First of all, the Ranked Mode will be introduced with the upcoming 0.49 update. There’s no release date yet for the update, though Valorant game director Joe Ziegler says Riot is targeting sometime next week.
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Once live, players won’t be able to just queue up for Ranked mode. They’ll need to complete 20 Unrated matches to unlock Competitive mode. Once unlocked, there will be 8 ranks with 3 tiers each except for the final rank, Valorant.
Like other ranked modes, players will progress up the ladder based on their win-loss ratio. Win a match and you’ll gain experience to move up the ranks. Lose a match and you’ll potentially drop down the ladder. While game wins are the most important factor in ranking up, Riot says personal performance will also be taken into account. So even if your team loses, if you perform well you may not suffer as much.
“Your personal performance will have a greater impact on the early evaluation of your skill, but will decrease in importance when compared to wins, as we hone in on your skill over time,” writes Valorant senior producer Ian “Brighteyz” Fielding in a new blog post.
Another factor taken into account is how “decisively” you win or lose. Meaning you’ll be given more experience if you win by 10 points instead of 3 points. Same with how decisively your team loses.
Players will also have the option to join a ranked game with a full party of 5. Matchmaking will take into account this setup and try to only match you with another full party. Furthermore, party members can only join if they are within 2 ranks (6 tiers) of you. This is to make sure there’s not a huge skill gap between party members.
Riot says that since this is a closed beta, Competitive Mode could be taken offline to make changes based on player feedback. Once Valorant goes live, your rank will not carry over to the official launch version of the game.
Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN.