Modern Warfare 2 Matchmaking Update - The Speed of Light Edition

Modern Warfare 2 Matchmaking Update - The Speed of Light Edition

We’ve opened up the hood on Xbox LIVE and tinkered with how matchmaking works for Modern Warfare 2.  It’s not a dramatic change, and the majority of our users won’t see any difference – but a certain subset of you should be happier now.


When you search for a match, our servers sort through the many thousands of available matches to find the “best” potential games for you.  We’ve changed how we determine “best”, and your country is now an even more significant factor than it was before.  What does this mean to you?


As a gamer, you want to play in a lag-free game.  This means that you need to be playing with gamers who are “near you” on the Internet.  This is why games like MW2 ping potential matches to determine how close they are and reject them if they’re too far away.  If you live somewhere that’s geographically isolated – like Australia, for example – most of the world is not near you.  The speed of light just isn’t fast enough (that’s not something I get to say every day).


On behalf of that Australian gamer we’re now trying harder than ever to find a session in their country for them to join.  Of course, this requires there to be games hosted in Australia with open slots at the moment they’re looking – but we’ve maximized the odds of those gamers getting together.


While we can’t beat the speed of light (yet), we do think that these changes have made finding matches in MW2 a better experience.  If it's helped you out we'd love to hear it!

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  • How about fixing the Jtag problem?  I'd rather have lag then cheating.

  • It's too bad MW2 doesn't have the matchmaking options that halo reach has. That is, setting whether you're there for fun or recreation, if you're a team player or like to go solo. THAT would be better then reducing lag a little bit. I've only seen a handful of people that lagged.

  • I very much appreciate any matchmaking improvements. It's been a little janky lately.

    Because I'm not a hardcore MW2 player, the only feature I can think to request is to set level caps or ranges on matchmaking.  Playing against a room full of 70s is a very different experience than playing against a room full of 20s, even if most of them have prestiged.  Available gear and perks counts for quite a bit, regardless of relative skill and experience.  Yes I've mentioned this to Bowling. :)

  • I live in Quito, Ecuador. Will give feedback as soon as I get home and try matchmaking.

  • Yeah it would be good for you to stop (and hopefully ban) cheaters first then worry about lag when they sorted

  • Could you perhaps go into any detail on how the decision is taken during the game to perform host migration?

    Something which I'm sure is familiar to most regular players is the "jerky game" where the game seems to pause for half a second every few seconds. At a guess I'd say it was due to insufficient upload bandwidth from the host.

    It's frustrating when you're playing a laggy game like that for 10 minutes or more without any sign of host migration. If you can see on the scoreboard that everyone has a 'red' connection except the host, why doesn't it migrate?

    Compound that with the sometimes seemingly random migrations that happen - I've had it happen during the final seconds of a - seemingly fine - game, only to fail to connect to the new host.

  • E,

    could you maybe go a little into how the SQL works behind the "selection process"... or is that somewhere else?


  • In the early afternoon time (Eastern), I tend to get stuck playing with a lot of people who sound as if they're from England, or points nearby. Lag is never that big of an issue with them, oddly enough, but I'd still rather play with actual Americans. I realize at this time, that it's later there, so more of them are on, but whatever.

    Also, fix shotguns, Commando (and Pro), and pretty much everything else that's broken with this game. Jesus Christ.

  • I live in Brazil. Regarding your post, it's been some time now that the matchmaking is looking for the best pings. Have you improved that even more? Great!

  • Thanks for the improvements made. I have to echo the others who have brought up the cheating which goes on though.

    Sadly, its ruining the entire experience of the game. By simply removing the tactical insertion, the boosters would be defeat breathing new life into a great game.

    Thanks again


  • I don't know guys. This new matchmaking system will make it easier for the numerous cheaters out there to join in games.

  • Everyone mentioning they should remove Tac Insert or Command needs to take it up with IW, not Microsoft.

    Thanks for the update, E. I'll be sure to check it out later.

    @ Ricky Please explain how this will help cheaters.

  • Like the first comment on here fix the Jtag issue!

  • Wait, there's matchmaking? What normaly happens, even if there are 10 europeans in a game, it will always give host advantage to American players after 8pm.

  • Im an english player and this explains why Im suddenly being pitched against Germans and the French!

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