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Learn more about Valorant's competitive placement matches, skill tiers, and rank progression in our guide.
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Valorant offers three official game modes: the default Unrated mode, the casual Spike Rush, and the more serious Competitive mode. Unlike the other two, Competitive makes use of Valorant’s ranked system, which allows players to earn a competitive rank after a series of placement matches. Ranks serves as a reflection of your current skill level and affects how Valorant’s matchmaking system pairs you with other players in future ranked play. But not everything about Valorant’s ranked system is clear from the start. How many Unrated matches do you need to play before ranked mode unlocks and how do you earn your first rank? What are the Valorant ranks and skill tiers? And has Riot provided more info on how your skill is measured and tracked yet?
In this guide, we’ll break down how Valorant’s competitive ranked system works, and track any new updates to the feature, including what’s new in the most recent patch.
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Now Playing: How Is Valorant So Far?
To unlock Valorant’s ranked Competitive mode, you have to complete 20 Unrated matches. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you just have to play 20 regular games through to completion. Winning or losing Unrated matches will have no effect on your rank once you do unlock Competitive mode. You are only graded on performance in a Competitive ranked match.
To get your first rank, you have to complete a total of five placement matches in Competitive mode. Your performance during these matches will determine your first Valorant rank. Find the list of possible ranks and skill badges, and a deeper explanation of how Valorant’s ranked system works–including ranked tiers–below.
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Since beta, Riot has made it easier to play with your friends in these placement matches too, even if there is a “fairly large” gap in skill between teammates–however, Competitive matchmaking will still prevent players from queuing together if that skill discrepancy is too vast, to keep the game balanced and the ranks fair.
There are a total of eight ranks in Valorant. Each has three ranked tiers except for Radiant, the top rank possible. That makes for a total of 22 possible ranked tiers, each represented by its own skill badge. Riot has provided a handy graphic showing off its ranked system, which you can see below. The competitive ranks and their corresponding ranked tiers are as follows.
After running Competitive mode through Valorant’s beta stage, Riot came to the conclusion that the name of the pre-launch top rank, “Valorant,” was causing confusion, and decided to change it. Patch 1.02 renamed the top rank to “Radiant.”
According to an earlier blog post from Riot, “winning games is the most important factor in gaining rank,” but your personal performance plays a big part in that too. Performing “exceptionally well” can help you rank up faster, while performing worse than you have in previous matches can hurt your competitive rank. It gets a little more complicated, though. As Riot explains, the way Valorant determines your early rank puts much more scrutiny on your personal performance, but eventually, winning matches becomes the more important determining factor. Once you receive your Valorant competitive rank, you will be matched only with players within two ranks of yourself.
Much of the way ranked mode works, according to Riot, is built to combat smurfing, rank boosting, and ensure balanced matches for all competitive players. The more nuanced ins-and-outs of this system may change as Riot gathers data and feedback.
Yes. According to Riot, Valorant actively tracks your rank progress, but this will remain “behind the scenes” for now. “Soon after” (though Riot does not specify how soon), you will be able to access more detailed information about your ranked Match History, performance, and other stats throughout each Valorant Act.
No. Your rank doesn’t reset in Valorant if you haven’t played in a while, but if you’re inactive for 14 days, it will be temporarily “hidden” until the next time you play a match. That doesn’t mean it’s disappeared or decayed, just that it won’t be displayed for other players until you become an active player again yourself.
“We want to be confident that when others see your rank, it’s an accurate reflection of your skill,” Riot explains.
No. After the Valorant beta ended on May 28, all competitive ranks reset, so all players will start fresh with the newly launched Competitive mode.
Valorant’s ranked system first went live about a day after Valorant patch 1.02 was pushed, due to a slight delay. The patch enabled Competitive mode, introduced new rank iconography (plus the newly renamed Radiant rank), and made slight adjustments to “skill disparity range” in placement matches.

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