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Competitive (also known as Ranked) is a game mode in VALORANT. It uses the same in-game rules and format as Unrated, but with a focus on higher-stakes competition.

Gameplay

Competitive has the same rules as Unrated. Two teams of five players select their agents. One team starts on Attack and the other on Defense. To win a round, the attacking team must kill all enemy Defenders or detonate the spike. The defending team must kill all enemy attackers, prevent the spike from being planted, or (if the spike has been planted) defuse the spike (killing all enemy attackers will no longer be enough to win the round should defusing be required). Before each round start, players have 30 seconds to buy weapons and utility, get into position, and set up any utility. Each round lasts 100 seconds, which is reset to 40 seconds if the spike is planted. The game is split into two halves; after 12 rounds, teams will swap sides. The first team to reach 13 rounds wins the game.

Competitive does however have a different system for resolving 12-12 games, going into Overtime instead of Sudden Death. In Overtime, the teams play two rounds, one on attack and one on defense. For all players in every round, they get 5,000 credits and have their ultimate points set to being 3 short of what they need to use it. If a team wins both these rounds, they win the game. If both teams win one round each, Overtime repeats again and again until either one team wins both rounds and wins the game or the players vote to end the game with the result being a draw for both teams. Each vote will happen with every new Overtime set. To end the match in the draw, the first vote needs 6 votes in favor, the second vote needs 3 votes in favor, and every other afterwards needs only 1 vote in favor.

An additional feature for Competitive is remaking. If one or more players are disconnected at the beginning of the first buy phase through the entire first round, their team has the option to call for a remake by typing /remake in chat. The remake vote will last for the duration of the buy phase it was called in and must be unanimous to pass. A successful remake will end the game, with all players not receiving any XP or MMR adjustments from the match. The match will also not show up in match history. All disconnected players will take full MMR loss and receive a leaver penalty equivalent to disconnecting from a full match.

There are also slight differences with surrendering. Competitive requires a unanimous vote instead of the usual 80% from Unrated to be able to surrender.

Accessing and playing Competitive

To be able to play Competitive, new players must have won 10 Unrated matches. Forfeited games will not count towards this requirement for the team that forfeited.

Parties

A visual representation of rank restrictions within a party (pre-3.05)

Players can queue into Competitive with up to 5 people in a party. The ranks within a party must fit one of the following groups for that party to be eligible to play Competitive:

Group Allowed range of ranks
1 Iron 1-Silver 3
2 Silver 1-Gold 3
3 Gold 1-Platinum 3
4 Platinum 1-Diamond 1
5 Platinum 2-Diamond 2
6 Platinum 3-Diamond 3
7 Diamond 1-Immortal 1
8 Diamond 2-Immortal 2
9 Diamond 3-Immortal 3
10 Immortal 1-Radiant

Players in Diamond 3, Immortal and Radiant can only queue with one other player (Solo/Duo parties only). Players in their placement games can join a party with ranked players, though not with those at the highest ranks. Matchmaking takes party size into account, and will attempt to match them with opposing teams who have a similar party size.

Ranks

There are 8 ranks in VALORANT; Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, and Radiant. Ranks Iron-Immortal are divided into three tiers from Tier 1 to Tier 3, with Tier 3s being the highest tier within a rank. Players in Immortal and Radiant ranks are featured on a leaderboard.

An example of a target Rank Distribution for an Act

The rank distribution is designed to have the average player holding a rank in Silver. Despite having target designs per act, the true distribution will never exactly fit this as the playerbase's skill is constantly shifting, though the true distribution should still be quite similar to it[1].

To earn a rank, new players must first play 5 placement games. The highest rank a player can place after completing their placements is Diamond 1.

Rank Rating (RR)

A player's position on the Competitive ladder will go up and down based on when they win or lose games, respectively. Players who perform exceptionally well in game will rank up faster than average. This will be shown to a player at the end of each game where their current rank is displayed. A Rank Rating will show how their rank has changed after the results of that game. Wins earn a player around 5-50 RR depending on rank (higher ranks usually earn less RR), and loses cost a player around 0-30 depending on rank (higher ranks lose more RR). Draws grant a maximum of 20 RR (based on performance, though only for Iron-Diamond games).

Players who reach 100 RR in a tier are promoted to the next highest tier and start at a minimum of 10 RR in that tier. Players will reach 0 RR in a tier are at risk of demoting, but only once they have lost a game whilst at 0 RR. Their given RR in the lower tier will not go below 70. Immortal and Radiant players can earn beyond 100 RR to climb up the leaderboard, and the top 500 players in each region make up the Radiant rank, so long as they pass an RR threshold (depending on region):

  • LATAM, KR: 100 RR
  • BR: 200 RR
  • NA, APC: 300 RR
  • EU: 400 RR

At first, personal performance will have a greater impact on the early evaluation of a player's skill, but will decrease in importance compared to wins as they play more games in Competitive. For games that end in a draw, a player's rank may go up but it will never decrease.

Dodging in a Competitive lobby will punish the player with a small RR loss.

Players who AFK for 3+ rounds will incur a penalty of 8-12 RR, increasing the more rounds they are AFK for, in addition to any RR lost from losing the game (the total can exceed the maximum RR loss cap). Any players who AFK for 6+ rounds will incur the maximum penalty of 12 RR, even if their team wins.

Act resets

Every new act, all players must play 1 placement game to earn them back their rank from the previous act, though this rank could potentially change based on the player's performance in that game. Placements don’t give progress towards earning an Act Rank. Immortal and Radiant players keep their position on the leaderboard but have their RR reduced by 90%, with all Radiant players also being demoted to Immortal.

When a new act is also part of a new episode, the number of placement games required is increased to 5 and the player's rank placement will be around a couple of tiers below where the player ended the prior Act.

Act Rank

A player's act rank tracks their proven skill, highest ranked win, and number of wins during an act. As players win games, they fill up a triangular graphic with smaller triangles that represents their ranked match wins based on the rank they ended that game with. Once the graphic is filled, wins at higher ranks will displace triangles from lower ranks.

The border surrounding this graphic also upgrades as players win more games. These upgrades occur at 9, 25, 50, 75, and 100 wins.

When an act ends, the player's Act Rank is preserved as a badge seen on the player's card in Competitive games and in their career history. This badge is equal to the the top Act Rank they reached in that act. For Immortal and Radiant players, this badge will also preserve their leaderboard position for that act.

Rewards

At the end of each episode, players receive a gunbuddy for a rank equal to the top Act Rank they reached in that episode.

Update History

v3.05
  • Immortal rank once again divided into 3 tiers
  • Updated Ranked grouping restrictions to accommodate return of Immortal 1/2/3:
    • Diamond 1 → Immortal 1
    • Diamond 2 → Immortal 2
    • Diamond 3 → Immortal 3
  • Adjusted Competitive ranked distribution

v3.0

  • Reduced the possibility of feeling “hard stuck” on older accounts. If your skill improves, your rank should properly reflect that, regardless of account age.
  • Matchmaking accuracy will improve across all ranks
  • Immortal+ RR can once again be slightly influenced by individual performance
  • Close games will have a smaller effect on RR gains and losses
  • Adjusted our RR curves, so climbing (or falling) should feel less volatile
  • Updated Rank distribution
  • Highest placement rank raised from Platinum 3 >>> Diamond 1
  • AFK RR penalty changed from 8 RR after 6 rounds >>> 8 RR after 3 rounds then increasing every round to a maximum of 12 RR after 6 rounds

v2.05

  • Players will now receive a small RR penalty for dodging Competitive games

v2.04

  • Placement games requirement changed from 5 every act >>> 1 between acts, 5 between episodes
  • Rank no longer lowered at the start of an Act
    • Radiant or Immortal ranks will keep their position on the leaderboard, but have their RR reduced by 90%, with all Radiant players bumped down to Immortal
    • You must finish your placement game to display on the Leaderboard again for the new Act
  • Achieving Radiant now requires both being in the top 500 players in your region, as well as having a minimum amount of RR (region-based)
  • Total amount of average RR gained per win/loss reduced by 5
  • RR amount for new tier upon being demoted reduced from 80 RR >>> 70 RR
  • You can now queue with a wider group of friends and teammates if you are at the lower ranks

v2.03

  • AFK-ing in Competitive games for a prolonged period (currently defined as 6 or more rounds) will now result in a penalty of 8 RR points
  • Act Rank Badge rank changed from being based on ninth best win >>> highest rank win

v2.02/2.02 Competitive changes

  • Increased the effectiveness of Rank Rating convergence: players will now converge to their match making rating (MMR) faster, requiring less games to prove their rank
  • Players Iron through Diamond who perform exceptionally well in a match (weighed against their own average performance) will gain bonus Rank Rating
  • Diamond 3 ranks are now capped at a premade size of two

v2.0/Ep II Act I changes - VALORANT's first new episode changes

  • New Competitive regional leaderboards for Immortal and Radiant players
  • Rank progress interface changed from Arrows >>> Progress bar and Rank Rating
  • Immortal tiers removed from Immortal 1/2/3 >>> Immortal
  • Players will no longer have their rank hidden for inactivity if they are in placements
  • Further distribution changes to make it easier to climb out of the lower ranks
    • Significantly reducing the number of Iron players and increasing the percentage of players in Bronze, Silver, Gold and Plat. Diamond and Immortal player distribution will stay largely the same. Radiant will be the top 500.
  • Immortal and Radiant ranks are now capped at a premade size of two
  • End-of-episode Gun Buddies ranked rewards added
    • Gun Buddy rank is based on your highest Act Rank achieved during the Episode
  • Rank for Act Rank rank triangles granted by wins changed from rank at start of game >>> rank at end of game
  • The number of placement games is now consistent for each Act, regardless if you’ve done initial placements or not
  • The highest rank you can earn with placements is now Platinum 3
  • Removed hiding players rank during an Act if they had not played for 14 days. Once a player has completed placements, rank will not reset or be hidden for the entire Act.

v1.14

  • Rank distribution updated to make it easier to climb out of the lower ranks

v1.10/Ep I Act III changes

  • You can now select your preferred server(s) to increase the chance of playing on those servers
  • Rank disparity for parties reduced from 6 tiers >>> 3 tiers
  • Immortal+ ranked changes no longer factor individual performance into the calculation

v1.07

  • Remakes added
  • Act Ranks visuals have been updated to better differentiate wins at different rank tiers

v1.06

  • Fixed a bug that allowed progress towards competitive matchmaking for new players by forfeiting unrated games
    • Forfeited games will not count towards the Competitive requirement for the team who forfeited

v1.05/Ep I Act II changes - VALORANT's first new act changes

  • Act Ranks added
  • Matchmaking now will have a higher chance to match solo and solo/duo players against similarly sized premade groups at the cost of queue times being slightly longer
  • Rank indicators modified on losses to provide more granularity into how your rank was changed:
    • Rating decreased slightly (1 down arrow)
    • Rating decreased (2 down arrows)
    • Rating greatly decreased (3 down arrows)
  • Match History will now show the rank you went into the match with for that game, versus the rank you ended the game with

v1.03

  • Sudden Death replaced with Overtime

v1.02/Launch changes - Added (Live launch)

  • Updated rank iconography
    • Clarity pass for rank colors so it's easier to distinguish between each rank
    • Visual polish pass for each Match Rating
  • Name for top rank changed from VALORANT >>> Radiant
  • Expanded skill disparity range for playing with friends in rank placements
    • You can now matchmake with your friends during placements even if they have a fairly large skill discrepancy

v1.0 - Removed

v0.49 - First added (Beta)

Trivia

Concept for Competitive ranks and icons

  • A concept for Competitive ranks had different rank names; Mercenary, Soldier, Veteran, Hero, Legend, Mythic, Immortal, and VALORANT, from lowest to highest. However, this system has never been used whilst the game has been available since its Beta. Of these names, only the Immortal rank name made it into the current version. The other ranks were renamed to match a metal/gemstone system commonly used in other games, including Riot's other games. The highest rank remained VALORANT during the Beta, but was renamed to Radiant once the game was launched to avoid confusion with the game title itself.
  • On April Fools 2021, all ranks were replaced with a Love Rank and Rank Rating was replaced with Love Rating. These were purely cosmetic changes that were displayed over a player's actual rank and RR changes for the day.
  • In July 2020, some players were affected by a bug that caused their visual rank icon to be replaced by an "Unused" rank icon instead[2].

References

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