How SBMM Works in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Explained

How SBMM Is Changing in Modern Warfare II
Credit: Activision

How SBMM Is Changing in Modern Warfare II
Credit: Activision

SBMM is changing in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II by all accounts, according to leaks from industry insiders, which is great news for many fans. But unfortunately, Activision has never explained the specifics of SBMM in any CoD game, so we'll likely never know the exact specifics of the system, Nonetheless, with all the data out there, we're here to explain what the most likely changes to SBMM in Modern Warfare 2 (2022) are going to be.

How SBMM Is Changing in Modern Warfare II

How SBMM Is Changing in Modern Warfare II 2
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Credit: Activision

Leaks about the changes to SBMM in Modern Warfare II talk about how the system will still have a role in the game but won't be halfways a punishing, especially to higher-skill players. Of course, this makes sense, but when you think about it, this can only mean one thing in the context of how SBMM works.

First, SBMM tries to pair players with other players based on their internal performance statistics in-game, and then, within a lobby, SBMM will divide up players into teams depending on their individual stats. The major thrust of SBMM's influence comes from the system finding you a lobby with players the game determines are similarly skilled to you.

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This is what's likely to change in Modern Warfare II. A new system that doesn't do away with SBMM but makes the system ultimately a lot less punishing and keeps matchmaking fresh and dynamic will let players largely jump into any lobby that they've got a decent connection to, and then SBMM will divide up the random players into as fair as possible teams.

Changes to SBMM like the above also make sense in the context of what's leaked about why disbanding lobbies are here to stay because of how essential they are to SBMM. If Activision is relying on your internal stats to matchmake you as a player, if you're allowed to play with the same players over and over, the system will fall apart because everybody's stats will be from their carefully selected lobbies and won't be representative of much of anything.

This change will necessarily mean that parties will remain an effective way to game the matchmaking system, though, as if you have a full six-person team, especially of good players, the game won't be able to adjust the team composition of a certain lobby. However, this kind of change will also mean that messing with crossplay or boosting won't have much of an effect on your experience, making SBMM less exploitable.

Related: Call of Duty SBMM Guide: How to Get Easy Lobbies in Modern Warfare, Warzone, Cold War, and Vanguard

Ultimately, this kind of change will make matchmaking in Call of Duty a lot more random but with safeguards in place that will largely keep the game from breaking with crazily imbalanced teams.

How SBMM Is Staying the Same in Modern Warfare II

How SBMM Is Changing in Modern Warfare II 3
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Credit: Activision

A lot of the parts of SBMM are expected to stay the same, too. For example, disbanding lobbies has already been confirmed to be a feature of future CoD games, so that's not going away. Plus, protected lobbies aren't going away, either. These are lobbies for the lowest performers, the people most likely to get steamrolled by a random matchmaking system.

Likely, if your stats are in the bottom, say, 5% of players, you'll get matchmaked into a pool of lobbies with other players in that same range. Plus, you'll probably get some more generous SBMM that gives you a few easier games after leaving for a while or when you're a new player, like with most multiplayer games, CoD especially.

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As an anti-cheating measure, it's also possible that the top couple percent of players with extraordinarily high-above-the-average stats may get placed into lobbies together due to the strong suspicion of cheating via SBMM. For example, you'll see these kinds of players at the top of the in-game CoD leaderboards with unbelievable KD ratios, amounts of kills, score, etcetera.

It's also possible that Activision takes into account recent performance in some light way, like by weighting you as a more skilled player or less skilled player when breaking up a lobby into teams, to very subtly give you an edge or an extra challenge if you're having a hot streak or a bad day. This is already a major feature of SBMM, so it wouldn't be too surprising if it had some successor.

Also, if there's to be a ranked mode of some sort in Modern Warfare II, which is inevitable to some extent, we can expect the heavy hand of SBMM to be present there, but hopefully with a more explicit ELO system or something more similar to how other ranked modes work in other popular competitive games.

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All told, the changes to SBMM we can likely expect in Modern Warfare II will make SBMM in these games more similar to how it was in older CoD games while retaining some of the features of SBMM as it has been seen in the last couple of CoD games. In the past, SBMM merely divided up teams, and what lobbies you found was determined by ping, a function of the peer-to-peer networking of older CoDs.

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