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

valorant rank rating competitive systemRiot Games / Dexerto

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.

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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 levelsRiot 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.

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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 compeitiveRiot 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.

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  • 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 rageRiot 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.

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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.

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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 gamesEsports 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.

MMR, convergence and your Valorant Rank

It can be surprising when a Ranked win nets you a few RR, but a loss will consistently take away a lot more. There’s a reason for this.

Riot explained how a player’s MMR (Matchmaking Rating), the score you’ll never see, impacts your Rank Rating gains and losses.

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“MMR is a giant ladder, consisting of all players. If you win, you climb up and push others down. Alternatively if you lose, you get pushed down by others. No two players can tie, or take up the same spot on the ladder,” Competitive Designer Jon Walker and Producer Ian Fielding explained.

How does MMR change your RR? Simply put:

Riot said these systems are “necessarily complex” because Valorant’s rank system is ‘fluid’ since people are losing and winning games every second.

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.

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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.