I know for a fact the absolute average has to be slightly under 1.00, counting suicides, because for every one kill there has to be one death.
You answered your own question.
As far as where most "good" players lie, the answer is that it doesn't really matter. Pub-stompers, who just go into regular lobbies and repeatedly massacre players much less skilled then they are, often maintain k/d ratios above 3. Top pros, who usually play against each other, probably wouldn't even be able to tell you what their own k/d was but most would hover in the 0.8-1.2 range. What game mode you usually play has a huge impact on your k/d, as well.
Biggest tip: just ignore that statistic, or at least don't consider it an indicator of how well a person plays. Also, as a beginning player I'd highly recommend that you try modes other than TDM while you figure out the game; Domination is a great game type for beginners, as you can have an absolutely horrible k/d but still help your team to win by capturing and defending the objective flags. Plus, since you get more points for those activities, it will allow you to earn scorestreaks more often (which always makes the game more fun).
This somewhat reminds me of high school when teachers would implore the kids to learn the material and not simply memorize for a test to get a good grade. Didn't work.
It seems regardless of how much you try to implore that KDR isn't a factor and shouldn't matter, it's there; and it's by far the most important thing to the majority of players. Like back in school after the test when kids would ask "What'd you get? What'd you get? I got an A!" it's the same with KDR. "What's your KDR? What's your KDR???"
So many factors that just don't matter; I was damn proud I had 6 plants on demolition last night because no one else had a single one. My KD? Something like 27 and 52. *shrug* Oh well, I got the win, and pretty much by myself. Some other stud went 70-20. Zero plants, zero defends. Wow.
Edited for stupid auto-correct.
Statistically, people think that an average KDR should be around 1.0 given that for every Kill, there's a death. But people are looking at the equation all wrong. They're assuming total kills and total deaths, without regard for who those kills are attributed to. By that I mean, let's take this scenario for 5 people, all in the same match playing a FFA:
Player 1 - 30 Kills - 11 Deaths - 2.72 Ratio
Player 2 - 28 Kills - 15 Deaths - 1.86 Ratio
Player 3 - 16 Kills - 19 Deaths - 0.84 Ratio
Player 4 - 10 Kills - 22 Deaths - 0.45 Ratio
Player 5 - 3 Kills - 20 Deaths - 0.15 Ratio
Now, statistically, there's 1 death per kill. But the average ratio doesn't add up to 1.0. If you get the average of all their K/D Ratios, it comes out to about 1.20. So you can see how the average ratio isn't as simple as just adding up all the kills and deaths in the game. The average K/D for that match turned out to be 1.20 despite an even number of kills and deaths.
So, what is the average K/D? It's really hard to say actually. You'd have to get a large sampling of players, from all skill levels and average it out from there.
On a personal level, I aim for roughly 1.5 as a K/D. Whether that's "Good" or not is subjective, but for me it works since I'm largely and Objective player. I don't need to pull an average of a 2-3 K/D for a match since I'm more focused on capping and defending flags. So if I want to say that I had a good match, I would say 1.5 K/D with active objective participation qualifies for me.
That's a very good point. However, I just wanted to add that by 'absolute average' I sort of meant the 1-1 kill/death factor, not an individual's 'absolute average'. True, you take a 30/1 and a 1/30, you come up with 30.00 K/D and 0.03 K/D, which unless my math is wrong averages at 15.015, showing up at 15.02.
Now, excuse me for being somewhat geeky, but you're right about the individual average to be maybe 1.1 to 1.2 K/D. But then, the median, (pros get like 4-5 K/D and new people get way under .80) is probably somewhere around 1.00. I would say your answer is very helpful to my question even if everyone's opinion is slightly different, so thanks.
For all the people who will tell you KDR doesn't matter, they are full of baloney. No matter what game mode you play there is going to be a team full of hostiles playing against you. Achieving any objective is going to require you to take them out.
However, W/L trumphs KDR anyday. You don't always have to massacre teams to win but the most important thing is to WIN. That being said, players will always give you crap for having less than a 1.0 KDR even if you are winning. We as players, don't have enough data to truthfully come up with an average KDR but you basically want to keep it above 1.00.
You're making a mathematical error. The true average K/D is not the average of all KDs in a match because you're not taking into account the weight behind each K/D. For example, 30 Kills / 11 deaths receives more weight than 3 Kills / 20 Deaths because statistically it accounted for more of the average kills and deaths.
The true average K/D of that match is the # of kills divided by the # of deaths.
Kills: 30 + 28 + 16 + 10 + 3 = 87
Deaths: 11 + 15 + 19 + 22 + 20 = 87
87 / 87 = 1
The true average K/D in Call of Duty would be slightly below 1. This is because, for each kill, there must be a death. However, for each death, there does not have to be a kill (suicide). Therefore, the average K/D will be a little bit below 1.
I love how everyone in this thread is trying to rationalize an average KDR based on flawed logic. THERE IS NOTHING THAT SAYS THERE MUST BE ONE DEATH FOR ONE KILL. When a player makes a kill there is nothing that says he will automatically die afterward. Likewise, the person who died isn't guranteed a kill in his/hers next life.You are trying to make a sweeping generalization for a game that is played by MILLLIONS of people on a regular basis. None of us have the data to calculate the average KDR. If anyone replies to this with some bs logic again, I'll be forced to whip out multi-variate derivatives for the rate of change of kills per death, which will gives us a formula that WE DON'T HAVE SUFFICIENT DATA FOR.