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How Do Valorant Competitive Rankings Work

Valorant released its “Competitive” ranked mode just recently, and it is becoming a staple for ex-CS:GO and ex-Overwatch players to grind through. Here's what you need to know.

Your favorite streamers may have posted about their ranks or match stories on social media. They want to show you how well they are doing in the closed beta. Let’s take a deep dive into how the system works, how you can grind ranks and what it all means up until release!

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Valorant Competitive Rank Structure:

valorant competitive ranking structure.Source: Riot Games

There are eight (8) ranks in Valorant Competitive: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal (plus Radiant). Each rank has three levels (very similar to League of Legends) with the exception of Radiant (the highest level).

This means you can push or drop 22 levels in total for your competitive experience. Each rank has an icon to show you and your team what level your current level. Here are the total competitive ranks you can achieve, in order:

  • Iron 1
  • Iron 2
  • Iron 3
  • Bronze 1
  • Bronze 2
  • Bronze 3
  • Silver 1
  • Silver 2
  • Silver 3
  • Gold 1
  • Gold 2
  • Gold 3
  • Platinum 1
  • Platinum 2
  • Platinum 3
  • Diamond 1
  • Diamond 2
  • Diamond 3
  • Immortal 1
  • Immortal 2
  • Immortal 3
  • Radiant

How To Get Your Initial (Hidden) Rank

To get your first Valorant competitive rank, you will need to fulfill the initial requirements. The first thing you need to do right after install is to play 20 unranked games. If you've already been playing in the beta, your past games count toward this initial 20 games.

This feeds the system data for what kind of player you are and how you should start off in your ranked games. This helps you understand how the game works when playing with others. It is a good way to prepare before trying the competitive mode. The competitive mode can be challenging for new players.

How To Get Your Rank

A screenshot from Valorant in the Career section. Under a large question mark icon, it reads "Unranked. Play 5 more placement games to reveal your skill rank."Source: Riot Games

After playing 20 unranked matches, you will play 5 ranked games with unranked players or those who finished their placement matches. The competitive system will take into account how you are doing against the upper and lower ranked players in your game to determine if you will gain rating or lose rating.

This is important because you can still technically gain rating on a loss or lose rating on a win (which both are very rare).

After completing your first 5 competitive games, Valorant will assign you a rank for your upcoming competitive games. You will be placed in matches with ranks 5 levels (or two ranks) above or below yours (this is also how queuing with your friends work).

If your friends are 6 levels higher or lower than you, you can't play together. You need to have similar or close ratings to play together.

Gaining and Losing Rank

A list of rank icons indicated by upward facing green arrows. It reads, Riot Games Valorant Rank Change. big rating gain, rating gain++, rating gain+, rating gain.Source: Riot Games

In competitive game mode, your rank changes based on wins, losses, objectives, kills, and how well you use abilities and tools.

The most important thing for your rating is wins, but your individual achievement in these games also matter. You will need to plant and defuse bombs, get entry/initial frags or “first blood” kills. You will also need to use your smokes, molotovs, acid bombs or walls to assist your teammates in kills and objective wins. The more you contribute, the more the ranked system favors your climb. You cannot rely on kills alone for ranking up.

There are three (3) different types of rank effects with different symbols to take into consideration.

  • Rank UP (Green)
  • Rank DOWN (Red)
  • Break EVEN (Grey)

The way to understand how your rank is affected is to look at the direction of the arrow, its color and how many arrows/how thick the arrow is. The more arrows means the more rating. The thicker the arrow means a big shift in how your rating was affected. The circle around the arrow means a rank change (up or down).

A list of rank icons indicated by downward facing red arrows. It reads, Riot Games Valorant Rank Change. Big rating loss, rating loss--, rating loss-, rating lossSource: Riot Games

Rank Decay

Riot has made it very clear rank decay will NOT be featured in Valorant beta or full release. You can get comfortable knowing the work you put in will last if you need to take a break from playing the game. This is great because Valorant, unlike CSGO, has a very short learning curve to it.

When everyone else can play, your advantage is understanding how the system helps you level up in Valorant. If within 14 days you have not played a match, your rank will be hidden until you’ve completed a competitive match.

Ranks after Valorant Closed Beta

Everything (including skins and stats) will be wiped after Valorant closed beta. This competitive rank system is a great way to start to understand how you will play the game on full release, so wiping the ranks is a smart and common move. When the rest of the world is able to play, your advantage will be in knowing how this system works in your favor to grind to Valorant!

Update: With the game now officially out of closed beta, any beta-earned ranks have been reset, but the above advice is still stands! Good luck climbing the ladder.

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