CoD dev explains how SR works in Modern Warfare 2 ranked play

Treyarch revealed more about Skill Rating than ever before.

It’s been almost two weeks since ranked play was released in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and gamers everywhere have been grinding to try and reach the Top 250.

Until now, CoD players had a loose idea of how the skill rating (SR) system worked. But today, a developer from the team at Treyarch who worked on MW2’s ranked mode explained it in detail.

“Your displayed SR represents your Ranked Play skill and determines your Skill Division,” said Treyarch lead game designer Lawrence Metten. “In MW2, everyone begins their grind at zero SR in Bronze I. You gain SR when you win, and lose SR when you lose – with the amount of SR determined by a combo of personal and team performance.”

Metten said that there’s another factor when it comes to SR, though. It’s something called Hidden Performance Range, or HPR for short.

“HPR is how good our underlying performance systems think you are and how we predict youll stack up against other players,” Metten said. “Beat players with a higher HPR than you and your HPR goes up, fall short of expectations and it goes down. Perform consistently and your HPR narrows in. HPR and SR are directly linked. You may start at zero SR in MW2 Ranked, but with each win the SR system is trying to climb you closer towards your underlying HPR. The further your SR is below your HPR target, the more SR you gain after each win.”

Metten explained that this is why players see big SR gains early on in their grind, and it eventually begins to level out over time. The gap between SR and HPR determines how much or little SR is gained in each match.

But that’s not all there is to it. The SR gains are also affected by skill divisions, according to Metten.

“In lower divisions, we put a premium on personal performance to try and graduate better players out of the starting divisions quickly,” Metten said. “Perform well in these divisions and you’ll earn close to the maximum SR amount available to you, based on your current distance from your HPR. In higher skill divisions we focus more on team play so that all winning playstyles are equally rewarded and teamwork is encouraged. In these divisions, how much of your available min/max SR range you earn is primarily based on the performance of your team vs your opponents.”

It’s clear now that the formula is way more complicated than players may have originally thought. According to Metten, it’s a lot to do with the combination of SR, HPR, and how they interact with each other.

“We see a lot of questions like ‘I top fragged, why did my teammates earn more SR?’ Metten said. “If you see someone else earning considerably more or less SR than you, its likely due to a difference in how close either of you are to your HPR.”

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