You install Valorant, set your usual shooter settings, and now you want to compete with other players in Ranked Mode. But how does that work exactly?
Ranked Mode in Valorant requires 20 unranked matches. For a rank, a player has to play five matches. Only players with a maximum of 2 rank difference can play within a team. At the start of a new act, all ranks get a reset. Dodging a match will result in a time penalty but no decrease in rank.
It can be very exciting to chase the next rank. So here we give you a short overview of the rank system of Valorant.
Note: This article was written in English. Translations into other languages may not provide the same linguistic quality. We apologize for grammatical and semantic errors.
How do you play ranked mode?
Valorant offers four game modes: The Unrated, the Casual Spike rush, Deathmatch, and the competitive mode. Unlike the first three, the competitive ranked mode is locked until you meet a specific requirement. For this, you have first to complete 20 unrated matches.
Don’t worry. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose these matches. You have to play. Also, unrated matches will not affect your competitive mode – once you unlock it.
To get your first rank, you have to play 5 placement matches in the competitive mode. It’s sort of like a warm-up, which determines your ranking positing. Duly note that these matches act as a backbone for your overall ranking position. Thus, if you perform well in these matches, you will have a higher rank right away.
There are eight ranks in Valorant, with a total of 3 levels except the last one. This means that you can rise or fall 22 possible levels, with each level having its own skill batch.
According to Valorant official blog post, “winning games is the most important factor in gaining rank.” However, your performance will also have a more significant impact on the game.
As you may have guessed, Valorant does indeed incorporate a points system. Though it isn’t apparent, the hidden MMR/ELO system is responsible for providing you with points that determine your rank. And as mentioned before, the allotted points are based on your performance. So don’t expect any flashy animations while you climb the rank ladder. Instead, all you’ll notice is your rank-tier under your name.
You can quickly get a rank up or down. If you play well in your placement matches, you can easily rank to the highest placement in the selected tier. The only downside is that you can’t see your rank progress. It’s hidden and only showcases some performance-based statistics throughout each Valorant Act.
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Does Valorant Rank Reset?
With each new Valorant Act update, players will see a ‘soft reset’ in their ranking tier. The company’s officials broke this news down during the Act 2 launch.
The ‘Soft reset’ term means that all players will be put into ‘abridged placement’ phase for the next competitive mode games. If you perform well in these games, you will be promoted higher in the ranks. However, if your performance is just satisfactory, you will likely be placed one rank lower. The same goes for Act 3 and so forth.
As quoted by Riot Games themselves:
“Typically, your Match Rank will land a couple of tiers below where you ended the prior Act, but we’ll be increasing how heavily we weigh performance in your early games so you can quickly improve your matchmaking rank if you play well and win.”
Act 3, in particular, has a lot of ranked changes. Starting from the top, players will now get a leaderboard to check the rank tiers. This was not possible in the Act 2 segment. Most people complained to the game developers that the game becomes somewhat boring when you reach the highest rank level.
It’s good to see that Riot listened to players’ voices and came up with a leader board system. The next big update is reducing the key rank from 6 tiers to 3 tiers. That means that if you’re Platinum 3, you will be paired with up to Diamond 3.
What Ranks Can Play Together?
The developers have dedicated a fair amount of time and effort to the matchmaking system of Valorant. However, a common problem seen among many multiplayer titles is unfair and sometimes downright broken matchmaking. Despite the implemented system for avoiding such issues, high-level players are teamed up with low-level players. These problems are often the culprit behind a player’s declining MMR, pushing them to rage quit the game.
The Valorant dev team has prioritized perfect matchmaking over other factors. And while their efforts did come to fruition, some fluctuations are bound to happen in every system. The matchmaking system will typically pair you up with players of the same rank, slightly above you or below you. The exact algorithm is a bit difficult to discern, but that’s the least you can expect.
In Act 3, you have seen a handful of new changes on how players can play together in the competitive mode. The developers have finally decided to tighten the rank disparity from 6 tiers to 3 tiers. Meaning that if your rank is Diamond 3, you will be paired up to Immortal 3.
Moving on, if you’re playing with a bunch of friends or a random party, you can queue up a party of 5 players max. However, your group mates must be within two ranks of you.
Riot Games has made it clear that playing in parties will also be monitored by the matchmaking system. It will analyze and evaluate each player’s skill individually, thereby matching them against players of similar skill levels. Thus, the system effectively combats rank boosting, smurfs, and warranting a balanced match for the entire player base.
Do You Lose Ranks for Dodging Games in Valorant?
Dodging a game is common in all competitive games and can be for a variety of reasons. It may be that you want to play a certain agent, but someone else has “immediately locked” that character. Or you may be on the same team as the person you lost the last game with. Players may avoid a game due to a system crash, bugs, or map preferences. In any case, it is often considered necessary to dodge a game, even if the behavior is unethical.
The MMR does not drop from dodging matches, nor does it decay from inactivity. The only factors that affect the MMR positively or negatively are your wins and losses. Several months after the official release of League of Legends, another title by Riot Games, many low-level players were seen to rise to Diamond rank by abusing the system. However, to avoid this illegitimate rank-boosting, Riot learned from their past mistakes and proposed a counter to the problem. They employed a simple yet effective tactic of penalizing players with timed penalties. The timer would initially start with a penalty of 3 minutes, increasing over time if you continue to dodge matches.
Furthermore, the penalties also depend on several factors. For example, if the said person chooses a character before dodging, they would be punished with a minor 3-minute penalty. But, if you just dropped out right after entering the character selection screen, the penalty can go up to an hour. So, rest assured, even the toxic players selecting their characters and leaving would be effectively dealt with by significantly increasing their timers.
What better a consequence than keeping the player from playing their favorite game?
All beginnings are complicated, and 20 unrated matches are a tough nut to crack. After that, however, the fun begins in Ranked Mode. Climbing up the ladder (or falling) is the salt in the Valorant soup.
Don’t be afraid to compete with others. This is the only way to become good. In addition, you will be rewarded with small goodies at the end of each act.
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