SBMM in MW2 is a term we just can’t stop hearing about, so here’s a full breakdown on what exactly Skill-Based Matchmaking means for players.
If you’re a Call of Duty fan, chances are you’ve heard the term SBMM being thrown around. The game’s community is so passionate on the subject that the hashtag #SBMM was even trending shortly before Modern Warfare 2’s release.
But what exactly is Skill-Based Matchmaking and what does it mean for MW2?
What Is SBMM in Call of Duty?
SBMM refers to Skill-Based Matchmaking, a system that aims to match players with those of similar skill levels in online multiplayer.
The purpose of the system is to ensure that new or weaker players don’t go up against seasoned pros, and allows those high-skill users to find a sufficient challenge of their own.
Essentially, SBMM means that lobbies aren’t put together at random, and all players that you encounter should boast a similar Kill/Death ratio to yourself.
Perform particularly well in a few matches and players may find themselves going up against tougher opponents. Have a few rough games where you’re at the bottom of the leaderboard and things should soon get easier as your hidden SBMM ranking lowers.
Does MW2 Have SBMM?
Yes, Modern Warfare 2 will have similar Skill-Based Matchmaking to Call of Duty Vanguard and Black Ops Cold War before it.
Activision often refuses to comment on SBMM in general, but the publisher always puts the function in its COD multiplayer.
It’s the addition of strict SBMM that leads to COD lobbies disbanding after each match, a feature that fans have been begging Activision to change for years.
After listening to some Beta feedback, Infinity Ward confirms that it will be letting some lobbies stay together after certain games. But this won’t always be possible, due to SBMM ranks changing for each player after matches.
Can You Lower Your SBMM Level For Easier MW2 Lobbies?
In theory, it’s possible to lower your SBMM level for easier lobbies in MW2.
In the past, we’ve seen players ‘reverse boosting’ in Call of Duty games, by performing badly for several matches which in turn tanks their SBMM ranking. They can then enjoy an easier lobby before the game detects they’ve been placed incorrectly.
We’ve also seen a trick where players load into a game on a secondary lower-ranked account, before joining that game with their main account. This method allows players to take advantage of SBMM by using it to find easy lobbies that aren’t designed for their account.
Finally, there’s the VPN method that has been making the rounds in Warzone for some time. The theory there is that changing your region to areas of the globe with a lower population will generally lead to you finding easier lobbies overall.
Why Do Fans Hate Skill-Based Matchmaking?
The vocal Call of Duty fans are so outspokenly against Skill-Based Matchmaking because they want lobbies to be mixed-skill, rather than being full of players at their own level.
High-skill players want a break from being placed in top-ranked lobbies where they must play the meta and try their hardest or get crushed by those that are doing so.
Fans claim to want lobbies to be randomized in skill level, allowing for a more ‘classic’ COD experience. It’s understandable that better players are annoyed at having to play at a high level every game when sometimes they just want to relax or try out an off-meta pick.
That said, the ones most vocal about removing SBMM tend to be the ones that would end up benefiting from no SBMM. This is because they would stomp most games if the system were removed.
SBMM is a good thing for lower-skill players though, to avoid them being placed against the most dominant members of the game’s community. And having a protected bracket for new or weaker players only serves to keep the title’s servers healthy and active.
It’s also worth noting that content creators are often the most vocal anti-SBMM community members. And when TimTheTatman reveals that he won’t be streaming MW2 due to SBMM, his views end up being parroted by a lot of his fanbase, even those unknowingly benefitting from the system.
And it’s not just SBMM that players hate in MW2 either. Check out everything wrong with Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer here.