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Does Halo Infinite Have SBMM?

Here's a breakdown of whether or not Halo Infinite's multiplayer uses skill-based matchmaking (SBMM).
Here's a breakdown of whether or not Halo Infinite's multiplayer uses skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). / Image courtesy of 343 Industries

In a competitive climate in which the terms "skill-based matchmaking (SBMM)," "reverse boosting" and "Kill/Death (K/D) Ratio" continues to generate genuine animosity among players in a variety of titles, it's no surprise that many are wondering if the same algorithm is being used in Halo Infinite.

Here's the breakdown of whether or not Halo Infinite's multiplayer uses skill-based matchmaking (SBMM).

Does Halo Infinite Have SBMM?

Halo Infinite's free-to-play multiplayer does indeed use SBMM.

This was confirmed in 343 Industries' initial Multiplayer Reveal blog post back in July when the dev team illustrated their desires to make Halo Infinite "the most approachable and welcoming entry in the series to date."

"With new training options, bots to spar against," the 343 Industries blog post reads, "skill-based-matchmaking, and improved systems that deliver better communication of key info to players during a match, we’re excited to welcome Spartans of all skill levels and help you battle your way to the top each season."

While SBMM should theoretically improve game balance by meticulously placing participants into lobbies, many players don’t believe that it works.

Traditionally, skill-based matchmaking is often implemented in one of two ways.

The first and more prominent way has also been more controversial — filling a lobby full of "evenly skilled" players.

The second method is usually seen in team-based multiplayer titles — averaging out the "skill" of those in the lobby to create two "balanced" teams

At the time of writing, 343 has yet to dive much deeper into just how their SBMM algorithm works, but it's pretty easy to theorize how this has been functioning considering the game's modest offerings of launch playlists out currently.

Big Team Battle features unranked, 12v12 combat on large maps, so it likely has the least amount of emphasis on SBMM.

Although Quick Play is intended to invite players to play 4v4 matches "for fun," there is a pretty good chance that SBMM plays a major role here, albeit its main goal is to get games going as quickly as possible.

Lastly, Ranked Arena has the most amount of SBMM in play as its entire premise is to have players climb the ladder and face off against others of a similar skill level.

While there is surely plenty of dialogue out there on the state of the game's SBMM, with 343 mentioning that they are indeed monitoring all playlists and are "prepared to adjust as needed" to ensure healthy matchmaking, it does seem that Halo Infinite's online multiplayer experience has the potential to truly grow and evolve over time.

For more on Halo Infinite, feel free to check out our coverage of the new Fiesta matches, and whether or not the game supports split-screen play.