What is SBMM in Modern Warfare 2? Skill-Based Matchmaking Explained

Are you for or against SBMM?

by Elliott Gatica

An ongoing debate about matchmaking is taking internet forums and social media by storm. With the release of Modern Warfare 2, the topic of skill-based matchmaking, or SBMM, is at the forefront of its multiplayer. The game is going to have it at launch, and it has the community divided. For those who don’t know what it is, we’ll explain it below.

Related: How to get and see active XP tokens in Modern Warfare 2 on Dot Esports

What is SBMM in Modern Warfare 2?

SBMM is a type of system put in place in multiplayer games where you are matched up with people at or around the same skill level as you. This tries to prevent your matches from being one-sided. It makes your matches more balanced overall, which is something that’s already in ranked modes for typical shooters.

This has been a point of contention since SBMM’s first implementation about two console generations ago. The system isn’t perfect and there are still many things to take into consideration like mismatched skill and player levels in parties. SBMM isn’t perfect by any means, but there are points to be made on both sides.

Prominent streamers like Dr. Disrespect have come out to voice their disapproval of such a feature. A viral clip of TimTheTatman has been creating much discourse on the matter. TimTheTatman says that SBMM is “killing video games as a whole” because he’s essentially going up against “giga sweats.”

His terminology may have been harsh, but as stated earlier, there are good points on both ends of the argument.

For those in favor of SBMM, this would mean that people are matched with players who have a fair shot at fragging. For casuals, they don’t have to worry about their MW2 games ending early because someone scored a 30-kill streak and got a nuke. Their matchmaking experiences may occasionally have these aforementioned “sweats” who dominate the lobbies, but the system isn’t perfect.

Those against SBMM make the point that if you want to go up against people who are at the same level as you, just take on the ranked modes. It’s valid enough to say, given that ranked does also use skill-based matchmaking but with stricter search parameters.

So, with the system already in place with the recently released Modern Warfare 2, you should still have a fair shot against people in your lobbies. Whether you agree with one party over the other, there certainly is validity.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is available now for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

- This article was updated on February 1st, 2023