Call of Duty SBMM Guide: How to Get Easy Lobbies in Modern Warfare, Warzone, Cold War, and Vanguard

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What You Need to Know About SBMM in CoD
Credit: Activision

SBMM is changing for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2 (as well as for CoD games in the future), but the system as it works in Modern Warfare (2019), Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Vanguard can be used to your advantage to get the best lobbies possible free of sweats prone in their spawn waiting for you to walk in front of their sights. In this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about SBMM in Call of Duty and give you the ultimate guide to getting into easy lobbies.

What You Need to Know About SBMM in CoD

What You Need to Know About SBMM in CoD 2
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Credit: Activision

First off, nothing is ever officially confirmed about SBMM in CoD, so what we know, we know from the experiences of and testing done by the community. Your personal mileage may vary, and unfortunately, while you can exploit SBMM, you can't actually permanently turn it off 100% of the time in every situation.

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So, in general, here's how SBMM works in Call of Duty: Behind the scenes, after you play your account at least a bit, you'll be placed into a skill bracket determined by a variety of your in-game stats. What bracket you're in will then regularly change depending on your performance in the last five to ten matches you've played.

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When you go into matchmaking, the system will try to place you in a lobby with players in your same skill bracket, and if it can't find any lobbies within up to 90ms ping (or so), it will start searching again this time opened up to a wider variety of skill brackets until it finds you a lobby. Once you're in a lobby, the game will use your stats and skill bracket to split a lobby into teams, trying to make the average stats of each team similar.

In a party in a CoD lobby, the SBMM isn't just the SBMM of the host but rather an average of everyone in the party. The party will be placed into its own skill bracket behind the scenes, and then you'll just matchmake as you normally would with the system trying to find you a lobby within the same skill bracket at a reasonable ping.

As a rule, the larger the party, the lower the average stats of the party and the easier the lobbies. And the same applies to playercounts in matches: the more players in the match the wider a net SBMM has to cast, so with more players necessarily comes weaker SBMM.

Related: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Spec Ops Confirmed, But What About DMZ

How to Break and Exploit SBMM in CoD for Easy Lobbies

What You Need to Know About SBMM in CoD 3
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Credit: Activision

So, first off, you'll always want to play in as large a party as possible. And, conversely, you'll want to avoid playing solo. It's best if you fill your party with players with at least average stats, but the worse the players in your party are in terms of their stats, especially the more of them there are, the better chance you'll all have at getting into an easy lobby.

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Turning off crossplay is another great thing to do in general. Yes, it will make finding games take longer, and depending on your situation, it may make your connections in games, on average, worse. So you'll want to figure out if turning off crossplay works for you, but what this does is it vastly restricts the player pool you can matchmake with so the system will have a lot harder of a time finding people in the same skill bracket as you, leading you to get into easier lobbies more of the time.

On top of all of the above, if you're a high-skill player, or just have strong stats, and you load into a lobby with a ton of high-level (or skilled-looking) players, you can reasonably expect the system will put most or all of them on the enemy team with the lowest-skill players getting placed on your team to 'balance' out the teams, so you're better off just requeueing if you can in these instances, especially if you're not in a party with skilled players.

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If you play Warzone or you stick with Ground War, the 12v12 mosh pit, or Blitz combat pacing, you'll, in general, have better luck with SBMM since these are the larger playercount modes of the last few CoD games, and the larger the mode the weaker SBMM has to be to fill up lobbies. Though, of course, you probably won't want to exclusively play these modes forever.

Another important thing you can do is try to play at off-peak hours. During the day, especially the morning, or particularly late at night are great times to play since there'll be fewer players playing and the system will have a harder time finding players in your same skill bracket. Naturally, the weekend will always be worse to play on than during the week in this respect.

Lastly, you can try joining the lobbies of people in your recent players list. This will let you hop into whatever particular player's SBMM, unlike with a party, and get a taste of the lobbies of someone totally different from you. Though, this may not be reliable since many adjust their party settings so random people can't join on them

Related: Is Treyarch Working on a Standalone Call of Duty: Zombies Game

If you're really looking for a nuclear way to get into easy lobbies for a while and fast, if on console, make a new user account and play CoD on a fresh account free of your SBMM history. If playing Warzone, this can be done on any platform. Of course, though, this won't keep any of your weapons, blueprints, or progression, and of course, the more you play, the more you'll build up a new, similar SBMM profile to what you started out with originally.