Dota 2 Ranks, MMR, and ranking system explained

Started from the bottom, now we're Immortals.

Image via Valve

Dota 2 is one of the most intense MOBA titles in the market. Not only is Dota 2 as demanding as it gets when it comes to individual mechanics but there’s also an advanced strategic side to the game, which separates it from the rest of the competition. While playing casually is more than enough to get a taste of the game, Dota 2‘s best moments come as you climb the ranks.

You’ll notice that players become more aware of their surroundings as they move up the food chain. The ranking system of Dota 2 can look simple if you have experience in any game with a modern rating system, but it may be confusing for players with little to no experience.

Valve has been actively testing new methods when it comes to ranking players, and new implementations also shake up the game from time to time. The ranking system that Dota 2 currently uses is significantly different from what it was five years ago. Here’s everything you need to know to survive in Dota 2.

How to unlock ranked matchmaking in Dota 2?

Before you dive into the complicated world of medals and ratings, you’ll need to unlock the ranked matchmaking portion of Dota 2. It’ll be locked in the beginning when you create a new account.

After completing the tutorial, you’ll need to:

  • Play 100 hours of Dota 2
    • Any game mode will count toward this 100-hour goal, but playing Unranked will be more beneficial in the long run since the system will do a better job of identifying your MMR bracket.
      • MMR determines a player’s skill bracket. This number will decrease when players lose a match and increase when they win one. Your individual performance in a game won’t affect the MMR you win or lose, meaning the outcome of a match is the only factor that will increase or decrease your MMR. 
    • If you’re looking to create a smurf account, know that the system will be able to pick up on your talents early on while you play unranked, meaning you’ll start matching against noticeably tougher opponents in your games.
  • Have a valid phone number to link with your Steam account.
    • You can remove or change this phone number in the future but there will be a three months long waiting process before you can use that phone number again.
  • Play your calibration matches until your Rank Confidence is above 30 percent to unlock your first rank. The number of calibration matches that players needs to play will depend on their match history.

What is Ranked Confidence in Dota 2?

Ranked Confidence is a deciding factor in Dota 2‘s matchmaking algorithm. As players participate in more ranked Dota 2 matches, the system’s confidence for their rank will increase, and the algorithm will do a better job of predicting their exact skill brackets.

Inactive players’ Ranked Confidence will lower over time, so if you’re coming off a long break, you’ll need to play a few matches to let Dota 2‘s ranked system get a better idea of how you stack up versus the competition, and you’ll be assigned a rank when your Rank Confidence exceeds 30 percent.

Ranked Confidence an active part of Dota 2 ranked system with patch 7.33 on April 20, 2023, which switched Dota 2‘s matchmaking algorithm to Glicko.

What is Glicko in Dota 2‘s ranked system?

Glicko is the current algorithm of Dota 2‘s matchmaking system. Glicko allows Dota 2 to better estimate players skill bracket via Ranked Confidence. This system is commonly used in other games like Pokémon GO and

Glicko in Dota 2 works in two ways:

  • Glicko can detect smurfs playing in lower skill brackets. As a result, said smurfs can gain drastically high MMR amounts from their games and get closer to their actual MMR.
  • When the system detects a player who’s playing in a higher skill bracket while performing poorly, it can cause them to lose more MMR, and get them close to their actual MMR faster.

What are the MMR ranks and medal tiers in Dota 2’s ranked mode?

Screengrab via Valve

So you’ve made it into the arena of the elite and you’re ready to play your first ranked game of Dota 2. Though you can’t see any rank medals around your profile or a visible MMR (matchmaking rating) score on your screen, you’ll head into your ranked calibration matches with a predetermined rank based on your performance in unranked games.

You don’t have to worry if you haven’t played your best in your unranked matches since each game you win during your calibration matches will significantly boost your hidden rank while losses won’t be that punishing.

You’ll be granted a medal based on your MMR after calibrating. Each rank tier will have five sub-tiers you’ll need to advance through.

Note that the MMR values used to highlight ranges can change anytime based on the rank distribution in your region, but the numbers should still roughly be around the given values.

Dota 2 ranks

Herald (0-616 MMR)

Screengrab via Valve

Herald marks the bottom of the barrel when it comes to skill distribution among ranks. The Herald tier will mostly be filled with beginners with little to no MOBA experience.

While getting placed in Herald can be morally crushing for players aiming for the higher ranks, it’s a great place to start and improve yourself. No matter how much you improve yourself in this bracket, you’ll still need a lot of patience while you start your climb out of it.

Focus on what you can do better in each game, and you should move to Guardian before you even know it.

  • Herald One: Zero MMR
  • Herald Two: 154 MMR
  • Herald Three: 308 MMR
  • Herald Four: 462 MMR
  • Herald Five: 616 MMR

Guardian (770-1,386 MMR)

Screengrab via Valve

You should feel the games getting more competitive as you get out of Herald since most Guardian players take the time to learn more about Dota 2. Most players will be aware of their in-game duties and try their hardest to win each game.

You’ll need to work on your primary role and understand what you need to do around the map. Perfecting mechanical skills like last hitting creeps to earn gold and taking down objectives to give yourself the required push to the Crusader bracket.

  • Guardian One: 770 MMR
  • Guardian Two: 924 MMR
  • Guardian Three: 1,078 MMR
  • Guardian Four: 1,232 MMR
  • Guardian Five: 1,386 MMR

Crusader (1,540-2,156 MMR)

Screengrab via Valve

Crusader is the tier where players start studying the game. You’ll notice more people with meta picks and up-to-date item guides, which are vital aspects that can boost someone’s win rate.

The key to moving forward from Crusader to Archon is knowing what works for you and identifying what items you need to buy in different scenarios. Following a single hero guide every game may not cut it anymore since you’ll be against a different set of heroes in almost every match.

  • Crusader One: 1,540 MMR
  • Crusader Two: 1,694 MMR
  • Crusader Three: 1,848 MMR
  • Crusader Four: 2,002 MMR
  • Crusader Five: 2,156 MMR

Archon (2,310-2,926 MMR)

Screengrab via Valve

There are more than 100 heroes in Dota 2, and you can only pick five to form the ultimate lineup. Players start picking more synergy heroes in the Archon tier and have a better understanding of when they can start team fights.

Communicating via voice chat can be the key to moving out of this bracket since you’ll need to move as a unit with your team in most matches, and you should start focusing on a role that fits you.

Decide on a few heroes to master for your role so you can perform consistently in every game.

  • Archon One: 2,310 MMR
  • Archon Two: 2,464 MMR
  • Archon Three: 2,618 MMR
  • Archon Four: 2,772 MMR
  • Archon Five: 2,926 MMR

Legend (3,080-3,696 MMR)

Screengrab via Valve

The vision wars start just around when you hit the Legend rank. Players start using more wards and counter-wards to ensure they have better vision than the enemy team, which can be crucial when it comes to deciding the outcome of a game.

One of the best ways to get out of this bracket is to begin replicating what professional and high-level players do. Watch guides on YouTube and live games through Dota 2’s Watch section and try to observe every move that professional players make to progress further.

  • Legend One: 3,080 MMR
  • Legend Two: 3,234 MMR
  • Legend Three: 3,388 MMR
  • Legend Four: 3,542 MMR
  • Legend Five: 3,696 MMR

Ancient (3,850-4,466 MMR)

Screengrab via Valve

Most Ancient players have the game figured out by now and understand everything there is to know when it comes to mechanics. While not all of them will be able to play the most mechanically intensive heroes like Meepo and Invoker, most will know what to expect from them when they’re in good hands.

A lot of patience will be required to get out of this bracket since you’ll already know most of the finer details of Dota 2—as will your opponents. Work on your communication skills and try to become a leader in games in which your games lack one.

  • Ancient One: 3,850 MMR
  • Ancient Two: 4,004 MMR
  • Ancient Three: 4,158 MMR
  • Ancient Four: 4,312 MMR
  • Ancient Five: 4,466 MMR

Divine(4,620-5,420 MMR)

Screengrab via Valve

The Divine bracket is the waiting lobby you’ll need to power through before moving on to Immortal. If you’re in this bracket, you may have what it takes to become a top-ranked player, but there may be a couple of slightly bad habits that hold you back.

Most Divine players make the mistake of playing while tilted, which makes them perform poorly. When you aren’t playing your best in this bracket, you become a liability for your team and significantly decrease your chances of winning.

Join each match to have fun and focus on what you can do better and play more efficiently.

  • Divine One: 4,620 MMR
  • Divine Two: 4,820 MMR
  • Divine Three: 5,020 MMR
  • Divine Four: 5,220 MMR
  • Divine Five: 5,420 MMR

Immortal (5420+ MMR)

Screengrab via Valve

Immortals are the kings of Dota 2. All Immortal players must know every in and out of the game, and each Immortal match has a high potential to be a nail-biter.

You’ll make your way to the regional rankings as you advance through the Immortal bracket and can be scouted in no time.

How much MMR do you get for each game in Dota 2?

The amount of MMR you get for each Dota 2 match is variable and depends on factors such as the rank and Rank Confidence of the players present in the game.

Overall, if your Rank Confidence is high in Dota 2, you should be getting 20-to-30 MMR for each win, and lose 20-to-30 for each lost match.

How to get more MMR per match in Dota 2?

Using a Double Down Token allows players to increase the MMR they gain or lose from a match to 40-60 MMR, depending on whether it’s a party or a solo game and their Rank Confidence.

Double Down Tokens generally become available whenever Valve releases a battle pass, and they’re only handed out to battle pass owners.

How does the Immortal Rank work? The leaderboards

Immortal isn’t the end for aspiring Dota 2 players. Winning games in the Immortal bracket will still grant you MMR, and you’ll start making your way onto the regional leaderboards, thus earning an individual rank.

Your rank on the leaderboard will start displaying under your rank icon, but you’ll need to play at least one ranked game in 21 days in your region to keep it there. If you don’t meet this requirement, you’ll be removed from the leaderboard due to inactivity but will keep your MMR.

How does Immortal Matchmaking work in Dota 2?

Immortal Matchmaking doesn’t have pre-made teams like other skill brackets in Dota 2. When an Immortal match stars, Dota 2 will pick two captains who will draft the remaining eight players for their teams.

Screengrab via Valve

This system resembles the in-house leagues that were quite commonly found within Dota 2 communities in the 2010s.

How does the role queue work?

Screengrab via Valve

Valve was experimenting with the role queue since 2019 and made a couple of updates to the system in 2020 to make sure it works more consistently. There used to be two separate rankings for core and support roles, but now they’re merged into a single value. Core roles include the safe lane (the one), mid lane (two), and off-lane (three) positions, while the support role includes both soft (four) and hard (five) supports.

While the system works wonders to end the role fights in a game, it significantly increases the queue time for players in higher tiers. The option to use the Classic queue system is also there, however, and you can always toggle it on you’re waiting a while to find a game in your bracket and can play any role at an acceptable level.

Role queue will slowly identify what type of player you are and make sure that you aren’t heavily penalized for losing a game in an unfamiliar role. While most supports will be able to play their role in almost every game, highly demanded core roles may not always be available, and you may be forced to play a match as a support.

This noble sacrifice will grant you a token that you can use to guarantee your role in your next game, and your MMR will decrease slightly based on your performance. The matchmaker will consider your full MMR while you’re queuing for your best role(s). Queueing for a weaker role will result in the game placing you into a match at a lower MMR so you won’t feel out of place while playing a position you’re less familiar with.

How to identify ranking up and down in Dota 2?

While you’ll always be able to see your current MMR through your profile, it’ll be hard to guess when you’d be ranking up since the MMR ranges continually shift.

Your progress toward the next rank will be hidden until a percentage meter appears below your rank to indicate how close you’re to promotion. It’s impossible to tell how much your next games would affect your percentage meter, but you’ll be able to see it going down and up based on the results of those matches.

What is the rank distribution in Dota 2?

Unlike its competition, Dota 2’s ranked seasons tend to be quite long. Season five has been going on since 2020, and esports outlet Esports Tales took a look at the ranked distribution of Dota 2 as of December 2021.

Herald One0.04
Herald Two1.41
Herald Three2.92
Herald Four4.91
Herald Five7.17
Guardian One9.73
Guardian Two12.53
Guardian Three15.62
Guardian Four18.95
Guardian Five22.54
Crusader One26.48
Crusader Two30.59
Crusader Three34.87
Crusader Four39.32
Crusader Five43.84
Archon One48.58
Archon Two53.27
Archon Three57.87
Archon Four62.29
Archon Five66.54
Legend One70.79
Legend Two74.62
Legend Three78.08
Legend Four81.19
Legend Five83.94
Ancient One86.62
Ancient Two88.86
Ancient Three90.72
Ancient Four92.26
Ancient Five93.56
Divine One95.06
Divine Two96.23
Divine Three97.13
Divine Four97.79
Divine Five98.31

These statistics show the average Dota 2 player is usually ranked somewhere around Archon One or Two. This means players ranked Legend Four and above make up a small portion of the whole player base.

How to gain MMR in Dota 2

MMR can only be gained through winning matches in Dota 2. Players looking to increase their overall MMR will need to win more matches than they lose.

If you feel stuck in a certain MMR bracket in Dota 2, it may just mean that you’re in the rank range that’s most suited to your current Dota 2 talents at the moment. Considering Dota 2 is an ever-evolving game, you can win more matches by improving your knowledge of the game.

How to win more matches in Dota 2 and boost your MMR

  • Don’t try to play all the heroes. Master a handful of them instead.
  • Watch professional matches and your own replays to identify areas that you can improve.
  • Stay positive and avoid getting tilted. Don’t queue up for another game if you’re feeling angry.
  • Communicate with your teammates and keep the information flow going during a match.
  • Consider working with a coach. If you can’t seem to identify the mistakes in your own gameplay, maybe another set of eyes can help you out.

About the author

Gökhan Çakır

Strategical Content Writer and Fortnite Lead for Dot Esports. Gökhan Çakır graduated as an industrial engineer in 2020 and has since applied his analytical and strategic thinking to many endeavors. As a natural-born gamer, he honed his skills to a professional level in Dota 2. Upon giving up on the Aegis of Champions in 2019, Gökhan started his writing career, covering all things gaming while his heart remains a lifetime defender of the Ancients.