Does Modern Warfare 2 have SBMM? CoD skill-based matchmaking explained

Nathan Warby
Modern Warfare 2 team playing Prisoner Rescue

Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer throws players into frantic matches against real-life opponents, but does it use skill-based matchmaking to create its lobbies? Here’s everything you need to know about Modern Warfare 2 SBMM.

Modern Warfare 2 shook up the CoD formula in a number of interesting ways when it arrived last year. The new Gunsmith system completely changed how weapon progression worked, while innovative water physics added an extra layer to multiplayer matches.

Despite the changes, Modern Warfare 2 also retained a number of core features that make the series what it is, and fans have been wondering if the controversial skill-based matchmaking system has made a comeback too.

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Here’s everything you need to know about Modern Warfare 2 SBMM and how the feature influences your matches.

Does Modern Warfare 2 have SBMM?

Although the developers have never explicitly said it, it’s understood that Modern Warfare 2 does use SBMM in multiplayer.

The community has long speculated that SBMM is present in the CoD series, and a former dev finally confirmed its presence in a 2021 interview. This means it’s safe to assume that it has played a role in every recent release, including Warzone 2.

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Given it’s a such a controversial topic among the community, it’s extremely unlikely that the feature would be removed without a message from Infinity Ward.

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What is SBMM in Modern Warfare 2?

Skill-based matchmaking is a system that aims to create matches filled with players of similar abilities. This is done using data such as K/D ratio and score per minute to match users with opponents that are equally skilled at the game.

This means that high-skilled players will face off against equally talented enemies, and more casual players will face teams who have a similar level of mastery. The idea is to make lobbies as balanced as possible and reduce the chance of a casual player being dunked on by a 3 K/D demon so that everyone gets something out of each match.

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Although this makes sense on paper, SBMM has proved to be extremely controversial, especially among streamers and top-level players. They have claimed that SBMM punishes them for good at the game by giving them harder lobbies.

It’s also been argued that mixing players of all skills together in each match would make for more varied gameplay.

No matter your opinion on SBMM, it appears to be alive and well in Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer, and it’s highly unlikely to be going away any time soon.

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If you’re looking for more Modern Warfare 2, be sure to check out our other guides:

How to get Modern Warfare 2 Twitch Drops | How to play Modern Warfare 2 on Steam Deck | Are Modern Warfare 2 servers down? | Do Warzone Double XP tokens carry over to MW2? | Can you mix and match camos in Modern Warfare 2? | Does Modern Warfare 2 have a Tactical Nuke Killstreak? | How to turn off crossplay in Modern Warfare 2

Image credit: Activision

About The Author

Nathan is a Senior Writer for CharlieIntel and Dexerto, primarily covering FIFA and Call of Duty, as well as general gaming news and guides. After leaving university with a degree in Sports Studies and a master's degree in Magazine Journalism, he took on a role as a local news reporter before moving into games media. You can contact Nathan by email at [email protected].