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, 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?
There are eight ranking tiers to Rocket League’s ranking system. Six of these tiers have three sub-ranks within them, with 1 the lowest and 3 the highest. The exceptions are Unranked and the very top tier Grand Champion, which don’t have any sub-ranks. This means there are a total of 20 ranks, if you include being Unranked.
Within each rank, there are also four divisions (again, with the exception of Unranked and Grand Champion which have just one) with 1 being the lowest and 4 the highest. If you drop out of Division 1 in a rank, you will then find yourself in Division 4 of the rank below. For example, dropping out of Gold 1 Division 1 will see you end up in Silver 3 Division 4.
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Each of the eight competitive game modes (of which we will explore a little later on in the guide) has its own ranking system, so your skill in different game modes is 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.
How does the Rocket League ranking system work?
To begin your competitive Rocket League journey, you must first play ten placement matches against people of different ranks which will work out a suitable starting rank for you depending on your results.
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 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.
Rocket League ranks distribution
With so many ranks to climb in competitive Rocket League, just how many players reach the top tier of Grand Champion and what is the most occupied tier in the ranking system?
It is hard to say with the current season of competitive Rocket League – Season 12 – as we are only about a third of the way through.
We can take a look at the stats from Season 11 however, which give us a good indication of how many players place in each rank.
According to Esports Tales, here’s how the Season 11 distribution looked for the most popular game modes. The table below shows you how many people have reached the following tiers:
With less than 0.5% 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.
As you can see around half of players manage to reach a Gold tier in each game mode, so this about where the average player can expect to place.
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 the current season, Season 12, haven’t been announced as yet, but Season 11’s rewards can give you an indication of the kind of items you can expect to be given.
Players were awarded different coloured boosts in relation to their Season 11 rank.
— Rocket League (@RocketLeague) August 15, 2019
Grand Champion-ranked players were also awarded a ‘Season 11 Grand Champion’ title, but the title differs depending on which game mode you become Grand Champion in.
What are the Rocket League playlists?
- Solo Duel
- Solo Standard
- Snow Day
There are eight competitive playlists to choose from in Rocket League. The main four (Standard, Doubles, Solo Duel and Solo Standard) are the most popular and serious playlists for competitive, whilst the others were added as extra modes, and added to the ranked playlist recently.