VALORANT community confused by ranked skill disparity preventing them from queuing with friends

"Pretty big bummer."

Image via Riot Games

With VALORANT’s much-anticipated ranked mode going live yesterday, fans were excited to grab a squad and begin the grind. But for some players, teaming up with friends was short-lived.

VALORANT players are reporting the inability to group up with their buddies after only a couple of matches, citing skill disparity as the culprit.

Screengrab via Riot Games

“All five of us played together and after we won we had a skill disparity and could no longer play together,” one fan said. “We played together all through beta and now our rank is too far apart to queue together. Pretty big bummer.”

To combat having a huge skill disparity in ranked matches, Riot only allows players to party up if they’re within two ranks, or six tiers, of each other. While this would certainly help avoid boosting or players being thrown into matches above their skill level, fans are frustrated by how quickly the disparity was determined.

Some players believe that Riot assigned a matchmaking rating (MMR) based on performances from Unrated games.

“Everyone has hidden MMR in unrated as it’s SBMM,” another player said. “Unrated is just ranked without ranks being displayed. It’s basing a lot off [sic] that.”

Players who did well while playing normal matches would be placed at higher ranks than those who underperformed.

While this theory makes sense, Riot hasn’t confirmed how the initial placements work. But a player’s rank and progression are affected by their in-game performance. It could be that one player who severely outperformed their friends was placed in a much higher rank after placements, despite winning or losing together.

Since VALORANT is in closed beta, Riot is using this as an opportunity to iron out any issues. With ranked mode being deployed yesterday, devs will likely use the beta period to make improvements before the game’s official launch this summer.