Login / Join

Understanding the Dota 2 Ranked System

As you play Dota 2, you get more familiar with the strategies required to win. You build your skill set, and ultimately, you become a more challenging opponent. Since Dota 2 is a game that pairs players against each other, it would only seem fair to match up those with similar capabilities.


Valve has been adjusting the approach in which it pairs players together for the fairest competition. This process could soon change, but for now, it is important to understand the ranking system to master Dota 2 as a whole.


The ranked matchmaking system in the game is not available upon first starting the game. Beginner players must work to unlock this gameplay.  


Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the Dota 2 ranked system.


What Is the Ranked System in Dota 2?


Also called Ranked Confident, the ranking system in Dota 2 helps determine which players should be matched against each other. This encourages more challenging battles and keeps gameplay fair for those who play casually.


Active players tend to rank higher than those who play a little here and there. The algorithm considers how often gamers play in addition to the MMR they accumulate.


What Is MMR?


MMR stands for matchmaking rating. It is a point value system that determines the ranking of individual players. During solo play, a gamer can win or lose 30 MMR based on the outcome of the match. Individuals win or lose 20 MMR during team play.


The Algorithm that Determines Rankings


Dota 2 uses an algorithm called Glicko, which is common among other games, such as Pokémon Go. It detects smurfs who may be playing in a lower bracket and helps them gain MMR, so they place in the proper ranking. Additionally, it identifies players who may not be performing well in their ranking and adjusts them accordingly.


How to Get Ranked Matchmaking


Before worrying about your MMR and being placed in the right bracket, you need to first unlock this gameplay feature. Beginners must complete a few steps:


  • Connect a valid phone number to your account
  • Play 100 hours of Dota 2
  • Continues playing until your rank confidence is above 30 percent


It does not matter which game mode you start with. Any gameplay counts toward your 100 hours. The more you play, and the more you win, the better chance you have of increasing your MMR total, which identifies your ranking bracket. A better MMR count means you rank higher.


As you play calibration matches, you add to your rank confidence percentage. Hitting 30 percent allows you to unlock your first rank.  


How Much MMR Do You Get Per Game, and How Can You Win More?


MMR is the point value that determines a ranking. Players earn more MMR when they win. Likewise, their total decreases when they lose matches.


The total MMR you lose or gain from a match depends on your current ranking and your opponent’s. Having a higher placement means that you could win or lose up to 30 MMR.


You can achieve more of these points by using a Double Down Token. However, these are only available to players who have a battle pass.


There are lots of resources to help you improve your game and earn more MMR, rather than lose it. Dota 2 coaching is a great option, while YouTube videos demonstrate action in real-time.


What are the Dota 2 Ranks?


There are eight rankings in Dota 2. Each one contains five sub-rankings. In particular, players in the Herald ranking could be Herald One, Herald Two, Herald Three, Herald Four, or Herald Five. This applies to all the other ranking levels except for Immortal. There are no sub-levels because it is the highest achievable ranking.


The Dota 2 rankings from bottom to top are as follows:


  • Herald
  • Guardian
  • Crusader
  • Archon
  • Legend
  • Ancient
  • Divine
  • Immortal


The more MMR you accumulate, the more you climb in the rankings.


What are the Most Popular Ranks?


Other factors play into your ranking besides MMR. Valve tries to keep an accurate distribution of players within certain ranks to ensure matchmaking fairness.


Surprisingly, there are more Immortals than you may think. While it is nowhere near being the most populated ranking—due to its intense achievability—there are more than 80,000 Dota 2 players within this category.


Most ranked players can be found in Archon One ranking. The least populated ranking is Herald One, most likely because people tend to jump out of this level shortly. Also, the least populated level overall is Divine, the ranking just before Immortal.


The Bottom Line


The ranking is a critical part of the Dota 2 gaming experience. It helps pair players with fair competition so that they are constantly being challenged but to a justified extent.


You can grow your ranking by playing more often and earning MMR through match wins—either as a team or solo.

Editorial Office