Starting to play against Warzone hackers and streamers? Take it as a compliment.
Skill-based matchmaking is a system where gamers of roughly equal ability are put against each other in lobbies. The Call of Duty franchise has used SBMM for years, and that includes its battle royale release Warzone. Warzone’s skill-based matchmaking system is a little different from Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War.
The exact formula for determining a player’s SBMM in Warzone is not known, but it’s popularly believed that it is tied to account stats. Warzone ranks are most likely determined by several stats including KD ratio, headshot rate, win rate, and more.
As a player’s lifetime average stats change, their position in Warzone’s skill-based matchmaking can shift. If you make the top 10 a few times in a row, expect to be matched against more experienced players next time.
As for how it affects matchmaking, Warzone attempts to put players of equal skill in the same lobby. The goal is to create a consistent experience where each player has an equal chance to win. Low-skill players queue with other newbies while skilled gamers have to play against each other every game. Many players have no problems with SBMM, but streamers and pros sometimes dislike having to try their hardest every game.
The best website for reviewing your Warzone stats is WZ Stats, which previously operated under the name SBMM Warzone. WZ Stats will show you your career KD ratio, accuracy, preferred weapons, and more. According to streamers, KD ratio appears to be the biggest factor for determining Warzone SBMM.
SBMM information is invisible to players. That information is locked in the official Warzone API, which only Activision-Blizzard has access to. The only way to estimate your own SBMM ranking is to review your gameplay stats.
It’s worth noting that Infinity Ward has publicly stated that Warzone does not have skill-based matchmaking. However, the vast majority of experienced players believe that the game uses SBMM anyway. Hackers are much more common at higher levels of play and pro players often find each other in lobbies. Previous Call of Duty titles published by Activision-Blizzard have included skill-based matchmaking.