Valorant Ranked System Explained: How Does Competitive Mode Work?

Valorant has officially been out of closed beta for over a week now, but players who were part of its early access period or tuned into streams of it might be surprised to find out that its ranked Competitive mode is still missing from the full release. Riot’s explanation is twofold–it wants to give new players time to learn the ins-and-outs of Valorant so they don’t dive into the high-stakes ranked system too quickly, but it also needs to make sure the mode is stable. Ranked competitive will be added back “a few patches” later after it has time to make some adjustments. The following Competitive explainer was written pre-launch, during Valorant’s beta period, so it may contain information that is subject to change based on how Riot moves forward with its ranked system, but we’ll keep it mostly intact for players curious about how it worked in the beta, and how it may work in the future.

Similar to games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant’s Competitive mode had to be unlocked after it was initially added to the beta. From there, players could start playing for a competitive rank, which serves as a reflection of their current skill level and affects how Valorant’s matchmaking system pairs them with other players in future ranked play. But not everything about Valorant’s ranked system is clear from the start. How many Unrated matches do you need to play before ranked mode unlocks and how do you earn your first rank? And what are the Valorant ranks anyway? Note that any or all of this information is subject to change as Riot continues to update Valorant in future patches.

How Many Games To Get Ranked Mode In Valorant?

To unlock Valorant’s ranked Competitive mode during, you have to complete 20 Unrated matches. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you just have to play 20 regular games through to completion. Winning or losing Unrated matches will have no effect on your rank once you do unlock Competitive mode. You are only graded on performance in a Competitive ranked match.

How Many Placement Matches To Get Ranked?

To get your first rank, you have to complete a total of five placement matches in Competitive mode. Your performance during these matches will determine your first Valorant rank. Find the list of possible ranks and skill badges, and a deeper explanation of how Valorant’s ranked system works–including ranked tiers–below.

All Valorant Ranks And Tiers

There are a total of eight ranks in Valorant. Each has three ranked tiers except for Valorant, the top rank possible. That makes for a total of 22 possible ranked tiers, each represented by its own skill badge. Riot has provided a handy graphic showing off its ranked system, which you can see below. The competitive ranks and their corresponding ranked tiers are as follows.

Valorant Ranked Tiers

  • 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
  • Valorant (pre-launch name)

After running Competitive mode through Valorant’s beta stage, Riot came to the conclusion that the name of the final rank, “Valorant,” was causing confusion, and decided to change it–we still don’t know what the new “best” rank will be called.

How Does Ranking Work In Valorant?

According to Riot, “winning games is the most important factor in gaining rank,” but your personal performance plays a big part in that too. Performing “exceptionally well” can help you rank up faster, while performing worse than you have in previous matches can hurt your competitive rank. It gets a little more complicated, though. As Riot explains, the way Valorant determines your early rank puts much more scrutiny on your personal performance, but eventually, winning matches becomes the more important determining factor. Once you receive your Valorant competitive rank, you will be matched only with players within two ranks of yourself.

Much of the way ranked mode works, according to Riot, is built to combat smurfing, rank boosting, and ensure balanced matches for all competitive players. But be aware–ranked mode only just went live in late April, when the Valorant beta hadn’t even been live for a full month, so the more nuanced ins-and-outs of this system may change as Riot gathers data and feedback.

Will My Rank Reset If I Haven’t Played In A While?

No. Your rank doesn’t reset in Valorant if you haven’t played in a while, but if you’re inactive for 14 days, it will be temporarily “hidden” until the next time you play a match. That doesn’t mean it’s disappeared or decayed, just that it won’t be displayed for other players until you become an active player again yourself.

“We want to be confident that when others see your rank, it’s an accurate reflection of your skill,” Riot explains.

Will My Competitive Rank Carry Over After The Beta?

No. After the Valorant beta is over on May 28, all competitive ranks will reset, so all players will start fresh on Valorant’s June 2 release date. You will have to follow Riot’s instructions for achieving a new competitive rank based on the rules at that time. We don’t know how the competitive ranked system might change before launch, so we can’t say much more than that.

Competitive And Unrated Mode Differences

Valorant’s new Competitive mode was introduced shortly after patch 0.49 was pushed, and it is currently only available in the EU and NA regions. Gameplay-wise, it is no different than Unrated mode. It is still 5v5 team-based matches, set in the same maps, with the same objectives and win conditions. You can still solo queue or queue up with a full five-person party. The only difference is that Competitive mode has a ranked system, which means after playing a few rounds unranked, you will receive your first ranked badge, and then only be matched with other players of similar ranks. Winning matches can increase your rank, and losing them can decrease your rank. That also means if you queue up with a party, you’ll all have to be within two ranks of each other.

Valorant News & Announcements

  • Valorant Update 1.0 Patch Notes: New Map, New Agent, New Mode
  • When Is Valorant Getting Ranked Competitive Mode?
  • Valorant Players Will Have To Wait For Team Deathmatch
  • Valorant Console Release Is "Definitely" Being Prototyped
  • Valorant Ranked System And Competitive Mode Explained

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