What Does Limited Matchmaking Mean in MW3?

Find out what Limited Matchmaking means in MW3 and how to fix it here.

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If you’ve been playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, there’s a chance you’ve come across the Limited Matchmaking message. There’s nothing worse than a confusing notice that prevents you from jumping in and having a good time. Here’s what Limited Matchmaking means and how to resolve it.

Limited Matchmaking in MW3: Shadow Bans Explained

Limited Matchmaking is new for MW3, and it’s the game’s take on shadow bans. If your account is under investigation, you’ll receive a message stating that you’re suspected of a potential violation. Unfortunately, the message won’t detail exactly what has occurred. Sometimes, the shadow bans happen without reason, so players are becoming frustrated with the game’s anti-cheat system.

Shadow bans happen if you’re suspected of cheating or abusing the game’s rules. Once under investigation, you’ll be placed in restricted lobbies. The lobbies are restricted to accounts that are also in the limited matchmaking state. So, expect some toxic gamers once you load in. 

An operator in black and gold with a black hood stands in front of another operator shooting.
Image via Activision

If the devs decide you’re cheating the system, your account could be suspended. There are four stages of offenses that increase in punishment. Here are the potential penalties I found for MW3.

  • Minor Offense
    • An offense that does not cause any quantifiable harm to another player or community.
  • Extreme Offense
    • An offense where the player has caused harm to other players or has organized large groups of players to commit additional offenses.
  • Temporary Suspensions
    • They can range from 48 hours to two weeks or longer, depending on the severity of the infraction.
  • Permanent Suspensions
    • Exactly as it sounds. Your account will be permanently banned, and you might be unable to play past, present, or future titles in the Call of Duty franchise.

How to Fix Limited Matchmaking in MW3

Unfortunately, there’s not really any good news when it comes to Limited Matchmaking. There’s no set timeline for the investigation, and you’ll be stuck with toxic gamers. So, you’ll just have to wait it out. However, I highly suggest submitting a ticket to appeal an account penalty here. If you think you’ve been wrongfully placed in Limited Matchmaking, that is.

That’s all I can say about Limited Matchmaking is in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and how to fix it. It’s concerning to receive such a message if you’re playing legitimately, so appeal as soon as you can. Check out our MW3 guides hub for tips like the best loadouts and how to level up fast.

About the author

Maddison Ahlbrand

Maddison started her gamer journey traversing the lands of Runescape and World of Warcraft. These days, she can be found playing just about anything, and is always chasing the exciting discovery of a good game.