In recent times, Valorant has quickly established itself as one of the most popular and captivating multiplayer games, mostly because of its eSports-like competitive nature. Unfortunately, the ranked system in Valorant can often be perplexing in nature and hard to comprehend, especially since different rules apply to parties of different sizes. If you're a new or returning player looking to queue up with some friends, we’ve prepared a perfect article to help you understand the ins and outs of ranked gameplay.
Parties of two or three players
Nine tiers of ranks, from Iron to Radiant, make up the current Valorant ranking scheme. Every Valorant rank tier contains three sub-ranks, with rank one being the lowest and three being the highest, with the exception of Radiant, which is a separate elite tier for the finest players.
There are limitations on queuing in groups of two and three in order to provide a fair matchmaking system that matches players of comparable rank and skill level If you’re unranked, on the other hand, you can queue up with players that are ranked up to gold.
Restrictions based on elo
Iron and Bronze can play with anyone up to Silver, which means Iron 1 players can play with Silver 3 players as long as the Silver player is the highest-ranking player in the lobby. Players that are ranked gold or higher are subject to rules that are far more strict, given that it’s easier to abuse parties among better players. The most notable is the requirement that they only play with players that are among one rank of each other. Additionally, players with a rank of Immortal or higher are only permitted to play single, in a pair, or with a preset 5-stack party, not in a party of three.
Parties of four players
Four-player parties are not allowed, which makes it unfortunate that a group of four friends cannot queue up to participate. These measures were taken by Riot to enhance balanced matchmaking and avoid putting a single player with four-person premade groups, which typically leads to a poor solo gameplay experience and unneeded toxicity.
Five-stack premade groups
If you're queuing up with a premade group of five people, you’re in luck as there are no limitations, making this the most popular way of playing with your friends. Regardless of your rank, you can queue up with anyone who is part of a five-stack group. To put things in perspective, an Iron player could play in a team full of Ascendants, as long as the party consists of five players. That being said, if the disparity among the ranks becomes too high, the game will naturally apply an RR penalty.
Penalties based on elo
To avoid a 25% RR penalty at the end of the game, your group must be made up of players who are within two ranks of one another. If the rank gap widens, the RR penalty also widens, increasing every time by 25% for each incremental rank gap between the highest and lowest-ranked party members. This is especially noticeable in very high elo where the penalties increase significantly. When playing five-stack matches, players who queue up and are ranked between Diamond 3 and Immortal 3 will suffer a minimum 50% RR penalty, and everyone in their party will also suffer the same penalty. Last but not least, there is a specific set of penalties applied for Radiant players. Radiant players and those in a five-man premade party with a Radiant player will experience a severe 75% RR penalty each time they queue up in order to prevent boosting and unfair climbing techniques.