Modern Warfare 3 players want “excessive” SBMM tuned down ahead of full release

Ryan Lemay
Highrise in MW3Activision

In the wake of the Modern Warfare 3 beta, players want skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) tuned down before the game officially releases.

The MW3 beta officially shut its doors on October 16. As players sit around and reflect on their experience, Skill-based matchmaking sticks out like a sore thumb as one of the most controversial features. SBMM refers to the matchmaking system and algorithms a game uses to find other players for you to play with. 

Users find matches based on connection but also based on those with a similar skill level. In Call of Duty, the matchmaking algorithm is believed to consider your statistics, like time played, score per minute, and Kill/Death Ratio (KDR).

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Some community members argue that the system unfairly punishes higher-skilled players by constantly matching them against increasingly difficult opponents. And in the case of Modern Warfare 3, players believe the difficulty is cranked up to an all-time high.

Modern Warfare 3 players slam “unneeded” SBMM system

Call of Duty insider CharlieIntel argued: “Skill Based Matchmaking is something that is, unfortunately, needed in lobbies for casual players, but at the same time, has been tuned up way too much after MW 2019 in Call of Duty.”

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CharlieIntel added: “It is a bit excessive how quickly it throws you into try-hard lobbies in the last few years.”

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Other community members shared a similar sentiment.

One player wrote: “I just don’t understand playing the same skill level of yourself EVERY SINGLE lobby. Isn’t the purpose of ranked play to play those of the same skill? It Just kind of defeats the purpose.”

Other complaints stem from the devs not being transparent with how the system works. Everyone knows SBMM exists, but the Modern Warfare 3 devs have never explained how it actually impacts matches. A second user responded: “I wish they would AT LEAST talk about it. give us their reasons. After so many years of speculation, they’ve never said a single word.”

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Players are even willing to compromise and settle for a nerf rather than a complete removal. A third X user added: “Agreed. It just needs to be tuned down a little bit. There is no reason my fingers should be hurting after an hour of playing lol.”

As always, the interworkings of SBMM will most likely remain a mystery for the foreseeable future. But it’s also important to note that the beta only includes a small segment of the player base. So when Modern Warfare 3 releases officially in November, it could easily be a much different experience.

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About The Author

Ryan is a former games writer for Dexerto. Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer for the Morning Times newspaper before joining Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan.