It is no surprise that Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM) has been one of the most controversial topics in the Call of Duty (COD) community. To describe it in simple words, SBMM matches players with the same skill level against each other, in line with the game's competitive nature being based on individual players' stats.
SBMM is essentially found in competitive playlists and ranked matchmaking instead of casual play. The majority of COD players are against SBMM, including renowned professional players such as Nadeshot. Nadeshot also recently talked about SBMM in a follow-up tweet to his earlier SBMM rant.
Regarding my comments on Skill Based Matchmaking from my stream yesterday. pic.twitter.com/Ypu4tLzjvE
— 100T Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) December 3, 2020
Nadeshot believes that SBMM is good for both beginners and experienced players, but the way it has been presented in the game is incorrect. The reason why having SBMM is good is because it keeps lower level and beginner players in a "protected" bracket. Some players have lower skill levels, and they won't be able to play against players who are always "sweating" their way into the game.
SBMM was also found in Modern Warfare (2019). Activation, however, at first denied that it ever existed in the game, and players later proved that it existed with several test runs. Following that, Activision finally stated that they have "implemented" SBMM in the game. Meanwhile, players and the tests done by them showed it was already there.
Many players have requested that SBMM be removed and replaced with a separate ranked playlist, but to no avail so far. Yes, SBMM protects the lower-skilled players, but it also takes the fun out of the game for those who do well in just 2-3 games.
Following the release of Black Ops Cold War, players have noticed that the SBMM in Cold War is much more strict than the previous title (MW 2019). A well-known COD Youtuber, XclusiveAce, tested out SBMM and posted his gameplay footage on Twitter, showcasing the gameplay in a lobby with lower-skilled players.
I think it's safe to say that there's definitely a protected bracket at least 😂 pic.twitter.com/gPlyft4uxq
— Xclusive Ace (@TheXclusiveAce) November 28, 2020
In the video, you can see how the other players are completely clueless about Ace's presence near them even after he shoots a couple of bullets standing next to them! This begs the question of whether or not SBMM be removed completely or just toned down a bit? Because clearly, players of such low-level skill must be given a break against "tryhards" who obliterate them in a single match, possibly causing them to quit.
Many players have found several different methods to exploit the SBMM to get into easier lobbies and perform better in-game. In Modern Warfare (2019), this was done by completely tanking your stats and K/D. If you play at least five bad games in a row, you are bound to get an easy lobby on your 6th or 7th try. This is known as 'Reverse Boosting.'
However, it's much more difficult to get into an easier lobby in Black Ops Cold War. You must play at least 8-9 bad games consecutively. And it is not just about the K/D in the game as many other factors play a role in SBMM, such as your accuracy, movement, hitting targets, and dying by your own grenade, etc.
Another widespread method found by players is creating a "dummy" account with terrible overall stats. The players host the game on that account while using their original account to join the "dummy" account's lobby. Once they are in a lower-skilled match, the "dummy" account leaves the game, leaving the original account in the lobby and ultimately in the game. Following this method helps them retain the K/D ratio on their original account.
Players justify these exploits as a countermeasure towards the SBMM feature that they want to be removed badly. We still haven't heard a lot about SBMM from the officials at Activision. But it seems that the longer we have SBMM, the more tension is being created in the COD community.