What is age-based matchmaking in Call of Duty? cover image

What is age-based matchmaking in Call of Duty?

What if the kids have better aim than I do?

Age-based matchmaking is the talk of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) and Warzone Burger Town. The potential change in matchmaking systems has everyone scratching their heads. But, is it actually happening?

This change would shake the Call of Duty multiplayer landscape to its core. Players are placed in a certain bracket, limiting the potential opponents they can ever meet, similarly to what it's meant to be replacing. Is it going to take over the widely discussed skill-based matchmaking? Also, how do the two differ?

What is skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in Call of Duty?

MW3 screenshot (Image via Activision)
MW3 screenshot (Image via Activision)

Skill-based matchmaking has been around in the franchise since Modern Warfare 2 (2009) in some form, according to a Call of Duty developer Josh Menke interview in 2021.

Essentially, the idea of SBMM is that players get placed against opponents who match their skill level. This is determined by a player's score throughout their gaming career in the Call of Duty franchise. If you play poorly, you’ll likely be placed with easier opponents. 

As time went on, the formula that created SBMM chopped and changed to what we have today. Now, you’ll see SBMM in both casual and ranked Call of Duty gameplay.

Is age-based matchmaking coming to Call of Duty?

Screenshot of the game (Image via Activision)
Screenshot of the game (Image via Activision)

The premise of age-based matchmaking (ABMM) in Call of Duty is to separate the player base by certain brackets based on when they were born. Fear not, as age-based matchmaking is not entering the franchise. Here's a breakdown of the joke itself.

Firstly, it separates players anywhere from 13 to 17 into the "teens" group. The next bracket of players 18 to 25 are placed in "adults," and finally, anyone older gets thrown in "seniors." This particular rumor spread like wildfire across TikTok. You can tell it’s a fake story by the dates used. Thanks to the trusty leap year, there won’t be a Feb. 30 this year — nice try, tdawgsmitty. Not only that, but the idea itself is ridiculous. 

So, SBMM still reigns supreme. There is no age-based matchmaking coming to Call of Duty, and there never was one to begin with. Now we can put age-based matchmaking to bed and forget it ever existed. 

Keep an eye on esports.gg for more Call of Duty news and guides.