Updated on March 2, 12:50 p.m. (GMT+8): Edited article links.

The vagaries of Valorant’s ranked MMR often have many of us puzzling over how exactly it all works.

Why is your duo partner gaining more RR than you? Why are you still hard stuck in Gold? A lot of that may come down to how consistent you are in-game, according to Jonathan “EvrMoar” Walker, Senior Competitive Designer on Valorant.

Ironically, being consistent may actually contribute to the feeling of being stuck, because your MMR then becomes more stable and harder to move.

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Consistency is a big part of how quickly your ranked MMR increases

Valorant Competitive Ranks
Screenshot by Koh Wanzi/ONE Esports

One popular belief is that it is more difficult to climb on older accounts because these accounts have more matches played, therefore making it more difficult to move the average MMR. That’s not true, said EvrMoar.

Instead, Valorant’s ranked system takes into account how consistent you are, which refers to the variance in your performance, and not the total matches played.

When Riot compared newer, alternate accounts to users’ main accounts, it found that most of these secondary accounts got extremely close to matching the MMR on the main account. However, this was not always reflected in the account’s actual rank, because players often stopped playing on it.

“If you are performing as expected, your variance will shrink, which makes your MMR harder to move,” said EvrMoar on Twitter.

“But if you start performing outside of expectations your variance opens up and makes your MMR move fast. This is replacing the idea of total matches played MMR average.”

If you’re performing better than expected and winning, your MMR will increase more quickly, which translates into more RR gained. You might even enjoy a double rank-up, if your MMR is more than three ranks above your current rank.

“This is why win-streaking, and why winning duels against higher-ranked players, really helps you climb,” he explained.

On the other hand, if you are performing reliably within the expected range, the grind may feel more tedious as you have to string together several wins in order to see tangible gains.

After all, when the system thinks your rank matches your MMR, you’ll gain and lose similar RR from wins and losses — the very definition of being hard stuck.

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