Valorant ranks, MMR, and more explained – The Loadout

What are the Valorant ranks? From the first mouse click of the game’s closed beta in April 2020, Valorant has rapidly ascended to being one of the most popular FPS games on the market. Sporting a robust ranked system, those at the top of the Valorant ranks can even stake their claim for a spot on a top team in the Valorant Champions Tour.

Like any number of the multitude of multiplayer games out there, Valorant does also offer players a chance to play about in a casual mode, but its competitive FPS games ranked mode is the one that you’ll really be sinking a lot of time into. If you’ve mastered Raze or want to show off your Reyna skills against some like-minded individuals, then the Valorant ranks is the place to be.

What are the Valorant ranks?

Here are the Valorant ranks in order:

At the moment, there are nine tiers of ranks in Valorant’s ranking system – starting with Iron and ending in Radiant. All Valorant rank tiers except Radiant have three sub-ranks within them, with rank one the lowest and rank three the highest. Therefore, if you exclude Unranked, there are 25 Valorant ranks in Riot Games’ tactical shooter.

Additionally, the top 500 players in each region will achieve Radiant rank, and approximately the top 1% per region will achieve Immortal rank. That’s where you really want to be setting up shop.

Viper and Cypher protect Raze as she plants the Spike

How to unlock Valorant ranked

If you’re looking to dive straight into Valorant’s ranked mode as soon as your game is finished installing, then we’ve got bad news for you: you can’t.

You’ll have to unlock access to Valorant’s competitive modes by first reaching account level 20. This should give players ample time to get used to a couple of agents, learn the maps, and master some gameplay mechanics.

The decision to make account level 20 the barrier to entry will be implemented in Valorant Episode 4. Previously, players just had to play ten regular, unrated matches of Valorant to unlock ranked play.

How do the Valorant ranks work?

Valorant’s ranking system works like most competitive games out there. Once ranked mode is unlocked by reaching account level 20, you’ll need to play five placement matches to determine your starting rank and your skill level.

Valorant uses a matchmaking rating system, known as MMR, to rate players in ranked. Every player will have a number associated with their account that adjusts over time – putting them in and out of ranks as they get better.

Valorant Episode 3 introduced sweeping improvements and changes to matchmaking in ranked, such as better matchmaking accuracy, and adjustments to players’ Ranked Rating curves to make climbing and falling down the ranks “less volatile”.

Valorant ranks: Sova readies his bow in Valorant

The ranking system in Valorant is largely based around whether you win or lose a match as a team, with your individual performance also playing a slightly smaller roll.

That changes when you hit the higher ranks though. At Immortal and Radiant ranks, Riot will only take into account how you win and lose your matches, with individual performance being the main factor in the matchmaking process. The developer says this is because it “trusts you and your teammates have earned your way there.”

Your rank will also be hidden if you’re inactive for 14 days. This will return once you’ve played your first match back. Your rank will not decay if you go away longer than two weeks either.

At the start of a new Act, it’ll only take you five games to get a rank, but be aware: your MMR from the previous rank will be taken into account, so expect a “conservative placement” at first where you can work your way back up the ranks. In other words, expect to be placed a few tiers below where you were in the previous act.

What are Valorant Acts and Episodes?

Acts are basically seasons in Valorant. Every Valorant Act will span about two months, and during that time, you’ll be able to work on your rank and track your overall progression. Three Acts make up an Episode, meaning Episodes last around six months.

What are Valorant Act ranks?

Valorant now has Act Ranks, which is a way of showing off your proven skill during and at the end of a season.

If you’re not sure how the Act Rank Badge triangles work, here’s a rough outline. Every time you play a match in an Act, your Rank Act badge will be filled with a new triangle representing the rank you played in. As you progress up the ranks, new triangles representing higher-ranked matches will replace the lower-ranked matches. The border for the badge will also change based on the number of wins you achieve in that rank. For some, their badge at the end of an act will look pretty colourful, but for those at the top dominating Radiant, expect to see a solid gold triangle.

In Episode 1 you were only awarded triangles for winning matches, but from Episode 2 onward you are awarded a triangle based on the rank you end a match with, regardless of the outcome.

Valorant ranks: A triangle that contains different coloured triangles that represent your overall rank in Valorant

You can view your Act Rank badge at any time in the career page.

How do I track rank progression in Valorant?

Your rank progress can be tracked in Match History, but Episode 2 brought a leaderboard and progress bars to make things easier. Instead of Episode 1’s arrows, Valorant Rank Rating is now shown on a progress bar which shows your proximity to the next rank.

You can earn Valorant RR by playing matches, the majority of which comes from winning or losing. You will always gain Rank Rating in a win, and always lose Rank Rating in a loss. However, at lower ranks your individual performance can help you progress quicker.

You will gain between 10-50 Rank Rating for a win, and a max of 20 for a draw. Between Iron and Diamond ranks, individual performance will be taken into account when calculating your Rank Rating.

You will always start at 10 Rank Rating after being promoted to a new rank, and a minimum of 80 after a demotion. You can find each Episode’s rank rewards on the rank info page.

Valorant ranks: Jett stands looking at the camera while tossing one of her knives up in the air

Why does Valorant ranked allow premade teams?

Currently, Valorant allows parties of up to five people of any ranks to queue together. Previously, players could only do this if they were within one rank (three tiers) of each other. However, in update 3.10, in an attempt to combat smurfing, Riot has changed this.

Now, five stacks can play together, regardless of their ranks – albeit for less rank rating points. Here’s how it works:

If everyone in your group is Diamond 2 and below:

  • Expect longer queue times as you’ll only match against another five stack of a similar average MMR
  • Rank Rating gains and losses will be reduced when playing in a five stack outside of rank restriction rules. The amount of RR you recieve depends on the ranked disparity in the group.

If one or more members of your group is Diamond 3 and above:

  • Expect much longer queue times as you’ll wait indefinitely until another five stack of a similar average MMR
  • At a minimum, a 50% RR reduction will be applied and this can increase to 90% depending on the skill disparity

If one or more members of your group is Radiant:

  • Expect much longer queue times as you’ll wait indefinitely until another five stack of a similar average MMR
  • At a minimum, a 75% RR reduction will be applied.
  • Playing with any player below Radiant reduces your potential RR by 90%

As a result of the five-stack changes, four-stacks are no longer permitted in a bid to tackle toxicity towards solo queue players.

Valorant ranks: Yoru hold his knife in his right hand

What’s next for Valorant ranked?

Episode 5 introduced a whole new rank tier, Ascendant, which sits between Diamond and Immortal. As such, expect the ranked distribution to fluctuate slightly, with many players previously in Valorant’s lower tiers more likely to ascend (sorry) to the next tier than before.

That’s all we have on Valorant’s ranked mode so far. If you’re not sure what agent to play as you can check out our Valorant tier list now. If you’re a console player looking for details on a Valorant console release date, then we’ve got a guide for that too.

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