Is Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2's Skill-based Matchmaking ruining the experience for casual players? Controversy explored

Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2
Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2's SBMM controversy explored (Image via Activision)

Skill-based Matchmaking has been one of the most controversial topics of discussion among the Warzone community since the game's release. With the new iteration nearing Season 2, the same question arises again.

Does Warzone 2 have Skill-based Matchmaking? If yes, then how does it work?

While Activision is yet to state any confirmation regarding the feature, there is definite proof of its availability in the latest release; however, concerns about its pros remain the same.

Multiple times, players have accused the developers of putting SBMM in the game and ruining the experience. While this feature is supposed to give players a fairer chance to fight opponents with the same skill level, why is it criticized so much? This article will cover all the hypotheses behind SBMM and its effect on the Call of Duty community.

What is SBMM in Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2?

SBMM in Call of Duty works similarly to other multiplayer games. It is an algorithm where players get matchmaking with opponents of the same skill level. While this does sound like a fair experience for everyone, according to many streamers and content creators, it creates a constant set of matches, and there will always be some players better than you.

The most accused con of SBMM is that it takes away room from casual players to fight in Warzone 2. The same applies to Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer as well.

How does SBMM affect the casual playerbase?

Ex Infinity Ward Executive Producer Mark Rubin posted on Twitter explaining SBMM's problems with Call of Duty.

According to him, SBMM or Engagement Based Matchmaking takes away variety from a match. You'll always go into a lobby where you will find players with slightly higher and lower KDs. This might seem fair, but if you are a casual gamer and do not want to spend hundreds of hours in a video game, it can get difficult.

If you improve yourself, you'll again fall under the same algorithm, setting the difficulty level of a match similar to your previous experience. Without SBMM, you might get killed by a high level player, or you can get into a lobby where you are the dominant one.

In a Reddit post, a user named u/SavageComedy explained that it is difficult to hop onto the game with their friends. If their teammates have a high KD, they'll automatically get into the same level lobby, which might ruin the experience for a casual player.

"My friends pop off with 1.5KD’s, 2.0KD’s or higher. I have no problem with them popping off and doing well, but what ends up happening is, when your friends pop off, the SBMM system kicks into FULL EFFECT, disbands the ENTIRE LOBBY, and re-queues based off of the previous games’ performance,"

Popular content creators like TimTheTatman, Expel, and many more have raised the issue of SBMM in grave detail. According to the Twitch streamer, the more you play, the more you get into harder lobbies.


The first match of your day will possibly be an easier lobby, and that's how Call of Duty attracts players to stay and play for a longer time; however, when SBMM kicks in, you'll probably end up with at least some who are way above your skill level, and that completely depends on how the recent games went in terms of performance.

Compiling all the evidence, it is fair to say that SBMM does ruin the experience for the casual playerbase on a grand scale, and it will be difficult for players to invest in both games for two more years if it is not fixed soon.

What is a possible fix for the SBMM problem in Warzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2?

While this whole argument is debatable, Activision is yet to confirm the hypothesis that streamers pan out. What can possibly be done is to create a ranked mode for Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2.

By adding that, players can choose their preference from the casual and ranked playlists. If matchmaking depends on rank, the skill should not be an issue, as you can always climb up or down the ladder.

However, there is no official information from the developers regarding the SBMM or the ranked mode in both Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2. Hence, fans will need to wait and see what the future holds for Call of Duty in the coming days.

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Edited by Anirudh Padmanabhan
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