Does Warzone have skill based matchmaking? SBMM explained

Does Warzone have skill based matchmaking? SBMM explained
Courtesy of Activision

Written by 

Alex Garton

Last updated 

21st Dec 2023 17:45

The topic of skill-based matchmaking never leaves the lips of the Call of Duty community, so it only makes sense that Warzone's SBMM comes into question as well. Figuring out the intricacies of how Raven Software and Activision put together lobbies is something countless players are desperate to know.

This is only amplified by the fact that a lot of competitors feel as if their matches are regularly imbalanced and sweaty, making it hard to jump onto Warzone for some casual fun. Is skill-based matchmaking to blame though? Well, let's check out whether Warzone has SBMM and if does, how it works in CoD's Battle Royale.

Is there skill-based matchmaking in Warzone?

Warzone player using a crossbow
Click to enlarge

Activision, Raven Software, and Infinity Ward may be tight-lipped on SBMM, but it's widely assumed that Warzone does have SBMM. The system is core to every recent title in the franchise and is designed to create balanced and fair lobbies.

As it's such a fundamental part of CoD's multiplayer, it seems unlikely that the developers would opt for an alternative system. While it certainly has its flaws as many members of the community will tell you, it does ensure at the very least that you're matched with similar-skilled opponents.

This isn't something competitors want all the time though, as SBMM seems to take the casual element out of CoD, especially for those who play regularly.

How does skill-based matchmaking work in Warzone?

Operators on train Warzone
Click to enlarge

Skill-based matchmaking in Call of Duty is a process that attempts to sort competitors of a similar level against each other in matches. This way, lobbies are as balanced as possible and give everyone competing an equal chance of taking home the victory.

The system uses stats including score per minute and KD ratio to determine a hidden rank for your account. This then allows SBMM to place you in matches with players of a similar rank.

On paper, this sounds brilliant, but it has been a major source of backlash from fans, who believe it creates try-hard lobbies that are no fun. On the other hand, the devs have to protect the less experienced players from the top-tier competitors, so it's hard to strike a balance.

Now, that you're familiar with how SBMM works in Warzone, why not check out our best weapons list on Urzikstan for Season 1? Be sure to check out our Warzone homepage for all of the latest news and guides.

Alex is a Senior Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) in English, he has previously written for Dexerto & Gfinity. Specialising in Call of Duty & Apex Legends, he loves (attempting) to improve his aim in competitive shooters and will always make time for a single-player RPG.

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