What does MMR mean in Overwatch, and will it be reset in Overwatch 2?

Understanding your secret rank, and how it might change.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Have you ever felt like your competitive rank is stuck in Overwatch, and no matter how many games you win you don’t seem to make much progress? This could be because Overwatch uses more than just wins and losses to determine your overall rank. It also uses a set of criteria that aren’t as easy to see, called MMR. Here’s how MMR works in Overwatch, and whether you have to worry about it or not in Overwatch 2.

MMR explained

MMR in Overwatch is a second, hidden rank that operates like your visible player ranking (also called SR) with a few differences. Generally, SR reflects wins and losses more, so it tends to fluctuate quite a bit as you go through winning or losing streaks. MMR, on the other hand, is intended to be a more accurate reflection of a player’s individual skill, so it takes into account personal stats more than SR. This means that MMR is a more stable score that only changes drastically if you increase your impact consistently over a long period of time.

It should be noted that although the two numbers are separate, MMR does have an impact on SR over time. You can see this in the variation in SR gains and losses after each match. For example, you might win four matches in a row and gain 20 SR each time, but follow that up with two losses where you lose 40 SR each time, ending up right where you started. In this instance, that might be because your MMR is lower than your SR, and the game is correcting for what it views as your “true” rank.

Will MMR carry over to Overwatch 2?

During an AMA on Reddit in the lead-up to the release of Overwatch 2, the game’s principal system designer Scott Mercer announced that player MMR scores would (mostly) not be reset with the release of the sequel. Inactive players will, however, have their MMR scores decay over time. This means that players looking to jump back into the sequel after some time away will have something more like a soft reset.

Related: Will Overwatch 2 have a guild system? Answered

By contrast, the decay system in Overwatch only applies to player SR, and leaves MMR unchanged. This means that Overwatch players could step away for months at a time and regain most of their rank relatively quickly upon returning. With MMR decay arriving in Overwatch 2, this will no longer be the case, and players will have to spend more time regaining their lost rank.