How The Valorant Ranking System Works – Rankings Explained

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If you love FPS multiplayer games and have a competitive streak a mile wide, it’s time to jump into Valorant’s competitive ranked mode. This 5v5 FPS shooter 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 really is the best in the community. Pit your skills against like-minded individuals and climb to the top of the regional leaderboards. Bragging rights are up for grabs – if you’re up for the challenge.

But before jumping into a competitive game, arm yourself with some ranking system knowledge. Keep reading to find out how Valorant’s ranking system works, how to advance ranks, and how the game’s Acts appear in rankings.

Valorant Rank System – Overview

Valorant’s ranking system is a bit confusing, especially for newcomers. The system is like other multiplayer ranking systems with a few key differences that are uniquely Riot Games.

First, you can’t just jump into competitive/ranked mode on a whim, and you won’t be put into unfair matches due to Riot Games’ unique Rank Ratings (RR) and Matchmaking Rankings (MMR) systems. Second, the leaderboards leave out how much you play to keep it fair. A person with more kills and wins who plays less still gets their ranking spot when someone else has more plays, more kills/wins, but less of a kill/win ratio.

Here’s the breakdown of Valorant Ranks and how they work in 2023.

Initial Ranking System Details

When this new mode was first introduced, players only had to complete 20 unrated games to unlock competitive mode. Since completing games is easier than completing matches, many trolls and smurfs flooded the matching contests and created problems, so ten unrated matches became the requirement.

The ranking system before episode 4

Before Episode 4 launched, you had to complete ten unrated matches to unlock competitive mode for the game. Riot Games’ answer to potentially problematic players was to “raise” the unlock requirements through match completions. It’s not a perfect solution, but completing matches takes more dedication and commitment than just jumping into a few easy matches.

Once you completed ten unranked match wins, you had to complete five placement matches. Placement matches helped the game figure out where you should start in the ranking system.

Even if you lost matches, the game took into account your performance, not just whether you won or lost a placement match. Valorant also took into account your previous ten unranked victories when determining your rank.

The ranking system after episode 4

Now, from Episode 4 onwards, you must reach account level 20 to access competitive/ranked mode games. However, if you’ve played at least one ranked game before Episode 4, you’ll gain access to the same competitive games.

Before you stress about placement matches, take a closer look.

Brave Ranks and levels

Image source: Riot Games

There are nine ranks or divisions in the Valorant ranking system:

  • Iron
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Golden
  • Platinum
  • Diamond
  • rising
  • Immortal
  • Radiant (formerly called “Valorant”)

The first eight ranks have three levels that you must achieve to advance to the next rank. The last rank, Radiant, has only one level. There are a total of 25 ranks in Valorant, excluding unranked.

Most players start at the Iron rank, although their performance during placement matches can place them in a higher rank and level. For example, exceptional players can skip four levels and see their starting rank at Bronze 2.

When a new episode starts, all players must play 5 placement matches to be placedwith Ascendant 1 as the highest initial placement.

It is necessary to play one placement match to receive your rank in Act 2 or 3 of a new episode. Your rank will not drop at the start of each action, but it will dog drop if your placement match becomes a bad experience.

It is also possible to skip ranks and levels while playing in competitive mode. It all depends on your matchmaking rating (MMR), performance and frags (kills) in a match. Consistency is key if you have your eye on skipping ranks. Go on big winning streaks, get some MVPs, and you can advance through the ranks faster. You must achieve a 100 Rank Rating (RR) per action to move up, such as from Iron Rank 1 to Rank 2.

After you are initially placed in a Rank, you get 50 RR to start. For Episode Acts 2 and 3, you get a minimum of 10 RR. Once you reach Immortal 2 or higher, you must earn a specific amount of RR to be promoted, which is based on regional settings. For North America (NA), you need 90 RR to be promoted to Immortal 2, 200 RR for Immortal 3, and 450 RR to achieve Radiant Rank.

The top two ranks in the Valorant system (Immortal and Radiant) are reserved for the best of the best.

It takes a lot of dedication and patience, but if you perform well and win matches, you can eventually work your way to the top of the leaderboard.

Ranking expires

Some online multiplayer games encourage players to log in frequently by introducing a “rank decay” mechanic. In other games, if a player does not compete for a set period of time, their ranking begins to decline.

Valorant has no rank decay mechanic, so you can take breaks from playing if you want. However, if you spend too much time away from the game, you may need to play a placement game to recover your rank. The placement game helps determine your skill level after a long absence and whether you can still compete on your last ranking.

From a competition point of view, it makes sense. Riot Games wants to ensure that you are placed in matches that are appropriate for your skill level. Completing a placement game before things start swinging again can help you too. The last thing you want is to return to competitive mode only to find yourself a little rusty and in over your head.

Region Rankings

Curious to find out how you stack up against other players in your region?

Valorant Episode 2 introduces a new feature for competitive players: the regional leaderboards. The leaderboards show your ranking, rating and personal information such as your Riot ID and player card. If you’d rather be a little more anonymous when competing, you can always change your personal information to read “Secret Agent” instead.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see how you rank on the regional leaderboards when you start competitive mode. You must play at least 50 competitive games first. To keep your spot on the board, you’ll need to spend time in the game and play at least one competitive match per week.

As mentioned before, your ranking won’t expire, but you also won’t show up on the leaderboard if you disappear for a few weeks.

Check match history

Understanding your past matches can help you pinpoint what you’re doing right and where you’re going wrong as you climb the ranks. Check out the steps below to access your match history:

  1. Go to the game’s main dashboard.
  2. Press the “profession” tab at the top of the screen.
  3. View the information for your last ten matches.

You’ll be able to see stats like wins and losses, as well as kills, spikes, assists and first bloods. If you’re the type of player who likes to score a little goal, this information is invaluable in understanding and optimizing your match performance.

You can also see how other players did in the same match as a bonus. Simply select a game and view the details.

Match Making Rating (MMR) Explained

Your Match Making Rating (MMR) is one of the most important numbers you will ever have, but you can’t see it. This is an internal system that Valorant uses to determine your rank and placement in matches. This is how you match up with other players in competitive mode. If you imagine a giant ladder, your MMR represents your step on that ladder.

Riot Games states that no two players can share the same tier or place on the leaderboards. Each match determines whether you advance on the MMR ladder or “get pushed down by others.” This is simply a rating that helps the game match you with players of a similar level and is separate from your RR or Rank rating.

Riot Games also considers your performance, such as the number of matches compared to wins and kills, to rank you on the ladder to maintain a fair playing field. For example, if “Player 1” wins more matches than you, but plays less, you cannot take their place in the leaderboards and affect their successful placement. You didn’t win as much, even though you played more games.

Rank Rating (RR) Explained

Your rank rating is the number of points you get after each competitive match. You earn RR points based on competition wins and your overall performance in the game, especially in lower levels.

To advance to the next level, you need to collect 100 RR points. Point allocation varies from game to game, but in general the distribution looks like this:

  • Wins: 10 – 50 RR, 5+ RR for Diamond ranks and above
  • Losses: Minus 0 – 30 RR, 50 RR maximum drop for diamond ranks and above
  • Draws: 20 RR (based on performance) for ranks Iron – Diamond

Be careful though, because it’s possible to be demoted to the previous level if you don’t receive any RR points in the game. If you do get demoted, Valorant has “demo protection” for players where you will not drop below 70 RR (previously 80 RR) for the newly demoted rank.

The good news is that it will only take you 30 RR to return to the previous rank, but the bad news is that you were 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.

Riot Games strives to create ideal matches suited to your skill set, but they only have an “idea” of how well you will perform. That “idea” is your Match Making Rating. When Riot Games looks at your MMR and RR, you are placed at the bottom of your ranking to create matches to test you.

If you “pass” or consistently win the test, you prove that you belong higher up that metaphorical ladder and will be matched with players closer to your performance level. You will also see a difference in your RR points.

If you win, you will get more points, and if you lose, you will lose less. All those extra RR points go to prepare you to move to the higher end of the ranking the system has 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 leaderboard system works. While the game emphasizes “wins”, they also check how you win and the skills you displayed during your matches. If you want to progress through Valorant’s ranking system, it’s all about quality, not quantity.

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