Toxic or Just Too Buggy? About The Valorant Ranking System

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22 July 2020

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We can all agree that casual game modes are fun, but let’s be real, the competitive mode is the only one that gives you the rush. After months of testing and polishing, Riot had finally released its ranking system called “Rated” at the end of April. The players have been waiting for the competitive system for a while and wouldn’t really give “Rated” a five-star rating. Since the League of Legends ranking system works so well, they borrowed a thing or two. We give you details on the Valorant ranking system and what players complain about most.

How Does The Valorant Ranking System Work? 

There are three game modes in Valorant: Unrated mode, casual Spike Rush, and the newest, competitive Ranked mode.

Similarly to other games by Riot, Valorant has a tiered system. Within this system, there is a total of 8 tiers, from lowest to highest: 

  • Iron
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond
  • Immortal
  • Radiant

Sounds familiar? Then again, there are some key differences between the LoL and Valorant ranking system.

What makes the Valorant tier system unique is the fact all tiers except for Radiant also have sub ranks with a 1-3 (low to high) distribution. That makes a total of 22 ranks in the competitive mode. 

How Does The Valorant Ranking System Work?
Image via Riot Games

Unlocking The Valorant Competitive Mode

As it usually goes with ranked modes, you need to prove you are serious about the game and play a certain amount of games to unlock ranked. In order to do this in Valorant, you have to finish 20 Unrated games. If you’re a new player, this is a good warmup session since Unrated and Competitive function the same in terms of maps, rules and other in-game formats. You are also free to use all the features you have previously unlocked in unranked.

What happens after you finish the initial 20 games? Well, the system collects information about you as a player and assigns you a hidden rank. What follows are 5 ranked so-called placement matches. In these matches, you play against both unranked or ranked players. The other players can be up to 5 levels above or under yours. You can queue with your friends, even if they already play ranked.

At this point, you can gain or lose rating, depending on the matches’ outcomes. Obviously, winning the placement matches will get you a higher rating, but losing won’t necessarily drag you down. Since we all sometimes play an amazing game and still lose, the system will consider your overall performance. 

Level Up: Getting Promoted in Ranked

Some of the most common questions that pop up when it comes to the Valorant ranking system are the pace and way of leveling up. How many games does it take to rank up in Valorant? How do you level up Valorant fast? We’ve seen these being asked so many times. The simplest answer to these is – win games. Even when you don’t have the best performance in the game but still manage to win, you still get ranking points.

Does that mean there is a point system?

There has to be some kind of MMR system that puts players of similar skill levels in a common queue, but it is currently a hidden one. Unfortunately, there is no way to see where you stand. That literally means the way to found out when you reach the next level is when something new appears next to your name. There is no that “I’m so close to level up” moment that might serve a good push. As players aren’t as happy with this, Riot might include an LP system in the future, something similar to what exists in the League of Legends.

Basically, if you constantly lose and perform badly, that will hurt your rank most. All the other performance + outcome combinations won’t hurt you as much. All things considered, winning is the goal to strive towards in all ranks. 

Even though personal performance is taken into account, its impact is higher in lower ranks, while the wins and losses are the metrics that matter most later on. So for instance, when you reach the Radiant rank, the only thing that matters for rank evaluation is winning or losing, and how prevalent your team was during the match. There are zero points for personal performance here. 

Or as a Reddit user explained:

Getting the first pick or winning a 1v1 is 10x more important than chasing down the last kill in a 5v1 scenario your team has already won.

Images via Riot Games

Is there a rank reset in Valorant? 

There is no such thing as punishing players for inactivity in the Valorant competitive mode. The only ranks that got reset are from those who participated in the beta ranked version. One thing you should be aware of is if you don’t play for 14 days at all, you won’t be able to see your rank displayed. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve been reset. After you play one competitive game, it will be visible once again.

Recent Issues And Player Complaints

A number of players recently reported getting demoted after losing a game. A well-known streamer Ninja even called the system “unbelievably toxic”. 

Luckily, it seems their real ranks have not actually been affected, and the sudden demote came as a technical issue only. Riot quickly responded to these complaints, encouraging the players to continue playing, since these demotions came are a short-term bug only. 

Correspondingly, there have been complaints from players on Reddit about being stuck at a level despite consecutive victories. 

Other than recent bugs, players tend to complain about the ranking system in general. Some don’t like the fact how much individual performance is taken into account, others believe certain heroes such as supports are being discriminated when it comes to ranking up.

How Riot Responds to Complaints 

It is safe to say that Riot is a good listener. Of course, the recent bugs are a must-fix, but they will likely listen to other players’ complaints as well. As they say themselves, the Valorant ranking system is a living work in progress and all kinds of comments and suggestions are welcome. 

A good example of their listening skills is the name of the final rank name. While the ranked system was still in beta, the highest rank was named Valorant instead of Radiant. As this came as confusing for players, they used Reddit threads to make Riot change their minds and – succeeded. This comes as proof Riot does listen to their community, and will likely please the players when it comes to current ranking system complaints.

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