What are boosting and reverse boosting in Call of Duty games? Answered

Sometimes you need a dictionary to play games effectively.

Image via Activision

Gaming lingo has evolved over the years with terms created to explain different mechanics, strategies, and events. Yet even between similar games, there could be discrepancies explaining the same concept using a different term, with each game’s communities embracing them for different reasons. The Call of Duty franchise is a long-standing example of many of these tropes, especially when we consider the game’s competitive success and transition into Esports. So you may have encountered the terms “boosting” and “reverse boosting” in Call of Duty and CoD: Warzone but are unfamiliar with the terms. Let’s break them down.

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What is boosting in Call of Duty games?

Boosting is a term used in many competitive games and represents the concept of a much higher-skilled and ranked player helping a lower-rank player get to an improved rank. This is most often done in some version of competitive duo queue, where the game’s matchmaking system takes the two player’s MMR ratings and seeks a median between them to pair them with opponents. This creates a situation in which the booster is still ranked higher than the enemies, thus giving them the opportunity to dominate the lobby and help the boostee advance in rank. Along with “boosting” this concept is sometimes referred to as “carrying” as well.

What is reverse boosting in Call of Duty games?

Despite sharing the word ‘boosting’ this concept is not the direct opposite to the concept we outlined above. Reverse boosting is a way for some players to try to trick and manipulate matchmaking by purposefully falling lower in rank so that they get easier lobbies and opponents. To reverse boost, players will play badly on purpose, missing clear shots and dying to anything, including a light breeze. After several such matches, the system will lower their MMR and start placing them in lower-ranked lobbies, where the player can then absolutely dominate the opposition by playing up to their full skill level (something that they clearly can’t do in their own rank). Obviously, this practice is very much frowned upon in Call of Duty and other games and is even considered a form of soft cheating. The concept of “reverse boosting” is sometimes also called “deranking” in other games.