What are Overwatch ranks? SR, tiers, & rewards explained

Blizzard Entertainment

Competitive Mode is all about Overwatch players battling it out to move up the game’s various ranks. If you want to rise up through the ratings as well, here’s what you need to know.

If you want something a little more intense than Quick Play or Arcade when you log into Overwatch, look no further than Competitive Mode.

It’s where players of all kinds come to test their mettle and try to reach the highest rank possible. Here’s everything you need to know about ranking up, SR, and more.


Overwatch rank explained

Ashe escorts the payloadBlizzard Entertainment
Ranked is all about winning matches — the more you win, the higher you climb.

The ranking system in Overwatch can definitely seem intimidating when you first encounter it. However, it’s actually super simple to understand after just a couple of games.

Anyone who plays Blizzard’s shooter will be able to tell you SR, or Skill Rating, is what determines your rank. There are other non-measurable factors that play a part, but in the end it all comes down to how high (or low) your SR is.

What is SR in Overwatch ranked?

Like we mentioned, SR literally stands for “Skill Rating” and every single player gets one after they complete their Placement Matches. In Role Queue you’ll get a different SR for each role – DPS, Support, and Tank. Over in Open Queue, you’ll just get one ranking, like when Overwatch first came out.

After you complete these preliminary games, you’ll be assigned a rank by the system. Your wins, losses and overall performance during placements do matter, but less so if you’ve played for multiple seasons on the same account.

Overwatch Competitive MenuPlacements matches have to be done at the start of every new Overwatch season.

How is Overwatch SR determined?

Placement games break down to five matches per role in Role Queue, and 10 placements in Open Queue. After you finish your placements, you’ll gain or lose SR when you win or lose Competitive games, respectively.

The amount of SR you gain or lose from any given match is pretty much impossible to determine for the regular player. Blizzard has some kind of arcane, byzantine system that determines these exact amounts for wins and losses, so it’s better to just focus on the fact wins are good, and losing is not.

Draws, while they are rare in Overwatch, can happen on certain maps, but they don’t affect your rank. So, if your team is getting rolled on Hanamura but could still play for a tie, don’t give up! Not gaining any SR is still better than losing enough where it’ll take several wins to claw back.

What are the different ranks in Overwatch?

Overwatch ranks explainedBlizzard Entertainment
The ranks of Overwatch, and their SR requirements.

Overwatch players will be placed in any rank from Bronze to Master (3900 max) after their placements matches are done. Each rank operates as a different tier. You get enough SR, you advance to the next rank. You lose too much, you risk being demoted down.

The full breakdown of each Overwatch rank is as follows:

  • Bronze: 1-1499 SR
  • Silver: 1500 – 1999 SR
  • Gold: 2000 – 2499 SR
  • Platinum: 2500 – 2999 SR
  • Diamond: 3000 – 3499 SR
  • Master: 3500 – 3999 SR
  • Grandmaster: 4000+ SR
  • Top 500: Top 500 players in region, regardless of rank.

To avoid getting confused, it’s easiest to think of Top 500 as more of a title than an actual rank. Top 500 players could be spread throughout Grandmaster and even dip down into Masters as well. Diamond top 500s, while rare, aren’t unheard of either.

The vast majority of Overwatch players end up in Silver, Gold, and Platinum though. Roughly 75% are here according to official numbers from Blizzard. So, if you don’t make it into Diamond or Master right after placements, don’t worry – most of us haven’t either.

Overwatch rank rewards

Overwatch season 5 sprayBlizzard Entertainment
Sprays and Player icons are rewarded each season for players who complete their placements.

There are several types of rewards to earn from playing Overwatch competitive. The most obvious are the golden guns that can be unlocked with Competitive Points, or CP.

A small amount of CP is awarded after each win, and depending on your rank you’ll receive a set amount at the end of each Comp season as well. Golden guns cost 3000 CP per hero, so it might take you a few seasons to save up enough.

Every player who completes their placement matches will also receive an exclusive spray and player icon for that season. Some of the rarest sprays in the game are the animated Top 500 sprays, only given to the top players in each region.

How to gain SR & rank up in Overwatch

Black Cat SombraBlizzard Entertainment
There’s no sure-fire way to guarantee wins or SR, but there are some good rules that will make the Ws much more likely.

Now, we’re not going to guarantee that you’ll break into Master or Top 500 by following these tips, just to be clear. But, there are some simple things anyone can do  — other than using heroes you actually know how to play  — that will legitimately increase your chances of winning.

Play with a mic & USE IT

In a team-based game like Overwatch, where everyone is focused on their individual role, communication is key. No one wants to hear your life story during a match, but a mic can do wonders for coordination, ultimate combos, and focusing targets.

As a Support, you can let DPS and Tanks know when you need help or when someone is wrecking your backline. Tanks can let teammates know when a shield is about to break, and DPS can let everyone know where their damage is being sent.

Some people though, don’t like talking to complete strangers on the internet, and that’s completely understandable. So, how do you deal with this? Take a look at our next tip.

Play with a group

Overwatch Summer Games Poolside AsheBlizzard Entertainment
Teamwork might not make the dream work all it’s own in Overwatch, but it definitely helps!

If using a mic can increase win percentage, playing with a group of familiar players can assist even more. This tip can be a challenge though, especially if you lack friends who play Overwatch, but there are options to avoid the dreaded solo queue.

Friends who play are an obvious choice, given they’re the same rank as you. Failing that, the official Overwatch forums have specific “Looking for Group” categories for PC, PS4, and Xbox as well. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to whisper or invite teammates following a win, if you think you can make it happen again.

Cut your losses

This one seems obvious, but when you’re deep into a Comp grind just walking away can be one of the hardest things to do, especially if you’re down SR.

But think about it this way, what’s better? To continue playing while tilted and potentially throwing more SR into the trash, and even dropping down a rank; or taking a break, maybe heading over to Quick Play or Arcade for a bit? Maybe even go for a walk to get your mind off of that Lucio who didn’t seem to understand the difference between Speed and Healing boost in your last match.

There’s nothing fun about losing multiple matches in a row, but trust us, what’s even less fun is ending up at Silver when you were almost to Plat the week before.

That’s pretty much all there is to know about ranks and SR when it comes to Overwatch. Remember to try and communicate, team up when possible, and don’t let the tilt take over. With a little luck, and maybe the help of some our other guides down below, you could find yourself well on the road to Masters and beyond.

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