Improve your ranking in Overwatch’s tenth competitive season

Time to do your placement matches.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch’s 10th competitive season is here—with 10 new placement matches to tackle. The idea of being placed each season scares some Overwatch players. It’s natural to want to show improvement season-over-season, which puts pressure on players to perform during placement matches.

But the truth is, your placement matches aren’t exactly what’s going to propel you out of gold and into platinum—or whatever rank you’re gunning for. Consistency in your Overwatch gameplay will help move past any hurdles you’ve encountered. Feeling stuck? Here are a few things you can do to boost yourself to the next rank.

Related: Overwatch’s new map will be playable this week on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

Stay positive

Don’t underestimate the power of keeping your cool. Stop playing when you start to feel the negativity creep in. Take breaks between games and allow yourself to cool off after a particularly bad loss. There’s really no rush to get through your placement matches, and you’re no use to your team when you you’re tilted.

Help other players stay positive, too. Of course, you’re not going to be able to give everyone upbeat, but compliment players and be the leader that’s needed. Especially at lower levels in Overwatch, the team struggles because there isn’t a leader. Your call-outs don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to have the best strategies, but a team that’s working together will likely beat a team full of tilted players.

Communicate

Overwatch is all about positive communication. Teams that work together are often the most successful, even if the players are less skilled. Even if you’re not using voice chat, use the communication wheel to alert your teammates when you need help. Even the smallest bit of communication can help.

That said, know when communication is futile. If a teammate is being particularly toxic, just mute them. It’s not worth upsetting yourself with a constant barrage of harassment, even if some of the things they’re saying are worthwhile. You can stay in voice chat, just mute the bad teammates.

Don’t stress minute SR changes

You want to win all your games, of course—but the thing is, you’re not going to. The way Overwatch is balanced means that players will lose games, roughly the same amount that are won. Your SR is going to fluctuate, which means there will be losing streaks with dips. But remember that Overwatch’s ranking system is doing its job when this happens, and you’ll likely even out.

Take a break after a particularly hard loss to regroup. Breathe. Give it some time. You’ll start winning again.

Be a leader, but known when to listen

Oftentimes, lower ranked teams don’t have a leader. Be the person who makes the callouts if your team doesn’t have one—even if it’s just a little bit. Even a small amount of communication is better than none. Help your team out by suggesting when to push or when to pull back.

But don’t be unwilling to listen to your teammates. You’re not the only person with ideas; make sure you’re not being the toxic or pushy player that everyone mutes.

Have a flexible hero pool

It’s OK to only be good at one hero, but there are going to be times when someone gets your main first. You can ask the person to switch—nicely, of course—but if they refuse, then just play someone else. This is where being flexible comes in. Find other heroes you enjoy playing, heroes that use the same strengths as your main.

Use the off-season to practice new heroes, or take a break from competitive and give Mystery Heroes a try. Playing all the heroes is the only way to see if they fit your style, and you’ll be a better teammate if you can fill a variety of roles.