SBMM is a highly controversial topic for Call of Duty fans, but why does Activision put it in the game if so many players hate it?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3’s Multiplayer component has been almost universally praised. Whether it is the faster movement, slower time-to-kill, or the return of iconic maps, players are having a great time.

Despite this, there’s one feature in MW3 that draws lots of criticism, and many players wish was removed. Of course, we are talking about skill-based matchmaking – otherwise known as SBMM.

In this article, we are going to explain what SBMM actually is and why Activision puts it in Call of Duty titles.

What Is Skill-Based Matchmaking?

Skill-based matchmaking is a popular system used in many multiplayer games to ensure that all players are put into lobbies with opponents of a similar skill level.

To do this, games will analyze statistics such as your Kill/Death ratio, average score per match, and even the total time you have played the game.

It then sorts you into a lobby based primarily on your skill, and considers factors like ping and connection afterwards.

MW3 Soldiers walking of helicopter

In theory, SBMM should make the game more enjoyable for players as everyone plays matches against opponents who are roughly as good as them. This ensures that everyone has a chance of winning and that matches don’t become too one-sided.

Despite this, there are loads of complaints about MW3’s SBMM, and plenty asking for skill-based matchmaking to be removed!

Why Does Call of Duty Have SBMM?

Activision has not released a statement on why SBMM is in Call of Duty titles. However, we believe that it is to keep casual gamers playing for longer.

In the age of Battle Passes, skins, and bundles, player retention is everything, as publishers want as many players as possible making in-game purchases. And to maximize in-game purchases, you need to maximize the player count.

This is where SBMM comes in.

Season 6 Battle Pass MW2

To put it simply, SBMM makes Call of Duty more enjoyable for the majority of casual players. This is because it stops them from being put in lobbies with highly-skilled players who will easily beat them.

From a business point of view, it makes sense to appeal to casual players, as they are much more likely to drop the game if they aren’t having fun. And if players aren’t playing, then they certainly aren’t making in-game purchases.

Meanwhile, hardcore Call of Duty fans will likely play the latest release even if they don’t like SBMM. Plus, they will probably make in-game purchases regardless of skill-based matchmaking.

Unfortunately, this means that highly-skilled players have to suffer with SBMM placing them in difficult lobbies.

Although, if you want a Modern Warfare 3 experience without SBMM, there’s one game mode you could try. It seems like MW3’s War Mode may not have skill-based matchmaking!

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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