Valorant: Ranked matchmaking and everything you need to know

Image Credits: Riot Games - Valorant
Image Credits: Riot Games - Valorant

The Valorant update that came after Act 1 brought a bunch of changes to the ranked matchmaking structure, with the introduction of the Act Rank. There were also notable changes where you could improve your rank with a skilful performance even if you ended up on the losing side.

How to start playing ranked matches in Valorant?

It would be rather unfair to both you as well as your teammates if you were allowed to jump into a match right from the get-go. Thus, Riot Games ensured that you must play 20 non-competitive matches in the unranked match mode before qualifying to play in the placement games.

When you start playing competitive matches in Valorant, you’ll be given five competitive placement matches to display your skill and get rewarded with the rank badge. However, if your rank was reset at the end of the season, and this is not the first time that you are trying your hand in the competitive mode, you will get three competitive placement matches to determine your rank.

What are the different ranks in Valorant?

There are eight rank divisions in Valorant. The first seven have three tiers each, and the higher the tier number on your rank badge, the higher your rank.

All ranks with tiers (Image Credits: Riot Games - Valorant)
All ranks with tiers (Image Credits: Riot Games - Valorant)

However, these are your match ranks and not your act ranks.

What is an Act Rank?

The pyramid representing your Act Rank displays your highest ranked wins at the top, while the smaller triangles at the bottom are colour-coded according to ranks at which you have won ranked matches. The more high ranked wins you gather, the more your triangle fills up with smaller triangles from high ranks.

The Act Rank Pyramid (Image Credits: Riot Games - Valorant)
The Act Rank Pyramid (Image Credits: Riot Games - Valorant)

The border surrounding the Act Rank triangle represents the Act Rank Border. It evolves depending on your wins, and changes when you hit levels 9, 25, 50, 75 and 100.

The key to ranking up in Valorant is not just limited to wins in competitive lobbies but also your performance in matches. Don’t be mistaken, winning games is still the most crucial factor to rank up, but it isn’t the only one.

What affects your rank? (Image Credits: Riot Games - Valorant)
What affects your rank? (Image Credits: Riot Games - Valorant)

Your rank will be measured by how decisively you achieve victory or taste defeat. Even a draw could result in you gaining or losing rank points depending on your performance in the match.

Is there anything else that we should be aware of?

As a matter of fact, yes. Here's a little leak which might be coming to the game very soon.

The addition of a ranked leaderboard along with individual ELO ratings could very well be a step forward from Riot towards the smurf-free environment which they had promised. On top of that, the ability to have your entire career highlights segregated according to Acts would also make it simpler to keep track of your history as the game gets older.

What are the rules and skill cap for playing with friends?

There are no caps for lobbying with friends for a round of competitive matchmaking, as parties can range from one to five players in ranked matchmaking. There are no notable skill gap barriers in the matchmaking system, unless a new player tries to lobby with a Radiant.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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