VALORANT’s competitive queue can be an exhilarating, teeth-clenching rollercoaster of ups and downs. However, when you’re riding a downward spiral and struggling to understand why, especially since you can carry a game, matches can be far more frustrating than fun.
Below are eight reasons why you might be dropping rank in VALORANT.
1. Unstable MMR
VALORANT uses a two-pronged approach to matchmaking: hidden Matchmaking Rating (MMR) and your visible Rank Rating (RR).
According to Jonathan “EvrMoar” Walker, Senior Competitive Designer on VALORANT, your MMR is unaffected by season resets, unlike your visible rank. Consequently, if your rank is higher than your MMR, you might lose more RR and gain less to align you with your actual skill level, as determined by the MMR system.
2. Inadequate Understanding of MMR
MMR is split into two components: Encounter and Win/Loss. Encounter MMR weighs your effectiveness against enemy players, taking into account factors such as duels won, damage done, assists, and ability usage. Win/Loss MMR is more straightforward, assessing who you win matches against. However, inconsistent performance could cause your MMR to fluctuate, hindering your rank progression.
On the other hand, understanding the complex calculations behind MMR is challenging. It confuses even the most seasoned veterans. For instance, you may perform exceptionally well in one game, resulting in a +5 MMR, then underperform in another but gain a +30 MMR. This system can make it difficult to predict when or why you will rank up, leading to stagnation or even a decline in rank if not addressed.
3. Misalignment of MMR and Rank
Double rank-ups occur when your rank is “out of range” of your MMR. Maintaining consistent performances, regardless of winning or losing, is necessary to keep your rank within the MMR range. Unfortunately, if your visible rank falls far below your MMR, you may struggle to progress, leading to a drop in rank, so keep that in mind.
4. Poor Team Compositions
Who you choose to play with matters in VALORANT. When playing in groups of two or three, restrictions based on rank disparity apply, which can affect your RR gains and losses. Choosing to play with teammates whose skill levels are significantly different from yours can lead to uneven matches and affect your ranking.
5. Lacking Intensive Practice
In the world of competitive gaming, practice makes perfect. VALORANT is a skill-based game where grinding and frequent training are paramount for improvement. Regular aim and movement drills, coupled with watching high-level gameplay for strategy insights, can make the difference between stagnating at a rank and climbing to the next tier.
On that note, studying up on the current meta in Valorant can help you out as well. Riot has done an excellent job rotating which Agents and maps are particularly strong in a given patch.
This, combined with the knowledge of which weapons to pick up and when as well as what kind of strategies work best, all combine to turn you into a well-rounded player who knows that the best thing to do is to win games more often than not.
It’s easy to find yourself going with a comfort pick, thinking that it lets you perform better. The only problem with this is that your comfort pick might not necessarily be great for a specific map or might have been recently nerfed, which means that your playstyle puts you at a disadvantage already from the onset.
A good understanding of the current meta allows you to use it to your advantage and counter it when necessary.
6. Neglecting Hardware and Connection
In a fast-paced FPS like VALORANT, every millisecond counts. An outdated system, unstable internet connection, or suboptimal settings can significantly impact your performance and consequently, your rank. Thus, investing in hardware upgrades, a reliable connection, and optimizing your settings can help in maintaining or improving your rank.
This isn’t to say that people with the best hardware always perform well, but it helps.
7. Toxic Game Culture
Playing solo in the competitive queue can be an uphill battle, especially when faced with a toxic game culture. Dealing with intentional deranking, trolling, and team-killing can affect your performance and, by extension, your rank. Finding a regular group to play with can alleviate these issues and potentially aid in your ranking journey.
8. The Power of Positivity
Even in the midst of consecutive losses, maintaining an optimistic outlook can help boost your team’s morale and momentum. In a game like VALORANT, where momentum is key, a positive attitude can mean the difference between a win and a loss.
What’s the secret to ranking up in VALORANT?
If you’re finding yourself regularly lost in the enthralling, team-based FPS universe of VALORANT, you’re in good company.
As players aspire to ascend through the game’s ranks, it’s crucial to recognize the dedication and hard work necessary to reach those coveted higher tiers.
However, the commitment to the grind is just part of the equation. Understanding the game’s mechanics, its ranked play intricacies and the season resets can truly tip the scales in your favour.
In particular, a clear understanding of VALORANT’s seasonal shifts plays a significant role in managing your rank progression. VALORANT’s timeline is composed of Episodes and Acts, each affecting your Act Rank differently. Each Episode houses three Acts, with each Act lasting approximately two months.
At the start of an Episode, players experience a hard rank reset, and they must play five Competitive matches to unlock their rank. It’s important to note that you may land up to two ranks lower than your previous season’s achievement. However, your hidden Matchmaking Rating (MMR) remains unaffected. This means that if you continue performing well, you could regain your prior rank quite quickly.
On the other hand, a new Act only soft resets your rank, requiring just one match to unlock. Your RR gains or losses will then continue from where you left off in the previous Act.
It’s not as straightforward as with other games, but it shouldn’t take too long to acclimate to as long as you stay committed.
VALORANT’s ranked play is a challenging yet rewarding experience, as it should be. The game’s blend of strategic depth, team coordination, and seasonal mechanics creates an engrossing competitive environment that keeps players hooked.
Riot’s several years of experience with League of Legends show in this aspect of VALORANT as they’ve put their knowledge to good use in creating a distinct gameplay experience best only for those who aren’t faint of heart.
Regardless of the game’s complexities, with dedication, strategic learning, positivity, and a clear understanding of the game’s mechanics, any player can rise to the occasion and reach their dream rank. Additionally, grabbing a Valorant Gift Card from OffGamers here could help you gain a better chance if you know what you’re doing.
Don’t forget that the journey is just as important as the destination. So, don’t forget to enjoy the process and keep your eyes on the prize.
Remember, if you’re not having fun anymore – you can always step back and return later!
Article contributed by Sarah Paul, a content outreach writer for OffGamers.
About Sarah Paul: I foster relationships between gaming enthusiasts and gaming developers to create relevant content for gamers worldwide. I also happen to be a passionate writer and certified night owl.