How ranked works in VALORANT

It's time to grind.

Image via Riot Games

VALORANT has adopted a ranked mode somewhere between Counter-Strike and League of Legends.

We’re still in the early days of the game’s competitive matchmaking, and it’s yet to fully get off the ground, but its fundamentals have been firmly put in place.

Here’s everything you need to know about VALORANT’s ranked mode.

Placement matches and requirements for ranked

Before queueing up for ranked, you first have to complete a total of 20 unrated matches. It doesn’t matter how many games you win or lose, you simply have to play 20. This gives you a hidden matchmaking rating and pits you against players of a similar skill.

When you’ve completed your initial 20 unrated matches, you then have to play five placement matches. The more placement matches you win, the higher rank you’ll be.

But even if you lose all of your placement matches, your performance will be taken into consideration. If you’re consistently fragging and topping the leaderboards, your rank will be higher.

Altogether, your hidden matchmaking rating, determined from unrated matches, your personal performance, and your win ratio across your five placement matches will all go towards your initial rank.

Placement matches can also be played with friends, up to premades of five. Even if your friends have already acquired a rank, you should, to a certain extent, be able to play with them. If you have a large skill discrepancy, though, you may have to play your placement matches alone.

Tiers and divisions

Image via Riot Games

VALORANT has eight ranks (or divisions). There’s Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, and the highest rank, Radiant.

The highest rank used to be called VALORANT, but Riot changed its name after community backlash.

Each rank has three tiers that you progress through. Iron 1 (for example) is the lowest tier in the Iron division, while Iron 3 is the highest. When you’re done with Iron 3, you’ll promote to Bronze 1 (or potentially higher). Radiant, though, has just one tier.

You can skip tiers and even divisions if you build up enough matchmaking rating. Personal performance and frags are also taken into consideration. If you go on a large win streak and consistently bag yourself MVPs, your chances of skipping ranks will be higher.

“Winning games is the most important factor in gaining rank,” according to Riot. But performing “exceptionally well” can help you rank up faster.

Promotion and demotion

At the moment, it’s difficult to determine when you’ll be promoted to the next rank or demoted to the previous one. It appears to be based on a hidden matchmaking rating, but this has yet to be confirmed by Riot.

If you win a certain amount of games in a row, they’ll be promoted to the next division. If you lose a certain amount, you’ll be demoted. It’s as simple as that.

Riot may look to introduce an LP system in the future, similar to League of Legends. If this is the case, promoting and demoting will look something like this:

Image via Riot Games
  • When you reach 100 LP, you’ll automatically be entered into a promotion series. If you win two out of three games in the promotion series, you’ll be promoted into the next division.
  • When you reach the top of your division, instead of a best-of-three promotion series, you’ll enter into a best-of-five. If you win, you’ll be promoted to the next tier. This process is rinsed and repeated to the top of the ranking system.
  • When you drop down to zero LP and lose a game, on the other hand, you’ll be demoted to the previous tier or division. Your LP will then begin at 75 in that tier or division.

What are acts?

Each “act” of VALORANT spans about two months, according to Riot. Over the course of the act, you’ll have the opportunity to track your rank progression. This includes statistics, such as your win rate, which will determine your overall performance for each act.

VALORANT’s first act is called “Ignition.”

Will my rank decay?

Your rank will not decay or decline in any way if you stay inactive, unlike League of Legends. It will, though, be hidden after 14 days of inactivity.

This means you can take a break from the game and come back without fearing demotion. Your hidden rank will not affect your matchmaking rating or your rank in any way.