Call of duty

CoD YouTubers reveal surprising results from Modern Warfare SBMM tests

by Albert Petrosyan

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Skill-based matchmaking has become a very hot topic in the Call of Duty community, so popular YouTubers Drift0r and TheXclusiveAce have conducted in-game tests to determine whether or not it's the way matchmaking has been set up in Modern Warfare.

Skill-based matchmaking took center stage in the CoD community way back when Modern Warfare was still in beta, after apparent evidence surfaced that developers Infinity Ward had implemented it into their 2019 title.

No one really knows whether or not this is the case, but with Infinity Ward sharing no details about how matchmaking works, more and more players are becoming convinced SBMM definitely exists.

With this in mind, longtime CoD YouTubers Drift0r and TheXclusiveAce performed some in-game tests to get to the bottom of this issue, compiling all of the data that they collected into an online file that's available for everyone to see.

Activision
Activision
Infinity Ward have revealed almost no details about how matchmaking works in Modern Warfare.

What kind of in-game tests were performed?

Both Drift0r and TheXclusiveAce used three separate accounts, one with lower-end stats and K/D ratio, one towards the average, and one higher than normal, and in Drift0r's case, extremely high.

They loaded into five separate matches using each of their three accounts and took down information about everyone else in the lobby, including stats like their levels, K/D ratios, win-loss record, score per minute, and more.

That means the YouTubers had a combined 30 lobbies-worth of data to use in determining whether or not SBMM is the primary device used in Modern Warfare matchmaking.

Infinity Ward
Infinity Ward
Some players are convinced full SBMM exists in Modern Warfare, although the YouTubers' tests seem to indicate it doesn't.

 

What conclusions did they come to?

Here is a breakdown of everything the two were able to conclude based on the data they collected from their tests:

  • Skill-based matchmaking is NOT the primary matchmaking system used in Modern Warfare, which prioritizes connection to the best server.
  • Players with higher stats like K/D ratio, win-loss record, and more do not necessarily always match together.
  • Matchmaking seems to heavily match together players with similar ranks and levels.
  • It appears that, in some cases, players are matched up based on recent performances, but not their overall lifetime stats. Tests indicate that this is based on players' performances over their last five games.
  • Although a full SBMM system does not appear to be present, there seems to be a matchmaking rating (MMR) that helps determine which players should be match up.

You can watch both YouTubers' videos explaining their tests and results below:

So, what does this mean?

Contrary to what a lot of players believe, the results from these tests indicate there is no full skill-based matchmaking system present in Modern Warfare.

That said, both YouTubers did conclude there seems to be some sort of MMR system in place that plays a role in determining which players get put in the same lobbies, so it's not entirely connection-based.

At the end of the day, until Infinity Ward themselves reveal how matchmaking works in Modern Warfare, no one will be able to say with 100% whether or not there is SBMM, or how strong it is.