MW3 Ranked Play: Skill Divisions, SR, Ranks & SBMM explained

Nathan Warby
MW3 player firing rifleActivision

Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play arrived with the mid-season update, giving players a full competitive mode to grind and earn unique rewards. Here’s a breakdown of how Skill Ratings, Division, Ranks, and even skill-based matchmaking work in MW3 Ranked Play.

Modern Warfare 3 Season 1 Reloaded brings a ton of fresh content to multiplayer, from a new map to learn to new guns like the TAQ Evolvere and HRM-9. It also marks the long-awaited arrival of Ranked Play, bringing a competitive mode to the game for the first time.

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Copying the rules and regulations of the Call of Duty League, Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play offers unique rewards as players climb through the leaderboards. But while CDL pros are competing for money and glory, Ranked Play fans are looking to reach the highest Skill Division possible.

Here’s everything you need to know about Skill Divisions, Ranks, and more in MW3 Ranked Play.

MW3 Ranked Play Skill Divisions explained

MW3 Ranked Play players with Iridescent skinsActivision
MW3 Ranked Play arrives in Season 1 Reloaded.

MW3 Ranked Play’s Skill Divisions are brackets that players are placed in based on their performance in matches. There are eight Skill Divisions in total, with everyone starting in Bronze 1.

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Skill Divisions are directly tied to the amount of Skill Rating (SR) a player has, and they can move into higher or lower brackets depending on how they do:

  • Bronze0-899 SR
  • Silver900-2,099 SR
  • Gold2,100-3,599 SR
  • Platinum3,600-5,399 SR
  • Diamond5,400-7,499 SR
  • Crimson7,500-9,999 SR
  • Iridescent10,000 SR minimum
  • Top 25010,000+ SR

Each Skill Division except for Iridescent also features sub-tiers from one to three. At the end of each season, a Ranked Play reset takes effect, which knocks everyone down by three Skill Divisions and forces them to climb back up the ladder once again.

The highest a player can start at is Diamond 1, with the first of these resets taking place in MW3 Season 2.

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How to earn SR in MW3 Ranked Play

Skill Rating is earned by winning and playing well in Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play matches. At the end of each game, every player is awarded SR to help them edge closer to the next Skill Division, based on the result of the match, the number of kills, and objectives captured.

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A defeat will result in a loss of Skill Rating, again based on how much a player contributed to the loss and the overall team performance.

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MW3 Ranked Play players on TerminalActivision
Ranked Play uses the same maps, modes, and rules as the CDL.

What are Ranks in MW3 Ranked Play?

Ranks are a permanent form of progression in MW3 Ranked Play, as they don’t reset at the start of each season. All players begin at Rank 1, with each victory earning a star that contributes to the overall Rank, regardless of your kills or objectives captured.

Modern Warfare 3 features 50 Ranks altogether to grind through, with a new reward unlocked every five Ranks, such as a skin or Blueprint.

MW3 Ranked Play SBMM explained

Modern Warfare 3 Ranked Play features a skill-based matchmaking system, meaning it creates lobbies full of players with a similar skill level. The SBMM is based on the Skill Division and SR of a player, so you should mostly find yourself in matches with enemies that are in the same or a similar bracket to you.

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MW3 also features a system that limits which players could party up based on their SR. Check out the restrictions below:

  • Bronze – Platinum: Can party up without any restrictions
  • Diamond: Can party within 2 Skill Divisions
  • Iridescent (Including Top 250) & Crimson: Can party with players within 1 Skill Division

This feature prevents top-tier players from joining forces with a friend in Bronze or Silver to terrorize lower-skill lobbies and boost their own SR in a less difficult environment.

There you have it! That was everything you need to know about Ranks, Skill Divisions, SR, and SBMM in Modern Warafre 3 Ranked Play. Take a look at our guide to the best MW3 Ranked Play loadouts to jump straight into the mode.

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For more on MW3, be sure to check out our other guides:

Best guns in Modern Warfare 3 | Best Assault Rifles in Modern Warfare 3 | How to level up fast in Modern Warfare 3 | Best FOV settings for Modern Warfare 3 | Best SMGs in Modern Warfare 3 | Best controller settings for Modern Warfare 3 | How to fix packet burst in Modern Warfare 3

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].