SBMM: Why Some Players Are Upset That Titles Are Matching The Skills Of Multiplayer Lobbies

SBMM: Why Some Players Are Upset That Titles Are Matching The Skills Of Multiplayer Lobbies
Credit: IGN

SBMM stands for skill-based matchmaking, and it has recently been a point of contention for some players in the strangest way possible.

When you introduce skill-based matchmaking, players no longer have the possibility of matching against far weaker players for the more advanced players to farm.

This turns matches, to use standard parlance, into sweat-fests: players need to play as well as possible in every match they play, using the best tactics that they can possibly figure out to use to ensure that they won’t drop in rank.

If they’re curious about off-meta weapons or skills, it’s not necessarily a safe environment to try it in as they’ll get stomped by others that are playing their best.

Yet on top of this, players want the ability to see that they’re easily out-fragging the entire server that can’t respond in kind. The ability to reach an astounding number of kills is far more entertaining for a stream than being pressed by equally-skilled players that understand how to counter your movements and abilities.

It’s accurate to say that PUG stomping is desired for those higher-skilled than others and that a majority of complaints appear to be coming from players no longer being able to do this as a means for income. It’s also accurate to say that sometimes you want to hop into a server and turn off your brain, and SBMM won’t allow players to do that either.

It’s these two facets that have seemed to curate the fiery debate regarding SBMM, where players will simply need to play better than others within the same skill-level in order to receive that same dopamine hit.

That the majority of the complaints appear to be coming from content creators, that arguably have a far easier time receiving support when they’re racking up kills with relative ease, does seem to point towards the argument that many players (not fans) have made; streamers are struggling to provide the same level of content.

When we look a bit deeper at the current iteration of Call of Duty as far as ‘skill’ goes, we readily run into the aim-assist that has offered further division from fans.

Aim-assist, where aiming is largely done for players by a title, is offered if players use a controller; an aspect that arguably removes a heft of skill within titles as far as PC is concerned, and has been yet another sore spot within the community.

It is very easy to state that there will not be a simple solution to this; streamers have a massive community that they can arguably weaponize to attempt to make developers buckle, which will likely be rivaled by those that are playing the title for enjoyment.

It’s amusing to think about these two issues in more competitive titles, however, such as Counter-Strike where SBMM didn’t exist and aim-assist was a thing.