Valorant ranking system, explained

How it all adds up.

Image via Riot Games

For many people, playing competitive shooters like Valorant is all about finding out how you stack up against other players. This means jumping into the ranked queue and playing games that have consequences, improving or decreasing your rank with each victory or loss.

The ranking system in Valorant is not exactly transparent, so in this article, we will break down everything you need to know about it.

Placement matches and how they work

The first step on the path to ranked win 10 unrated matches. Only after finishing your 10th victory in an unrated match will a player be able to take on their 5 placement matches. Placement matches will decide your initial rank, and the more you win, the higher than initial rank will be. Personal performance also matters, so as long as you play your best and perform well, you should get a decent placement.

You can play with friends if you like, but if the system notices that your friends are consistently carrying, you may need to play some solo matches.

MMR

Valorant uses a Matchmaking Rating, or MMR system, to track a player’s personal performance. This is independent of your team and considers elements like your kills, deaths, successful plants, etc. It is effectively a rating for overall skill.

While the value itself is hidden, your matches should be populated with players of similar MMR ratings. Consistent good performances and wins will increase your MMR, and you will end up with better players in your lobby.

MMR is very important when it comes to another very important performance metric, Performance-based Ranked Rating.

Ranked Rating

Ranked Rating is the visible part of ranked progress that players can actually see. Winning or losing matches rewards players will Ranked Rating points based on their performance. Where MMR matters is that if a player’s MMR is higher than their Rank, they will earn more RR for wins than they lose for losses, keeping them in a pretty safe place for advancement up the ranks.

The system itself is designed to put players in a situation called “Convergence” where their MMR, and rank, make sense in relation to each other. Convergence basically means that players will gain or lose roughly equal RR for their wins and losses.

Ideally, what should happen is that skilled players will quickly develop a good MMR, rapidly earning Ranked Rating and quickly jumping up through the ranks, but their placements games will be against people of similar skill.

Ranks

The Valorant player base is split into eight different ranks, Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, Radiant. THose Ranks are then broken down into three different tiers, except for Radiant which just has one.

Players need to progress from the rank they are in, for example, Bronze 2, through each bracket above them. For a Bronze 2 player, good performances will get them placement games which, if victorious, will see them moved up to Bronze 1. More success will get them Silver placement games, and so on.

Ranking in Valorant does not decay, but a long break between matches will result in placement games that can impact MMR and RR. Rank is also reset between each act, resulting in a placement match to earn rank again. The rewarded rank is based on their previously held rank and their performance in the placement match.