Valorant Competitive Mode Explained: Matchmaking, Ranks, & More

Riot Games

Valorant, Riot Games’ new tactical multiplayer shooter, was released by the League of Legends developers a closed beta in early April 2020. The game drew praise from numerous members of the gaming and esports communities, and its unique ‘closed beta access drop’ system caused Twitch viewership of the game to skyrocket.

Roughly three weeks later, and Riot Games are taking their next steps in expanding on the ground they’ve already made, by announcing that a ranked competitive mode will be making its way to the closed beta.

Here’s everything you need to know about Valorant’s ranked competitive mode.

How Valorant’s Ranked Competitive Mode Works

Much like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, another massively popular tactical shooter that has heavily influenced the newest game from Riot, Valorant players will unlock competitive mode by playing a set number of unrated matches. In this case, 20 unrated games will do so.

The biggest factor to determining your rank will be wins and losses, with your individual performance in each match playing a secondary role. Thus, playing as part of a winning team consistently will aid your desire to rank up quickly over being the best player on a team that doesn’t win.

In-game footage from Riot Games' Valorant

Players can queue up for competitive matchmaking up to teams of five, and the game will try to match up queue sizes together. For example, if you queue for a match as a solo player, you’re more likely to face a team of other solo players rather than a team of five that’s queued together.

You will face longer queues if you frequently abandon ongoing games or dodge the agent select screen that pops up before matches begin.

Players that team together must be within two ranks, or six tiers, of each other on the rank level. Speaking of those ranks…

What Are Valorant’s Competitive Ranks?

Valorant’s competitive mode consists of eight ranks, each with three levels. Those ranks are, from highest to lowest: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, and finally, Valorant.

Valorant competitive mode ranks chart

After 14 days of inactivity, your rank will be considered “inactive” and will be hidden from view. Unlike in CS:GO, where your rank will decay after extensive inactivity, Riot won’t do that in Valorant. After your first returning match, your rank will be redisplayed.

When Can Valorant’s Ranked Competitive Mode Be Played?

Riot Games are adding ranked competitive mode to Valorant on April 29, with the 0.49 patch. However, they say in the patch notes that players will “have to wait a little before it goes live.” On Twitter, the official Valorant profile said ranked mode will be turned on “when everything is stable.”

As of 6:30 EST on April 30, Valorant’s ranked matchmaking is now officially live.

This patch is only being introduced to the North American and European regions, so other regions like Oceania, Asia, and South America will have to wait longer.

With the introduction of ranked competitive mode, we may see a jumpstart on more professional esports organizations beginning their team formation processes. With an in-game rank to help grade prospects, the fledgling esports scene may start to grow exponentially as new talent is discovered.

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