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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Test Reveals How SBMM Works

Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been a hot-button issue for the game since its release. Fans of the title have claimed that the system has worked to make their experience miserable and have called on Infinity Ward many times to try and convince them to remove the system. But some new data questions whether or not skill-based matchmaking actually is in Modern Warfare.

To clarify, the general issue people have with SBMM is "network connection." The idea works like this: doing well in a Modern Warfare match forces the matchmaking system to prioritize pairing you with people of equal skill level rather than people with a similar connection.

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YouTubers Drift0r and XclusiveAce partnered together to gather data on how the matchmaking system truly works. They then compiled this data into a Google Doc for fans to take a look at for themselves. The group's findings reveal that while there is a skill-based matchmaking system, it doesn't seem to work quite like fans think it does. The pair gathered their results by using Netduma routers to test various connections because they show server locations and pings. They used two sets of three accounts with each YouTuber testing on a set containing a low-, medium-, and high-skill level profile. The goal was to see if low-skill accounts managed to grab better connections than high-skill accounts. The pair recorded every match to check the stats of the players they matched with. When all was said and done, they came to five key conclusions:

The matchmaking doesn't seem to prioritize skill over the connection. High-stat players don't seem to match together. Players of a similar level, however, do seem to match together. The system also appears to match based on recent performances in the last five games. Finally, there does seem to be a hidden MMR (matchmaking rank system).

What does this all mean exactly? In short, there are not enough variables to test how the matchmaking for this game really works. Some things are more surefire than others, and fans can take away what they want from the data, but the whole is nothing genuinely concrete.

Despite the commotion skill-based matchmaking is causing in the community, Infinity Ward has yet to comment on it. The game developers have neither confirmed or denied whether or not skill-based matchmaking is in the game or described how exactly the matchmaking system works. Regardless of whether or not SBMM is in the game, however, something about the matching system has a large part of the community riled up, and it will stay that way until Infinity Ward decides to address it.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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