MW2 ranked play: Skill-based matchmaking explained

modern warfare 2 operator in ranked playActivision

Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) continues to be controversial in Call of Duty and gaming, but does MW2 Ranked Play use it? Here’s everything you need to know about Ranked Play SBMM.

Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play scratches the competitive itch for players looking for more than a normal public match. Ranked Play uses the Call of Duty League ruleset, which restricts certain guns, equipment, and killstreaks. Additionally, the mode features a limited pool of game modes and map combinations.

Players climb the ranks and earn new Skill Divisions by winning matches. CDL pros have made it their mission to earn a spot in the illustrious top 250, but some have already abandoned Ranked Play due to rampant cheating.

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Community members have also raised concerns over the mode’s unbalanced matchmaking system, so let’s take a deep dive into how SBMM works in MW2’s Ranked Play.

How does skill-based matchmaking work in MW2 Ranked Play?

CDL operators in Modern Warfare 2 ranked mode are just one of the incoming rewards.Activision
CDL operators in Modern Warfare 2 ranked mode are just one of the rewards.

In Ranked Play, players gain and lose SR based on whether they win or lose a match. Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play uses a Skill Rating system and seven Skill Divisions, going from Bronze up to Iridescent.

Skill-based matchmaking in Ranked Play restricts who you can team with, based on their Skill Division. However, it does not account for said Skill Ratings for opponents.

Here are the party restriction rules.

  • Bronze through Platinum players can party up with no restrictions.
  • Diamond and Crimson players can only form parties with and play against other players within two Skill Divisions.
  • Iridescent and Top 250 Players can only form parties with and play against other players within one Skill Division.

Why are MW2 players unhappy with Ranked Play’s matchmaking?

Despite these changes, MW2 players are displeased with how Ranked Play matches teams. Because SBMM does not account for opponents’ Skill Divisions, it can lead to extremely unbalanced matches.

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For instance, a frustrated MW2 player posted an image on Reddit of three silver players and a gold player going up against a squad comprised of one gold, two diamond, and one silver ranked user.

One player responded, “Playing against plats as silver/bronze is making me want to quit ranked.”

A second community member added, “This is the one mode where it should be easy to do skill-based matchmaking – just put people in the same rank in a game together. And yet.”

Just as the case with matchmaking in Modern Warfare 2’s casual multiplayer mode, Treyarch is tight-lipped about its matchmaking system for Ranked Play. But players are certainly hoping some of these issue are resolved in the future.

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