Valorant’s ranked system is an always-changing formula. Almost every patch includes a big or small change to how ranked works, which can confuse players. More importantly, it takes into consideration various metrics, most of which are hidden from players.
All of these can make ranked appear confusing. However, understanding Valorant’s ranking system is much easier than it seems. In this updated guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know about the ranked system in Valorant.
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All Valorant Ranks & Tiers
Valorant includes 8 different ranks in total, ranging from Iron all the way to Radiant (previously called Valorant). Each rank (except Radiant) splits into three tiers/divisions. Tier one is the lowest and tier three is the highest for each rank. By playing Valorant competitive games, players gain and lose Rank Rating (RR). To rank up from one tier to the next, players need to gain 100 RR. Therefore, if you are Gold 3 and reach 100 RR, you will be promoted to the next rank, which is Platinum 1.
There are also rare exceptions where players managed to skip certain tiers. For instance, one could reach 100 RR in Gold 1 and get instantly promoted to Gold 3, thus skipping Gold 2. This occurs when the player is consistently outperforming other players within their rank and thus has a great MMR. However, keep in mind that this is only an exception and not the rule.
As for how RR and MMR work, and how much is gained/lost after each game, we’ll go through everything in one of the later sections.
If players don’t participate in any competitive mode matches for 14 days, their rank becomes hidden. To get their game rank back, players will need to play one competitive game. There is no ranking decay for inactive players. However, they might receive a different rank after playing that one competitive game. The new rank will be based primarily on their performance in that specific match.
As for Immortal and Radiant ranks, there is also no ranking decay. But, players will lose their position on the leaderboards temporarily.
If you’re wondering which Valorant ranks are good, you can check the rank of the majority of the players. Taking data from Riot Games’ API for Valorant, here’s the rank distribution for July 2022. The most populated rank tier appears to be Silver 1, with over 70% of the total players being between Iron and Gold.
Requirements for Ranked
You can’t just download Valorant for the first time and start playing ranked right away. There are some minimal requirements. In order to match for competitive games, players will first need to reach account level 20. This can be done by playing any other game mode, like unrated matches or spike rush. Afterward, players unlock ranked queue and will have to play 5 placement matches before finding out their rank.
After unlocking your rank, there are some extra restrictions to keep in mind. First, players cannot queue ranked in squads of four. Players in Immortal and above cannot queue ranked in squads of both three and four.
Also, there is a restriction regarding which players you can play ranked with, based on your ranks. Iron and Bronze players can queue with others up to Silver. Silver players can queue with others up to Gold. Gold players can queue with others up to Platinum. Platinum and above players can queue with others maximum 1 rank above them (Diamond 1 can queue with up to Immortal 1). As for unranked players, they can queue up with others as long as their MMR is fairly close to the other players’ MMR.
Parties of 5 do not have any restrictions (Radiant players can even queue with Iron players). However, if there is a big rank disparity between the players, everyone will gain reduced RR on winning.
Episodes & Acts
Valorant’s ranking system splits into episodes and acts. Episodes focus on the greater picture, similar to seasons in League of Legends. Episodes change on average every 6 months. Each episode is split into three Acts. Valorant Acts lasts on average 2 months. For instance, we expect the current Episode 5 Act 1 to end on August 23, 2022 and Episode 5 Act 2 to launch on the same date.
When a new Episode launches, players will have to play 5 competitive games to gain their rank. Instead, when a new Valorant Act releases, players will need to play only one game to see their rank. Therefore, there is a soft rank reset and the ranked season ends whenever an Act or Episode launches.
Valorant Rank System RR & MMR
Valorant structures its ranked system around Rank Rating (RR) and MatchMaking Rating (MMR). These are the two factors that decide each player’s rank. Players can see their RR in game, while MMR is a hidden stat that players can only guess by estimates.
Valorant’s previous ranking system based on arrows has now been replaced. Now, players can see their RR in-game by selecting ‘Career’ and then ‘Match History’. There, they can see their current RR, as well as their recent gains and losses from competitive matches. Valorant also includes a system called performance bonus. If a player performs well against players of higher rank, they will gain more RR. This is based on individual performance and is meant to reward those who excel within their rank. Unfortunately, there is no exact way to know how many kills you would need, or how high the opponents’ ranks would need to be, to get a performance bonus.
However, how much RR players gain after each win, and how much they lose after each defeat, primarily depends on a hidden metric called MMR.
MMR is a hidden metric and, according to Riot Games, players cannot see their exact MMR. In short, MMR is a hidden metric that calculates a player’s skill level, based on their stats during their previous games (win/loss, kill/death ratio, performance against higher/lower ranks, etc.). There are a lot of stats that go into calculating MMR.
The best way to find out your average MMR is by checking how many RR you gain after a win and how many you lose after a defeat. If you gain more RR than you lose (e.g. gain 20 and lose 10), then the game thinks you deserve a better rank than the one you currently have. If you gain and lose the same RR, the game thinks you are in your deserved rank. Lastly, losing more RR than you gain means the game believes you deserve a lower rank than your current one.
In short, if you gain more RR during wins than you lose during defeats, Valorant’s ranking system believes you have a good MMR.
One important metric in Valorant’s ranked mode is the regional leaderboards. Through the leaderboards, players can find out which are the top-ranking players within a region, check their career history, as well as agents and game modes they play. Regional leaderboards are the best way to find out which region is the best. This can be done by checking the top-ranked players in each region. The best way to do this is through an external tracking site. On the top left side, there’s an option to choose a region, or even leave it at global and see the best players in the world.
Also, if you want yourself to be on the leaderboards, all you have to do is play 50 competitive matches total and have an active rank. Then, select ‘Career’ and then ‘Leaderboards’ to check your placement.
Valorant Rank System Act Rank Badge & Ranked Rewards
By selecting ‘Career’ and then ‘Act Rank’, players can see their current Act Rank Badge and how to upgrade it. Players fill their badge with small triangles, by gaining one triangle for each competitive win. Players get a triangle color based on the rank and division they won. For instance, winning at Gold 1 awards a pale gold triangle, while winning at Gold 3 awards a much shinier gold variant.
The more wins you get, the more detailed the badge becomes. It can feature 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100 small triangles, based on how much you’ve played. Also, by winning games, players also upgrade the badge’s border.
As for rewards, when each Act ends, players receive the respective Act’s badge. Then, they can showcase that badge on their profile as proof of their performance. When an Episode ends, players receive a buddy based on the highest rank they achieved during the episode.
This sums up our Valorant ranked system guide. There’s a lot to think about when trying to figure out how ranked works. The issue is that some of these features are hidden metrics and there’s no clear way to calculate them (primarily MMR and performance bonus). However, even when accounting for every detail, the same rule of thumb applies: try to win and try to perform well.