We all love a bit of frantic, fast-paced aerial car football, don’t we? Rocket League stands in a field of its own as an esport, with its mixture of teamwork, coordination and driving skills making it hard to squeeze into any pre-existing genre.
Because it’s so unique, Rocket League has a massive following and has become a top tier esport. But it isn’t just the pro players who get to play competitively; Rocket League has a ranking system which allows you to progress from Unranked to Grand Champion across eight different competitive game modes. If you want to up your Rocket League game, or you’re just a sucker for the grind, then ranked play is where you’ll want to be.
For those who have maybe never played Rocket League before and are thinking about it now that it’s gone free-to-play, or have only ever played casually, you might have some burning questions about competitive play. Where do I start? How many ranks are there? How do I rank up? And, most importantly, how long does it take before I can say ‘completed it, mate.’
In this guide, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about competitive Rocket League and the ranking system.
What are the Rocket League ranks?
|Grand Champion I|
|Grand Champion II|
|Grand Champion III|
There are currently nine tiers to Rocket League’s ranking system, if you include Unranked. All ranks from Bronze to Grand Champion have three sub-tiers within them, meaning there is a total of 23 potential ranks you can be.
Before the massive free-to-play update in September 2020, Grand Champion was a single rank and the highest players could reach. The update now sees Grand Champion divided into three sub tiers, and a new top rank called Supersonic Legend introduced.
Related: Who are the best esports teams right now?
Like before though, each of the competitive game modes in Rocket League (of which we will explore a little later on in the guide) have their own ranking system, so your skill in different game modes will be reflected by different rankings rather than all being rolled into one. For example, you could be a Diamond 3 player in Standard but only a Silver 1 in Doubles.
Your rank is determined by your MMR, or Matchmaking Rank. Wins make it go up, losses make it go down, and each rank and division has a set MMR target value you need to reach in order to progress.
What is Rocket League MMR?
Your MMR, or Matchmaking Rank, is a hidden score that determines which rank you are in whilst also acting as a way to place you against opponents with roughly similar skill levels to yourself.
Essentially, your rank (e.g. Gold 1) is just a visual representation of your MMR value.
It can all be a bit confusing, but there’s a good resource for those interested in MMR, where you can also see your own score, or ‘skill rating.’ It gives you a breakdown of what score you need to achieve to get into the next rank and shows global skill rating leaderboards.
The amount of MMR you earn for each win or lose for each defeat is determined by the MMR of your opponent. For example, if you face an opponent who is higher ranked than you, you will gain more MMR points for a victory but lose fewer if you are beaten by a player with the same ranking as you.
Goals, assists and Most Valued Player awards don’t affect the amount of MMR you gain, despite contrary belief.
How does the Rocket League ranking system work?
To begin your competitive Rocket League journey, you must reach Level 10 in the game to unlocked the ranked playlists.
Once unlocked, you will then play some placement matches to determine which rank you should start at. It’s worth noting that with the expected influx of new players to the game, Psyonix will be soft-resetting existing players to higher ranks than usual, so that less inexperienced players are matched with those who know the game well.
Once placed, you will then start to be matched with players of roughly the same skill level as you. Wins will see you move up the ranking system and losses will see you fall.
The tiered ranking system in Rocket League works using your MMR value.
Read more: Is Rocket League one of the biggest esports games?
Each rank and each of the four Rocket League divisions within each rank has a specific MMR threshold, so once your MMR value exceeds the maximum value of that threshold, you are promoted to the division above. The actual values of the thresholds are subject to change and can shift depending on how many players are in certain ranks in order to keep things balanced and not have too many players up in the higher rankings.
Party MMR was changed as of Season 13. Now, a party’s MMR will be weighted closer to the MMR of the highest ranked player in the group – this is unlike previous seasons.
Rocket League ranks distribution
With so many ranks to climb in competitive Rocket League, just how many players actually reach the very top tier? And which rank does the average player usually end up in?
It’s hard to give exact figures for the current season as it’s still in its infancy and has had a complete shake up with the rankings. We’re also still waiting on the final figures from the previous season, Season 14.
For a proper look at rank distribution in Rocket League we need to take a look at Season 13’s figures.
According to Esports Tales, here’s how the Season 13 distribution looked for the most popular game modes. The table below shows you what percentage of players reached each tier.
With less than 0.2% of ranked players ever reaching Grand Champion in any of the main game modes, you can see just how difficult it is to be the very best at competitive Rocket League.
What are the Rocket League season rewards?
At the conclusion of each competitive Rocket League season, players are awarded certain cosmetic items or titles depending on which rank they managed to hit during the season.
The rewards for Season 14 are ranked-themed player borders and avatars. You can see them in all their glory below:
— Rocket League (@RocketLeague) July 2, 2020
Grand Champion ranked players will also be awarded a ‘Season 14 Grand Champion’ title, but the title differs depending on which game mode you become Grand Champion in.
As for the new Season 1 after the free-to-play update, we’re currently not sure what the rewards will look like. We do know that there will be a new rank, Supersonic Legend, which will have completely different rewards from the former top rank, Grand Champion.
What are the Rocket League playlists?
- Snow Day
There are seven competitive playlists to choose from in Rocket League. The main three (Standard, Doubles, and Solo Duel) are the most popular and serious playlists for competitive, whilst the others were added as extra modes more recently.