Over the last few weeks Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players have voiced their frustration with the game’s skill-based matchmaking in multiplayer. It started once players began to notice it impacting their experience online, and has continued to impact the multiplayer environment. Now, however, SBMM has begun to affect those players that the system is seemingly designed to help.


On the surface, skill-based matchmaking is supposed to help match players with opponents that are in a similar skill “group.” So those Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players who are among the best should be regularly facing top tier opponents. But by manipulating the SBMM system, those same players are now ruining the multiplayer experience for players who are nowhere near the top.




Through what players are calling “reverse boosting,” top tier Modern Warfare gamers are tricking the system into thinking they are mediocre or below average. They do this by purposefully losing some matches in order to keep their last five matches on an even curve. Since the SBMM system in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare works by only looking at a player’s last 5 matches, these individuals can continuously keep their record low and end up matched with lesser opponents.


Across Reddit and forums there are plenty of threads with players voicing their frustrations. These players acknowledge that they are not as skilled as the top tier Call of Duty fan, and yet somehow they get matched with significantly better players. So while skill-based matchmaking is supposed to keep every Call of Duty: Modern Warfare player in their appropriate “tier,” many at the bottom rung are finding the system is actually hurting their experience.




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What’s so interesting about these reports is that SBMM is almost universally despised by top tier multiplayer gamers. Destiny 1 and 2 lost a lot of favor with the PvP community because of SBMM and Modern Warfare is following a similar path. Players are frustrated by the system because it forces them to be “on their game” for every match and it leads to long loading times for those players at the top. Yes, it also prevents stat-padding, but that is another issue entirely.


Given the reaction to skill-based matchmaking in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare thus far, there is a high likelihood that developer Infinity Ward will update and fine-tune the system to eliminate this type of abuse. There’s no guarantee that the system will go away, though, so players might as well get used to it.


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