VALORANT - Competitive Mode FAQ

What could be more exciting than an Agent risking it all in the field? Risking it all while trying to best your fellow Agents, of course. Competitive Mode for VALORANT has received a bit of an upgrade, so it’s important you’re well prepared for the coming change. Let’s see if I can help answer some of your most pressing questions.

What are the requirements to play in Competitive Mode?

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We can’t very well send green Agents out into the fray unprepared. As of Episode 4 Act 1, you’ll need to be at least Account Level 20 before gaining access to Competitive Mode. If you played at least one ranked match before Episode 4 and you’re below Account Level 20, you will still be allowed to play in Competitive.

NOTE

Prior to Episode 4, you would need to win 10 unrated matches to access Competitive Mode. That’s no longer the case, and the only way to unlock Competitive Mode is by having the appropriate Account Level as mentioned above.

What's the difference between Rank and Act Rank?

It’s important that Agents, like yourself, have the competitive edge, so we’ve devised a few different ways to measure your skill.

Rank will be familiar to you if you’ve been playing VALORANT for a bit. It’s a way to accurately determine both your skill and rank in matches. Plus, it’s visible to your party, the tab menu, and the summary scoreboards.

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The ranks are: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Ascendant, Immortal, and Radiant. With the exception of Radiant, each rank has three tiers. The higher the number, the better your rank. Your rank will play directly into your Act Rank over time.

Your Act Rank measures your rank across, well, an entire Act! It’s determined by your highest ranked win, something we like to call your proven skill. 

Want to know more about Act Ranks? You can learn all about them in our Act Ranks and Episode Rewards article.

What about Rank Rating?

Rank Rating (or RR for short) represents a visual way to track your progress as you climb, and works different for ranks Iron through Ascendant than it does for Immortal and Radiant ranks. To learn more about each, follow the links below.

Rank Rating (RR) for Iron through Ascendant Ranks

Rank Rating (RR) for Immortal and Radiant Ranks

Will my rank decay?

The short version is nope! No rank decay here, my friend.

The long answer is still no, but for those of you hanging out in the Immortal and Radiant ranks, you can drop on the leaderboard. Your rank isn’t decaying, however. It just simply means that your position on the leaderboard has shifted.

Can I play Competitive with friends?

Yes! You can queue up with friends even if they have a fairly large skill discrepancy... at least, to a point. If you're playing in a group of 2 or 3 players, you'll only be able to join a Competitive match with friends within a specific rank range. Check out the breakdown below:

Party Restrictions

For parties of 2 or 3, players can queue within certain ranked disparity restrictions: 

Lowest Rank in Party Highest Rank in Party
Iron and Bronze Silver
Silver Gold
Gold Platinum
Platinum, Ascendant, Immortal, and Radiant Exactly 1 tier higher max
(Example: Platinum 2 can queue with up to Diamond 2)

Parties of 5 (5-stacks) can ignore the above chart, as they are not bound by any ranked restrictions. However, 5-stacks of Iron-Ascendant players will receive RR penalties if any players are ranked outside of a normal party restriction. (For example, a 5-stack of all Silver and Gold players will not receive RR penalties. A 5-stack of Silver, Gold, and Ascendant players will receive an RR penalty.)

What is the Premade Size Cap?

Groups of 3 players or less must meet the skill disparity requirements listed above. Four-player groups are not allowed, as it tends to leave the remaining solo queue player on the team with a less-then-desirable experience.

Players in Immortal 1 and above can only solo, duo, or 5-stack.

What if I queue up with a full party?

As mentioned earlier, full parties of 5 are allowed with no ranked restrictions. That means you can play with 4 of your friends no matter what your skill levels are. You could have a team of 3 Irons and 2 Diamonds as long as you queue up and play together as a party of 5. 

That being said, 5-stacks follow an adjusted ruleset given the potential disparity in rank for the players in the team.

  • If everyone in your 5-stack group is Ascendant 3 or below, the team will receive a 25% RR reduction if any players are ranked outside of normal party restriction ranges.
  • If one or more members of your 5-stack group are Immortal 1 to Immortal 3, the team will receive a 25% RR reduction penalty.
  • If one or more of your 5-stack group are Radiant, a minimum 75% RR reduction will be applied to all members in your group. Having any players in your group that are below Radiant automatically reduces your potential RR by 90%.

For more on queuing up with a 5-stack in Competitive, check out VALORANT patch notes 3.10 and VALORANT patch notes 5.0.

NOTE

Groups of 5 players in general can expect increased queue times as they'll only be matched with other parties of 5.

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