In Black Ops II the biggest challenge you’re likely to face isn’t good players, no it’s fucking lag compensation. For real. Consider this, in Sweden most PS3 owners have at least 10 Mbps – and many 100 Mbps – meaning 4 bar connection at all time, and still, we suffer consistent laggy games, just as anyone else.

Now, I could go on and on about latency, ping, search (locale) preferences, host migration and dropouts, instead I intend to write about the skill based matchmaking.

Some time ago on Activision’s support site, a detailed article on the Black Ops II matchmaking process was published. The article focuses on Public Matches. In brief, the article describes an algorithm designed and filtered to a) place you in a game host in your region, where b) the average player’s skill is similar to yours, and c) where the connection is as best.

One of the filters in the matchmaking process roughly sets you up against other players in the same broad skill range. That is, you should generally not get matched to games where the average skill of players is extreme in relation to your skill level. Although, how the game denotes skill is unknown. It could be by scores per minute (SPM), by kill/death ratio, by win/loss ratio or even by some sort of hidden kill per minute counter.

An enjoyable game is simply where you’re doing well. Not where you end up losing the match with a K/D ratio below 1. Too heavy competition just brings you down. It’s more fun to own noobs, right? To enter lobbies where everyone is a tryhard camper with 2.0+ K/D isn’t that exciting for most players.

You shouldn’t be alarmed by high ranks in a lobby though. With those prestige glitches all over PS3, you’ll often meet cheaters with Prestige Master and 3-4 K/D but who turn out sucking big time.

How to predict a defeat

Does anybody know of any noob lobbies? I guess you just have to be lucky. At the same time, it’s easier to avoid elite lobbies. I reckon that the later in the evening you play, the more difficult competition gets. Know that after midnight there’s a lot of no lifers online, and as they say, practice makes perfect.

You’re often sure to tell if the competition will be hard if you’re up against people with headsets and the same clan tag. This isn’t waterproof, but it could be a sign of an upcoming defeat.

A half-ass tip is, if you’re playing with friends in a party, whose skills are varied, you could set the worst player of your team as the Party Leader. Actually I haven’t found any real evidence to support this theory, but suppose the protocols of matchmaking is based on the Party Leader’s stats, then if you’re better than the leader you should be able to be matched to games with a lower average skill level. I usually play with friends and we do this all the time, but I haven’t experience it to work that well.

One thing about playing with friends is that the connection issues tend to be worse. Too many times, I’ve rage quit from a party due to lag, and when I then play on my own, I find the lag less noticeable.

P. S. Yeah about my friends, well we’re not a clan, there’s no teamwork what so ever, we just play together.

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