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Turtle BeachDecember 10, 2020

Call of Duty's Skill-Based Matchmaking Has Players Furious


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Call of Duty’s Skill-Based Matchmaking Has Players Furious


December 10, 2020

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer is one of the biggest and most active online scenes right now.  The game is only a few weeks old, it’s a hot title to pick up for both last-gen and current-gen, and it’s a brand that has been known for its multiplayer for decades.  People are eager to fire up the game, get in there with a squad of their friends, and have some fun on the virtual battlefield.  The only problem is that some of those players aren’t having much fun at all.

Ever since the alpha for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War came out, participants were quick to point out one element above all others.  Players were having a really tough time getting in a good multiplayer game.  More often than not, people were being absolutely slaughtered in multiplayer, losing game after game.  Players were barely able to survive on a map for a few seconds before they were taken out by an expert marksman.  It’s not that those struggling were bad players.  They were just being put up against some elite-level opponents.

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The problem?

This all stems from Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War using skill-based matchmaking.  For those who don’t know, SBMM aims to measure a player’s skill level, and then match them up with players roughly equal to them.  Then the game throws them out there on the battlefield to see who’s the best of the best.  As you play more, the game gathers more detail on your skills and the way you play, and then fine-tunes the people you’re being matched up with.  It’s supposed to create an environment where your skills are tested, but you’re able to hang and have fun.  Unfortunately, that’s not how CoD players are feeling.

From random online operators to big-name streamers, there’s been a lot of backlash about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s SBMM.  People who are looking to jump into a game and have fun for a few rounds are instead finding themselves utterly decimated.  They have to grit their teeth and play balls-to-the-wall for the entire game, only to have things end in defeat, and then lead right into the same situation once more.  Instead of the game being enjoyable, it’s causing people to get frustrated, leaving them wondering why they’re playing in the first place.

The solution?

How do you fix something like this?  CoD fans are saying that Activision should move away from SBMM in favor of a different approach.  Some other multiplayer titles out there will give players the option of playing in ranked or unranked modes.  Ranked modes will put you up against the toughest opponents there are for your skill level, making you really work to stay above the pack.  Unranked drops you into a match with opponents that run the gamut.  You could be in a match with first-timers, seasons vets, and everyone in-between.  Depending on the mood you’re in and who you’re playing with, choosing either ranked or unranked would be more likely to provide a good time.

Activision hasn’t revealed any plans to change up their SBMM approach with Call of Duty, which has been quite disappointing to those who are crying foul.  There is the hope that Activision will continually tweak their approach to SBMM, which could pave the way for matches that don’t feel so extreme.  Doing so would obviously take time on the developer’s part, and no one knows just how big of a difference it would make.  Opting for a ranked/unranked approach does seem like it would be a quick fix that could make all players happy, from those who want the toughest challenge there is, to those who just want to have some fun with buds.  

As it stands currently, players are in limbo, left to deal with SBMM as it is.  A match here or there might be a bit of fun, but many of them will push players to their limits.  As many have said on social media, the only option for CoD fans right now is to “git gud.”

Read More: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies Strategies

Cold War’s Zombies mode is one of the toughest iterations yet, and you can find yourself overwhelmed in an instant.  Thankfully, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you fight your way through the undead hordes.

Kevin Cassidy has been covering all things Nintendo for over 15 years now and has been leading the weekly GoNintendo Podcast for just as long. Kevin is also quite passionate about pro wrestling, anime, comic books, and more! Follow Kevin on Twitter via @GoNintendoTweet.


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