Since its closed beta launch in April 2020, Valorant has brought a new fire to the first-person shooter genre. Now fully fledged, Riot Games’ tactical shooter is one of the best free-to-play games on the market with a highly competitive ranked mode to boot. It also now has a well-established esports scene, with dozens of big-name organisations fielding Valorant rosters.
Like many multiplayer games out there, Valorant has a casual mode, but its competitive mode is the one that’ll really get you going. If you’ve mastered Raze or want to show off your Reyna skills against some like minded individuals, then ranked is the place to start.
With a tiered ranking system that rewards proper team play above all else, Valorant’s ranked mode will bring out the best in you and your teammates. So, without further ado, here’s everything we know about Valorant ranked, like what ranks there are, how it all works, and how you can climb all the way to Radiant.
what are the valorant ranks?
There are eight tiers to Valorant’s ranking system, starting with Iron and ending with Radiant. All tiers except Radiant and Immortal have three sub-ranks within them, with rank one the lowest and rank three the highest. Therefore, if you exclude unranked, there are 20 ranks in Riot Games’ tactical shooter.
The top 500 players in each region will achieve Radiant rank, and approximately the top 1% per region will achieve Immortal rank.
If you played the beta, you’ll probably have noticed that the top rank in Valorant has been renamed. Now those at the top of their game will be able to call themselves Radiant, rather than Valorant. Riot says it opted to rename the rank to “help reduce potential confusion” and keep things fresh.
With the introduction of Episode 2, Riot also introduces regional leaderboards, which you can view in-client or on the Valorant website. The leaderboard will show your Leaderboard Rank and Rank Rating (more on that below), alongside your Riot ID, Title, and player card. You can anonymise this and be seen as a Secret Agent, if you so wish.
You need to have played at least 50 ranked games to place on the leaderboard in your region, and you’ll have to play at least one Competitive game a week to keep your place. Banned players will obviously not show up.
how does the valorant ranking system work?
Valorant’s ranking system works like most competitive games out there. You’ll need to complete ten matches before you even get the chance to play ranked. Once the mode is available, you can get on the grind.
Winning games is the most important factor when it comes to ranking up in Valorant, but at the beginning, while you play your placement matches, your personal performance is the biggest factor. However, unlike other competitive games, Valorant’s ranking system also takes into account how decisively you win or lose a match. Your KDA should not be your focus if you want to rank up.
The ranking system differs for players with the Radiant title, though. Here Riot Games will only take into account how you win and lose your matches. The studio says this is because they “trust you and your teammates have earned your way there.”
Your rank will also be hidden if you’re inactive for 14 days. This will return once you’ve played your first match back. Your rank will not decay if you go away longer than two weeks either.
At the start of a new Act, it’ll only take you five games to get a rank, but be aware: your MMR from the previous rank will be taken into account, so expect a “conservative placement” at first where you can work your way back up the ranks. In other words, expect to be placed a few tiers below where you were in the previous act.
What are Valorant acts?
Acts are basically seasons in Valorant. Every Valorant Act will span about two months, and during that time, you’ll be able to work on your rank and track your overall progression.
We’re currently in the final stages of Episode 1, Act 3, with Episode 2, Act 1 kicking off on January 12, 2021.
What are Valorant Act ranks?
Valorant now has Act Ranks, which is a way of showing off your proven skill during and at the end of a season. Your top nine wins of the act and how many wins you achieved are combined to show off your overall rank, which will be preserved as a badge that you can show off on your calling card.
So how does it work? Well, every time you play a match in an act, your Rank Act badge will be filled with a new triangle representing the rank you played in. As you progress up the ranks, new triangles representing higher-ranked matches will replace the lower-ranked matches. The border for the badge will also change based on the number of wins you achieve in that rank. For some, their badge at the end of an act will look pretty colourful, but for those at the top dominating Radiant, expect to see a solid gold triangle.
In Episode 1 you were only awarded triangles for winning matches, but from Episode 2 onwards you are awarded a triangle based on the rank you end a match with, regardless of the outcome.
As of Episode 2, your Act Rank and badge will also display your final leaderboard position at the end of an Act.
You can view your Act Rank badge at any time in the career page.
How do I track rank progression in Valorant?
Your rank progress can be tracked in Match History, but Episode 2 brings a leaderboard and progress bars to make things easier. Instead of Episode 1’s arrows, Rank Rating is now shown on a progress bar which shows your proximity to the next rank.
You can earn Rank Rating by playing matches, the majority of which comes from winning or losing. You will always gain Rank Rating in a win, and always lose Rank Rating in a loss. However, at lower ranks your individual performance can help you progress quicker.
You will gain between 10-50 Rank Rating for a win, and a max of 20 for a draw. Between Iron and Diamond ranks, individual performance will be taken into account when calculating your Rank Rating.
You will always start at 10 Rank Rating after being promoted to a new rank, and a minimum of 80 after a demotion. You can find each Episode’s rank rewards on the rank info page.
Why does valorant ranked allow premades?
Currently, Valorant allows parties of up to five people in ranked mode as long as each player is within one rank (three tiers) of each other. Ian ‘Brighteyz’ Fielding, Valorant’s product manager, says this is because Valorant is a team game and Riot believes “playing as a team is a major component in your overall mastery of the game.”
Solo players and smaller parties should be matched together, but if you find yourself against a five-stack, don’t worry – your rank will increase or decrease faster depending on your performance against that team. Matches are generally being optimized so that players, regardless of their premade size, are being put into fair and balanced matches. For solo Immortal and Radiant players, some improvements have been made on this front, but Riot doesn’t have all the answers to fixing that problem just yet because it’s a smaller pool of players.
It’s also easier to play with teammates in placement matches now even if there’s a fairly large skill gap. Elite players still won’t be able to queue with newbies to protect the competitive integrity of the game, but it should be easier to help your friends along in the early days of their ranked experience.
Why isn’t there solo queue in valorant ranked?
Valorant is a game that revolves around team play and cooperation. Riot Games doesn’t want to include a solo queue because players shouldn’t have to rely on individual skill to carry them through a game. Ranked matches should be a competitive experience for all where teammates work together to get the win.
Riot Games will also be matching players based on their premade party size to make competitive games fairer for all.
What’s next for Valorant ranked?
Joe Ziegler, the game’s director, has revealed that the game is planning to overhaul the current ranked system. We believe that we saw most of that overhaul in Episode 2, which brought changes to progression and the ranked leaderboards.
Hey everyone, on the design side we are currently analyzing the ranking system top to bottom. We’re looking into changes that will improve many aspects of competitive, but have not committed to any solutions yet. Thanks to everyone for their feedback!
— Ziegler (@RiotZiegler) August 13, 2020
However, Ian ‘Brighteyz’ Fielding and Jon ‘EvrMoar’ Walker say they appreciate player feedback, and “promise is to keep listening
and making changes for years to come.” Riot Games has always indicated its plan is to constantly reassess and tweak how the ranked system works, and it looks likely that we’ll see more major changes in the future.
That’s all we have on Valorant’s ranked mode so far. If you’re not sure what agent to play as you can check out our Valorant tier list now. If you’re a console player looking for details on a Valorant console release date, then we’ve got a guide for that too.