Call of Duty Finally Explains How SBMM Works in Modern Warfare 3

Tahmid Shihab Murshed
By Tahmid Shihab Murshed
4 Min Read
Image via callofduty.com

Call of Duty has finally explained how the SBMM process works in Modern Warfare 3.

Matchmaking has been a huge debate in the CoD community since the game’s inception. The devs have always been quiet about how the complete matchmaking process functions. But the severity of SBMM since the release of Modern Warfare (2019) has left players curious about how the new CoD titles handle the matchmaking process.

SBMM has been a widely controversial topic of all CoD titles since 2019. The whole matchmaking system became a bane for the community as it started punishing good players for performing well and letting new players experience a smoother lobby experience. Putting all speculations aside, Call of Duty has finally explained how their matchmaking process works in Modern Warfare 3.

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Full SBMM Process Explained

Matchmaking in Call of Duty is completely based on a Skill standpoint, or better know as SBMM. Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) is a very complex process. In a recent blog, Call of Duty explained how their matchmaking system works. Here’s an overview of the whole process:

Modern Warfare 3 SBMM Explained
  1. CONNECTION – Connection is the first step of the matchmaking process. It factors in ping, and regional coordinates. Players are always sent to lobbies of their region, and with ping being the lowest possible.
  2. TIME TO MATCH – Time to match is the second process unless you are shadowbanned for obvious reasons. Matchmaking usually takes up to 2 minutes at most.
  3. The following factors are also critical to the matchmaking process:
  • PLAYLIST DIVERSITY – The number of playlists available for players to choose from. It basically accounts for the playlist chosen by the player before starting the matchmaking process.
  • RECENT MAPS/MODES – Unless you are queuing for a fixed map playlist, the matchmaking process accounts for the previous map you played and pushes you into a new map pool with map voting options.
  • SKILL/PERFORMANCE– Depending on your skill or performance in previous matches, the difficulty of your lobby or your opponents are matched. If you perform well in a match, you will be put in harder lobbies for the next few matches, and vice versa.
  • INPUT DEVICE – Depends on Crossplay settings, input such as Controller or mouse and keyboard.
  • PLATFORM – The device (PC, Console) that you are playing on.
  • VOICE CHAT – Depends on if you have it Enabled or disabled.

Every time a player begins matchmaking in Multiplayer, for example, the process needs to work through all these factors to find other players to assemble a stable and competitive lobby quickly.

According to the devs at Call of Duty, they are confident that this process creates a balanced and competitive environment. However, most players and content creators seem to disagree about how effective the whole “SBMM” process has been since 2019. In our personal experience, the SBMM in Modern Warfare 3 is very strict and unless you know the workarounds you will always be punished for performing well in a game.

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Tahmid Shihab Murshed is an FPS writer at GameRiv. Born with a knack for gaming, he has played all types of games out there. He has a heartfelt love for Call of Duty, and other shooter titles out there.