Two operators square off in XDefiant.
Image via Ubisoft

XDefiant: Casual vs. Ranked playlist differences, explained

Feeling sweaty?

Once XDefiant is finally released on May 21, players will have two primary playlists to choose from: Casual and Ranked.

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Making sure that both playlists offer engaging and unique play experiences will be critical to XDefiant‘s success. XDefiant is taking on a multiplayer shooting juggernaut in Call of Duty, but CoD has struggled in this department as its casual modes feel as sweaty as competitive.

Here’s all the information we have on both playlists.

XDefiant Casual playlist, explained

The Casual playlist in XDefiant prioritizes fun, persistent lobbies, and fast connection times.

XDefiant preseason info
XDefiant preseason (season zero) roadmap. Image via Ubisoft

As the developers have said since back in October 2022, skill-based matchmaking will not be in the Casual playlist to facilitate a more “fun and varied game experience in the long-term” without the repetitive, stressful experience of always playing a competitive match. Skill rating will not determine who gets into matches, but it will be used to balance teams once all players have loaded in.

The order of matchmaking priorities for Casual is:

  1. Latency (similar ping)
  2. Avoided players (players that have muted each other won’t play together)
  3. Similar party size
  4. Region
  5. Input device
  6. Platform (PC, Xbox, PS5)

When it comes to input device, the Casual playlist will not force an input device lock, meaning players will not be locked to either controller or keyboard/mouse once matchmaking begins.

XDefiant Ranked playlist, explained

The Ranked playlist in XDefiant focuses on creating quality, balanced matches using skill-based matchmaking. Latency and regional preferences will be secondary to balancing.

The order of matchmaking priorities for Ranked is:

  1. Rank Points (within rank range)
  2. Latency (similar ping)
  3. Similar party size
  4. Region
  5. Input device
  6. Platform (PC, Xbox, PS5)

Ranked lobbies will enforce an input device lock. Sadly for many gamers, though, Ranked will not be available at XDefiant’s launch and will be added in a future season. The developers are likely hoping to have Ranked available at the start of season one (the game will launch with season zero), closer to July. Players will have to test out their loadouts in Casual first.


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Author
Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.