Multiplayer games can be hit or miss, especially in the competitive space. Are you really that bad, or is everyone else just way better than you? The matchmaking experience is always one that requires plenty of refining, and that is the case for Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War as well. Since the launch of the game, players have been scratching their heads over its skill-based matchmaking. While other contemporaries may show a visible ELO rating, this is not the case for Call of Duty. However, that has not stopped an enterprising group of YouTubers from trying to figure out Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War matchmaking.
Led by TheXclusiveAce, this group of Call of Duty YouTubers ran a small experiment that might just shed more light on the system. Of course, with its small sample size, the results are not definitive. It does make for some interesting discoveries though.
The data seems to suggest that the matchmaking in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War does not take skill into account in the way that players are used to.
Instead of looking at all of the things you do, it is your kill-death ratio in your latest matches that matters. This trend was discovered across the 90 matches examined by the YouTubers from nine accounts of different skill levels. TheXclusiveAce also ran a similar experiment with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare last year, and the results were similar.
The cogs of the machine
This discovery about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War matchmaking is definitely eye-opening. The difference in which other games handle this is clear. For example, Rainbow Six Siege is less about your individual skill, and more about if you win or lose as a team. For Activision’s latest, the bigger picture is not in consideration according to these findings.
Rather, if your K/D ratio matches another player, the game ranks you as similarly skilled opponents. That actually makes sense, especially when considering how many of the modes place emphasis on kills more than anything. However, the lack of transparency is what players are most worried about.
While you can trust the matchmaking in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to do its job, the lack of information has some wondering if the odds are somehow stacked against them. A good round may be followed by a few rounds of getting destroyed. Is the game purposefully keeping you in check by giving you harder opponents? We do not know for sure.
At the very least, the observations made about the game are consistent. However, the race to get shorter matchmaking times means that not all of the information is taken into account each time. In comparison, more granular shooters like Valorant and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive require more time to find matches. When those games also take your skill and rank into account, that duration can further increase. You trade time for quality, which can be a pro or a con.
Treyarch has not shared more information regarding Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War matchmaking. However, the time it takes for a match is pretty much all the evidence you need. If you want a quick match, the system is set up for that. Whether it is fair or not, you can decide.