How Valorant Ranking System Works – Rankings Explained
If you love FPS multi-player games and have a competitive streak a mile wide, it’s time to jump into Valorant’s competitive ranked mode. This 5v5 FPS shooter game had everything a gamer could want when it first launched, but now Riot Games has made it even better.
You’ve made your way to mastery with your favorite Agents. Now, it’s time to see who’s really the best in the community. Pit your skills against like-minded individuals and climb to the top of the regional leaderboards. Bragging rights is right there for the taking – if you dare take the challenge.
But before you jump into a competitive match, you need to arm yourself with a bit of ranking system knowledge.
Keep reading to find out how Valorant’s ranking system works, how to advance ranks, and how the game’s Acts figure into ranking.
Valorant Rank System – Overview
Valorant’s ranking system is a bit confusing, especially for newcomers. The system is like other multi-player ranking systems with some key differences that are uniquely Riot Games.
To start, you can’t just jump into competitive/ranked mode on a whim. You must complete 10 unrated matches to unlock competitive mode for the game. When this new mode first launched, players only had to complete 20 unrated games to unlock it. Since completing games is easier than completing matches, trolls and smurfs flooded the matched competitions and created a myriad of problems.
Riot Games’ answer to potentially problematic players was to “up” the unlocking requirements in the form of match completions. It’s not a perfect solution, but completing matches requires a lot more dedication and commitment than just jumping into a few easy matches.
Once you complete the requisite 10 unrated match wins, you need to complete five placement matches. Placement matches help the game figure out where you should start in the ranking system.
Before you stress out about placement matches, don’t worry. Even if you lose your matches, the game takes your performance into consideration, too, not just whether you win or lose a placement match. Valorant also takes your previous 10 unrated wins into consideration when determining your rank.
Ranks and Tiers
There are eight ranks or divisions in the Valorant ranking system:
- Radiant (previously called “Valorant”)
The first six ranks also have three tiers or sub-ranks each you need to get through to advance to the next rank. The last two ranks, Immortal and Radiant, only have one tier each. There are 20 ranks in Valorant in total, excluding Unranked.
Most players start at the Iron rank, although their performance during placement matches can place them in a higher ranking and tier. For example, exceptional players may skip four levels and see their starting rank at Bronze 2.
It’s also possible to skip ranks and tiers as you compete in Competitive mode. It all depends on your MMR or matchmaking rating, performance, and frags (kills) in a match. Consistency is key if you’ve got your eye on skipping ranks. Go on large win streaks, get some MVPs, and you may advance through the ranks faster.
It takes a lot of dedication and patience, but if you perform well and win matches, you may eventually work your way to the top of the leaderboards. The top two ranks in the Valorant system are reserved for the best of the best. Only 500 players per region will achieve a Radiant rank while the Immortal rank is reserved for the top 1% in each region.
Some online multiplayer games encourage players to log in regularly by introducing a “ranking decay” mechanic. In other games, if a player doesn’t compete for a set period, their game rank starts deteriorating.
Valorant doesn’t have a rank decay mechanic, so you can take breaks from playing if you need to. However, if you spent too much time away from the game, you may have to play a placement game to reinstate your rank. The placement game helps determine your skill level after a long absence and whether you can still compete at your last rank.
From a competition standpoint, it makes sense. Riot Games wants to ensure that you’ll be placed in matches that are appropriate to your skill level. Completing a placement game before getting back into the swing of things can help you out, too. The last thing you want is to return to competitive mode only to find out that you’re a little rusty and in over your head.
Curious to find out how you rank against other players in your region?
Valorant’s Episode 2 introduced a new feature for competitive players: the regional leaderboards. The leaderboards display your rank and rank rating as well as some personal information like your Riot ID and player card. If you’d rather be a little more anonymous when you compete, you can always change your personal info to read “Secret Agent” instead.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see how you place on the regional leaderboards as soon as you begin competitive mode. You need to play at least 50 competitive games first. To keep your place on the board, you’ll need to put some time in the game and play at least one competitive game a week.
As mentioned before, your rank won’t decay but you won’t appear on the leaderboard if you disappear for a couple of weeks either.
Checking Match History
Getting insight into your past matches can help you determine what you’re doing right and where it’s all going wrong as you climb the ranks. Check out the steps below to access your match history:
- Go to the game’s main dashboard.
- Press the “Career” tab located at the top of the screen.
- Check out the information for your last 10 matches.
You’ll be able to see stats like wins and losses as well as kills, spike plants, assists, and first bloods. If you’re the type of player that likes to get a little meta, this information is invaluable for understanding and optimizing your match performance.
As a bonus, you can also see how other players performed in the same match. Simply select a game and check out the details.
Match Making Rating (MMR) Explained
Your Match Making Rating or MMR is one of the most important numbers that you’ll never see in competitive mode. It’s the means by which you’re matched to other players in competitive mode. If you picture a giant ladder, your MMR represents your rung on that ladder.
According to Riot Games, no two players will ever share the same rung or spot on the ladder. Each match determines whether you advance up the MMR ladder or are “pushed down by others.” It’s simply a rating that helps the game match you to players of a similar level, though, and is separate from your RR or Rank Rating.
Rank Rating (RR) Explained
Your Rank Rating is the number of points that you get after each competitive game. You earn RR points based on competition wins and your overall performance in the match, especially in lower tiers.
To advance to the next tier, you need to accumulate 100 RR points. Point allocation differs from game to game, but generally, the distribution looks like this:
- Wins: 10 – 50 RR, 5+ RR for Diamond ranks and above
- Losses: Minus 0 – 30 RR, 50 RR max drop for Diamond ranks and above
- Draws: 20 RR (based on performance) for ranks Iron – Diamond
Beware, though, because it is possible to get demoted to the previous tier if you receive no RR points in the game. If you do get demoted, Valorant has “demotion protection” for players wherein you won’t go below 80 RR for the newly demoted rank.
The good news is that it’ll only take you 20 RR to get back to the previous rank, but the bad news is that you got demoted in the first place.
MMR vs. RR
Your MMR and RR are separate scoring systems in Valorant. One helps the game match you with the appropriate players while the other determines your performance rank for competitive mode.
Here’s where it gets a little confusing:
Riot Games strives to create ideal matches that are suitable for your skillset, but they only have an “idea” of how well you’d perform. That “idea” is your Match Making Rating. Looking at both your MMR and RR, players are placed at the low end of their rank estimation for creating matches to test you.
If you “pass” the test or win consistently, you’re proving that you belong higher on that metaphorical ladder and will get matched with players closer to your performance level. You’ll also see a difference in your RR points.
When you win, you’ll get more points and when you lose, you’ll lose less. All those extra RR points go towards prepping you to move towards the higher end of the rank estimation the system created for you.
Riot Games eventually wants all players to move towards “convergence” for their MMR and RR scores. Ideally, your RR will reflect your performance level, and your MMR will allow you to prove that you belong in that rank.
Climb the Ranks With Skill, Not Grind
It’s tempting to play as many games as possible to “grind” your way to the top of the leaderboards, but that’s not how the ranking system works. While the game places emphasis on “wins,” they also look at how you win and the skills you displayed during your matches. If you want to advance through Valorant’s ranking system, it’s all about quality, not quantity.
How long does it take you to advance from one rank to the next in Valorant’s ranked mode? Tell us about it in the comments section below.