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Image via Riot Games

Valorant's competitive designer opens up about the shooter's rank system

Valorant being a competitive shooter, pays major attention to the ranks. Players grind for hours to get a satisfactory rank, which not only brings in joy but also paves the way for a lot of frustration.

Although Valorant boasts its ranking system about how the elo system works and how players are placed in a rank for the first time, it has somehow created some confusion over the past few months.


Some players feel that their buddies rank up faster while they do not, and others feel they derank faster than they rank up.

Valorant, unlike many other competitive games, considers a lot of factors in giving someone a proper rank. People have this belief that the more kills they get, the more they'd rank up, considering that it's a shooter game.

However, in a recent Reddit post, user SeriesJ complained that even though he/she has got kills much higher than his/her fellow teammates in a game, SeriesJ was rated lower than his/her friends.

The user went on to say that Riot Games had previously clarified that Immortal ranked games depend on wins/losses only. However, the results that he/she got were on the contrary.

To this, the game's new competitive designer EvrMoar opened up about how the ranking system actually works. He said that kills is a small part of the things that are being considered in giving a player a certain rank and that the arrows of rating are only reflective of the current rank. He mentioned the following:

Image via Riot Games
"Performance isn't just kills, it looks at things like assists, flashes, smokes, utility, entry fragging, etc.
So, players that play a supportive role also see performance % increases for playing utility (alternatively, entry fraggers that successfully help their team take sites may not be as affected for being an entry fragger and dying). Being the top killer doesn't always mean you were the highest performer in your team."

Elo system in Valorant

The designer also said that the ranked games are based on elos too. A player is given certain elos on the basis of the average rank of the two teams, and the player gains/loses elo based on the match outcome. He went on to say:

"In essence, a lower-skilled player who beats a pro will get more points than a pro that beats a lower-skilled player."

Ranking System is different for high ranks

An important thing to notice is that the lower one's rank is, the higher the game will pay attention to the individual performance rather than the team's performance.

As stated by the designer, in Immortal rank, the game considers about 20% of individual performance, and the rest depends on the team and the match's outcome. In ranks Immortal 3 and Radiant, 100% attention is given to the match outcome alone. Basically, it focuses only on your losses and wins.


Variance plays an important role in rank

Variance is the tendency to lose or gain elo of an individual player. This depends on the win/loss streak. When a player wins or loses many games in a particular rank, the variance increases; hence, he/she might often face several rank ups or deranks.

Once the player reaches a rank where there are almost even wins/losses, the game decides that this is the rank the player deserves. Thus, the variance decreases. This is why one might feel why he/she doesn't rank up. It's because of the low variance caused by even wins/losses.

The designer boasts about how Valorant doesn't decay the ranks if one plays after a long break. If a player plays games frequently, his/her variance might go down compared to a player who has played with lots of breaks.

The designer also mentioned:

"Ranked is a complicated beast, and while there are still improvements we need to make, the actual back end elo system is super impressive."

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Edited by
Shaheen Banu
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