Valorant’s ranked system: A beginner’s guide to ranking up

Published: 27/Jan/2021 2:24

by Alan Bernal


Making the climb in Valorant’s ranked ladder can be daunting, so it’s best to get an insight into how the system works to get the most out of it. Here we cover everything from how to get placed to the Rank Rating points distribution that’ll eventually get you to Radiant.

Riot Games have been refining their ranked system since Valorant’s launch, and the developers are constantly looking for feedback from the community to grow it even still.

While there’s still some snags with the system that need to be worked out, the state of ranked is much more manageable with players having the ability to see exactly where they stand during the climb.

The same can be said for the gruelling process of leveling up the battle pass as you’re making headway through the ranks, so here’s the complete breakdown.

How to get ranked in Valorant

valorant competitive rank tiers levels
Riot Games
Valorant’s complete rank tier from Iron 1 to Radiant.

Starting out Valorant, you can’t exactly start ranking right away. You first need to complete your placement games. You need to play 20 Unrated games first on your account, and then 5 ranked placements to find your starting rank.

After winning your placement games, you’ll be put anywhere from Iron 1 to Platinum 3. How you get there will largely be influenced on how your placement matches went, and where your matchmaking rank (MMR) stands.

To give yourself a chance at placing in higher ranks, you need to know what Riot is looking for when they determine who’s being an effective player or not.

How to rank up in Valorant

valorant gold rank compeitive
Riot Games
Climbing in Valorant takes increment improvements for large returns.

Valorant is a team-based tactical shooter, therefore, doing your best to contribute to the group’s goal of winning the game is paramount.

Winning your games is the main factor to rank up. Riot’s rank system also takes into account good individual performances that aren’t always tied to your K/D, regardless of the match’s outcome.

Your Rank Rating (RR) goes up on a win, and it goes down on a loss. However, it’s the points distribution that will differ game-to-game which really show you if you’re actually climbing.

  • On a win, you will gain between 10 and 50 RR
    • Min 5 RR gain for Diamond+
  • On a loss you will lose between 0 and 30 RR
    • Max drop of 50 RR on a loss for Diamond+
  • On a draw you will gain a max of 20 RR (performance-based)
    • Only for Iron through Diamond, where Riot take individual performance into account.
  • Demotion protection: You must lose at 0 RR to demote
    • If you demote, you will not go below 80 RR at that rank
  • Promotion boost where you start at minimum 10 RR on a win
  • Every rank up takes 100 RR.

How many games to up rank in Valorant

valorant rank up points rank rating Losing RR isn’t fun, but it’s all part of the climb in Valorant.

If you win a match at lower ranks while having a stellar performance, the most RR you can get is 50. So it would take two really incredible games (and some help from your MMR) to move up from your current tier.

“Decisiveness of a win and exceptional performance at lower ranks for individuals can help you earn rank faster,” Senior Producer Ian ‘Brighteyz’ Fielding and Senior Designer Jon ‘Evrmoar’ Walker revealed in a dev update.

Now that’s a countermeasure that helps prevent smurfs from running the tables in Iron, Bronze, Silver, and Gold ranks.

valorant split cypher rage
Riot Games
Valorant players typically grind competitive to improve their rank.

Realistically, even if you’re playing around your MMR and are the match MVP in a decisive win, expect to get a bit less than 30-35 RR, consistently. That means it’ll take about four to five solid victories in the competitive queue to get yourself to the next stage.

If you’re just getting dragged along these wins and are scraping by with 10-20 RR per win, it could take significantly more to rank up.

But, remember, the key is to play your best regardless of a winning or losing scenario. The most RR you can lose after a defeat (under Diamond) is 30, but if you definitely weren’t the reason your team lost, it’s possible to take a loss with 0 RR deducted from your rank.

Valorant Rank distribution

For people who are invested in climbing Valorant’s ranks, you might be interested to know how you stack up against the rest of the community.

While everyone dreams of being in the top tiers, the truth is, Platinum 2 to Radiant only comprise about 10% of the entire ranked Valorant player base, per Esports Tales’ numbers based on Riot’s Valorant API.

valorant rank distribution riot games
Esports Tales
Valorant rank distribution before Episode 2.

Here we can see a complete breakdown of how the playfield leveled out across all regions just before the start of Episode 2.

Valorant Radiant: the game’s highest rank

valorant radiant act rank rating
Riot Games
Radiant is the highest rank in Valorant.

Radiant, briefly known as ‘Valorant,’ is the highest rank in the game, and it’s reserved for the best Agents in the servers.

For some, ranking an account all the way up to Radiant is a quick piece of content for their YouTube channel. For most, getting to this plateau will be a highlight in their respective gaming careers.

In either case, Riot loves their best players and even have a leaderboard where they can battle for supremacy– since there’s really nowhere to go after Radiant.


Bronze Overwatch streamer explains how he climbed to Grandmaster

Published: 23/Feb/2021 19:29

by Michael Gwilliam


Overwatch Twitch streamer Asa has been playing the game since all the way back in Season 4 where he began his journey down in Bronze. Despite placing so far down the rank totem pole, he managed to eventually reach GM, but how?

Ranking up in Overwatch can be a serious grind. After playing five placement games on a desired role, the game will put you in a skill rating tier ranging all the way Bronze to Master with players then having to win to reach Grandmaster.

This grind can take a long time, however. Wins earn players around 20 SR, so the journey from say a 2,500 Platinum Rank to 3,500 Master can take many matches.

For Asa, he first began with only 800 SR, but over time, he managed to climb through multiple ranks to reach the highest peak he’s at today with 4,018.

Speaking to Dexerto, the 16-year-old explained how he managed to pull it off and the challenges he faced along the way.

One major problem he had to overcome was hardware limitations. “The hardware I used was awful. Dealing with an awful setup was the main thing that held me back,” he explained.

“Hardware improvement was a very gradual process, and although it helps, it doesn’t define a player,” he added. “You can play on 60fps with a $10 mouse and be better than someone with a decked out setup.”

Hanzo looks on shocked
Blizzard Entertainment
Going from Bronze to GM is an impressive feat.

According to Asa, his biggest improvement method came from playing in an organized setting and joining a team. “I found coaching there and over the years it has shaped me as a player the most out of anything. I highly recommend looking into organized teamplay if you’re trying to improve because it truly is an incredible source for learning.”

Despite going from Bronze to Gold in just two seasons, he did face some difficulties in Platinum and Diamond before eventually breaking through to reach Masters and Grandmaster four seasons later.

That all said, the Canadian believes the best way for anyone stuck in low ELOs to “realize that you’re no better than your teammates and you deserve the rank you have.”

Sombra activates EMP on Lijang Control Center
Blizzard Entertainment
Ranking up can be a serious grind.

“A lot of players in all ranks struggle with ego, and I used to as well. The only true way to climb is to understand what level you’re at and working hard at trying to improve. It’s a pretty simple formula: you get better than the people at your rank, you win more games. Simple as that,” the streamer stated.

For anyone currently stuck in ELO hell, following in Asa’s footsteps could be as simple as setting your ego aside and focusing on yourself. After all, if he can do it, what’s stopping you?