have to wait and see what comes in future Black Ops Cold War updates.