Valorant Ranks and Ranked Play – New Ranking System Explained
Despite being over a year old, Valorant continues to evolve its rank system as time progresses. Here, we will cover the must knows of Valorant, from basic information about the ranked system, to tips and tricks to best tackle competitive matchmaking.
We already played well over 300 matches during the beta, and probably another 700, over the past year or so. Reaching Radiant thrice, it’s about time we break down ranked play and the Valorant Ranks system. We will attempt to cover all essential information for your path to Radiant.
The Valorant Competitive matchmaking went live in North America and Europe on May 1st. Korea, Brazil and LATAM will enable their Ranked Queues today (May 15th). These queues will end on May 19 at the same time they start in order to evaluate server stability in these regions.
The Ranked system consists of 8 tiers subdivided into 3 ranks per tier, except the game’s highest rank, Radiant. The progression of Valorant ranks in order are: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal and Radiant. Like in most games, the rank distribution of all Valorant ranks are different, with the majority of players being concentrated in the lower-mid ranks like Iron, Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Most players can expect to be placed between Iron and Silver after completing their placements. Some exceptionally good performers can be placed in Gold and Platinum, but this would entail you are playing with a full squad of friends and won almost every single game through your placement period.
How to get ranks in Valorant?
To get a rank in Valorant, you must first be eligible to play competitive queue. Players previously had to previously simply play 20 unrated matches, however, this cause a large problem in unrated lobbies due to players going AFK to fulfill this competitive queue pre-requisite. To remedy this, Riot implemented a new requirement for players to win 10 games instead.
Following winning your 10 games, you will then need to complete 5 competitive games to unlock your rank. Your first 5 games will be crucial in the determination of your starting rank. Note, for those unlocking their rank for the first time, your unrated MMR (match making rating) will affect your initial starting competitive MMR and hence rank placement.
Most players can expect to be placed between Iron and Silver after completing their placements. Some exceptionally good performers can be placed in Gold and Platinum, but more often than not, it would also require playing with a full squad of friends who are also that rank and winning the majority of your games in the placement period.
How to rank up?
The ranking system in Valorant is straight forward. Once a player is due to reach or exceed 100 points, they will be automatically promoted to the next rank. As a small safeguard, Riot will only de-rank you once you have lost a full game at 0 points. These points are awarded based on your performance in the game, the number of games you have played, and your hidden competitive MMR. This hidden competitive MMR is based on a number of different factors, including your past performance and win/loss streaks.
Can you skip in the Valorant ranks system?
Yes. Skipping ranks is most often seen in the lower to mid-tier ranks after placement. This is because Riot is still trying to determine your true competitive MMR / rank, allowing short win streaks to turn into quick rank gains. Skipping is also common after a rank reset at the end of an episode, where Riot dramatically reduces the ranks of all people. However, while ranks have been reset, the hidden competitive MMR of players remain, leading to quick rank ups for those who find early success.
There is some words to be said about the Valorant matchmaking system. Riot has tried heavily to fix issues like peekers advantage, desync and keeping the latency between players equal.
When it comes to Ranked matchmaking they do have some sort of figuring out how to match players of similar skill level, although in our experience, its not really working well. Sometimes player skill at same or similar ranks is massively unbalanced. We do know, that’s what Beta testing is for, but Riot definitely has to tune their matchmaking system.
Finally, Europe is facing a common issue when it comes to server division. In League of Legends there are separate servers for Russia and Turkey. In Valorant however, there is a good chance you will be matched on Turkish or Russian servers and as a result lose your mind if you don’t speak the language.
The levels of toxicity and bigotry in some matches reaches insane heights, yet Riot thinks that’s OK as long as the latency is low enough and queue times are low. We do honestly hope a solution will be found when the game goes live.
This last issue, was we believe purely a European problem, as other servers do have a semblance of hegemony.
Can I play competitive Valorant with friends?
Riot made a clear early stance on how they feel with party competitive Valorant, respecting the fact people like to play with their friends in games. According to a Riot dev:
“Having a solo queue can easily lead to that becoming the definitive test of someone’s skills and the primary way to play competitively. We’ve opted instead to allow players to play at any team size they prefer. We also think it’s valuable for players to search for good teammates now for competitive play, so when higher-stakes competition becomes available, they already have teammates they can rely on.”
However, this must also be balanced with competitive integrity, ensuring a player’s rank is reflective of their skill. Currently, the Valorant ranking system places greater scrutiny and restrictions on the upper echelons where people tend to care more about their rank. You can play competitive with friends, however, there are restrictions that prevent players of vastly different ranks from playing with each other. For those at the highest few ranks (Diamond 3+), you can only play with one other friend in competitive queue.
Valorant ranking system restrictions:
- All Iron to Silver players
- All Silver to Gold players
- All Gold to Platinum players
- Plat or above, 1 tier difference
Generally, it is better to have a squad of players that you regularly play with and prep tacs with. This also reduces the randomness / luck factor of teammates, leading to a more enjoyable rank experience. If you plan to advance past Platinum or Diamond in ranked play, its highly suggested you play with a 5 stack. So be sure to find four friends, or add strong teammates to play with regularly as a unit throughout your “Ranked career”.
There is however a subset of players that wish to forge their own path and cherish playing with 4 random players versus another 5 random players. Choosing to go solo in Platinum or Diamond is often a long grind of carrying your team while facing a much more coordinated and likely 5-stack enemy squad. To cater for these competitive iron men, Riot implemented a system that reduces the chance of solo queue players running into a 5-stack.
Valorant new ranking system
For those who have played in the past and are looking to get into Valorant, this is the perfect time for you! Riot has recently tweaked the ranking system in Episode 3 Act 2, making it easier for players especially in the lower ranks to climb up. This means there is a good chance you will be 1-2 ranks higher than you use to be once you back into the groove.
Episode 3 Act 2 has also seen Riot bring back the 3 ranks in Immortal, thereby once again being able to differentiate the best of the best easier. Previously, Riot had merged all the Immortal ranks into one, citing that diving such a rank with a small player base was unnecessary. However, as Valorant has continued to grow, the number of Immortals players have shot up, leading them to introduce separated Immortal ranks once again.
On the conclusion of every episode, players will be sent a gun buddy that matches their highest act rank. Depending on a player’s activity, they will also be awarded a border (ranging from rank 1-5) which is displayed on their profile. We’ve made an entire post about the current ranked rewards in EP3 Act 2.
5 tips that will instantly improve your Valorant Rank
There is probably a thousand tips we can give out and you will still be in Iron 1. Yet, if you follow at least some of these tips you are more likely to perform better in certain situations.
So here goes..
- Communication is key. Learn the call-outs and get comfortable using a microphone.
- Always practice at the Shooting Range before starting your daily matches.
- Use the mini-map. Valorant has a lot of information packed in your top left-hand corner.
- Sound is important, learn how far your footsteps sound travels and where sound queues originate.
- Watch a Valorant Stream or Youtube Videos.
In the end, remember that competitive play is only being tested currently. Worry more about your rank come summer, not now.
Check our guide about: Valorant Betting