Dota 2 Ranking System Explained: All About the MMR

Dota 2 is one of the most popular MOBA games in history. Players from all over the world join the servers to experience exciting matches and spend time in the fantasy world developed by Valve. But not everyone joins JUST to have fun. There have always been people in the community who enjoy the competitive aspect much more than the relaxation. That’s why there are such things as leaderboards and Dota 2 MMR.

Let’s explain how all of this works.

What Is Dota 2 MMR System?

The MMR or Matchmaking Rating is the value that is supposed to describe the player’s skill level. It is used in many online games such as Overwatch, League of Legends or, as you can see, Dota 2. Its purpose is to properly match players with each other during matches, so that the competition is balanced and the gameplay is kept interesting. As for the way it works, it’s always different, depending on what the developers decide.

How Does the MMR Work in Dota 2?

In Dota 2, your MMR values are entirely dependent on your performance in ranked matches. And although the way the system works has not been officially communicated and it has undergone many changes over the years, we DO have some idea of how it actually operates. What is certain is that every win increases your rank, while every loss takes away from it. A rough estimate is about 20-30 points per match, depending on whether it was a solo win or loss, or a party win or loss.

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Interestingly, the MMR you have determines not only which players you will face in the next match, but also your Dota 2 rank.

What Is Ranked Confidence?

Ranked confidence is something Valve introduced very recently, in 2023, and it’s an important factor when it comes to improving MMR. What it does is that if you haven’t played Dota 2 for a while, then even though your MMR hasn’t technically changed, the game will probably match you with worse-ranked players than usual. However, after you’ve completed a few matches and your Ranked Confidence score increases, the system will start matching you with players close to your actual MMR. The point is that you are presumably a bit rusty after not playing the game for a while, and you should not be placed in the same skill bracket as usual.

It seems rather complicated, but admittedly, it’s a pretty clever system that both allows players to protect their MMR and prevents them from encountering a weak user during a match, who has a high ranking score but has taken a longer break from Dota 2.

What Is the Dota 2 Ranking System?

Of course, MMR is not just to make all the matches of Dota 2 as fair and fun as possible. No, no. Its main purpose in all this is to allow players to brag about their position in the rankings, which everyone loves to do.

The value of your MMR in Dota 2 assigns you to the appropriate Dota 2 rank. Each rank, on the other hand, is made up of 5 tiers, for which players get medals. These are:

  • Herald (0 to 600 MMR)
  • Guardian (750 to 1,400 MMR)
  • Crusader (1,500 to 2,150 MMR)
  • Archon (2,300 to 3,000 MMR)
  • Legend (3,100 to 3,700 MMR)
  • Ancient (3,850 to 4,500 MMR)
  • Divine (4,600 to 5,420 MMR)
  • Immortal (6000+ MMR)
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People who reach the Immortal level officially become legends of the Dota 2 universe. This is the category in which all professional players are placed.

Keep in mind, however, that the MMR numbers we provided are an estimate, as Valve has never released exact figures on this subject. Nevertheless, all sources report very similar figures, which is why we believe that even if these are not exactly true, they are certainly very close to the truth.

How Do You Take Part in Ranked Games?

It is important to note, however, that creating a Dota 2 account doesn’t immediately make you a candidate for a medal. Oh no. In order to enter the ranked system, you need to participate in competitive games with ranked matchmaking, and this requires meeting certain conditions set by Valve.

These include:

  • Go through the entire tutorial
  • Link a valid phone number to your Steam account
  • Complete 100 hours of play
  • Play ten calibration games

Once these conditions are met, you will be able to unlock ranked matchmaking and enter the ranking system in order to fight for a better place on the leaderboards (and for medals, of course). In addition, thanks to the calibration matches played, the game will be able to determine your MMR, so you will immediately face worthy opponents.

There are 3 mods available in ranked games:

  • Ranked All Pick
  • Captains Mode
  • Random Draft

Remember also that Ranked Classic is a default mode in the matchmaking system and it does not allow you to choose the role you want to play. If you are very keen on a particular position, you will have to choose Ranked Roles, where you will be put into a queue of people waiting for a specific Dota 2 role. It will then take a little longer to find a ranked game, but at least you will feel confident when entering the map.

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What Is a Ranking Season?

Something else you should know about ranks in Dota 2 is that the game is theoretically divided into seasons, during which players compete in matches and earn their seasonal ranks. This means that at the end of each season, the system resets to zero and everyone starts with a clean slate.

However, we say theoretically, because Valve has not announced a new ranked season since 2020, and we are technically still in season 5.

Here’s how long all the previous seasons have lasted:

  • Season 1 – 2017/11/22 – 2018/06/05
  • Season 2 – 2018/06/06 – 2019/01/28
  • Season 3 – 2019/01/29 – 2019/09/16
  • Season 4 – 2019/09/19 – 2020/10/14
  • Season 5 – 2020/10/15

Conclusions

As you can see the world of competitive matchmaking in Dota 2 is really interesting and brings a lot of excitement. Player’s MMR is a decisive factor in the system and if you want to gain MMR, you need to participate in as many ranked games as possible. Of course, this doesn’t mean that playing unranked matches is bad. If you only care about having fun then you have the right to enjoy Dota 2 without the stress of competing with others. Nevertheless, scoring a good place in the rank tier systems is definitely something you can brag about to your friends later.

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