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‘Valorant’ Episode 2: huge ranked changes are coming

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“We know those have been pretty vocal asks from players”

Riot Games is set to introduce sweeping changes to the ranked mode of Valorant when Episode 2 launches tomorrow (January 13).

According to Twitter user ValorLeaks, who was given early access to Valorant Episode 2, the ranked arrows system has been replaced in favor of a more transparent Ranked Ratings (RR) system.

Players will be rated on a scale of 0 to 100 per rank, with players ranking up when they reach 100 and dropping a tier when losing a game on 0 RR. Every game will net a player anywhere from a 50 RR gain to a 30 RR loss, according to performance.

Check out ValorLeaks’ tweet below.

Developers from Valorant’s Competitive Team, producer Ian “Brighteyz” Fielding and designer Jon “EvrMoar” Walker, later commented in a Twitch livestream that the new system is “more clear” and will help players understand where they stand within the game. They also acknowledge that the current system is too harsh on players who “have a bad day”, and hope that Ranked Ratings will address that.

“It’s really important to us that the ranked system is more clear, [that] you know where you stand in your rank at any time. We know the arrows are a bit of an enigma right now.” said Fielding. “And also, we felt this as players, it can be fairly quick if you have a bad day of games to derank, and so a bunch of those changes are helping prevent that kind of fast fall.”

Fielding added that the team is working on tackling problems with AFK players and smurfs, the latter a term for experienced players using a lower ranked account. “We really want to focus on managing and improving how we deal with AFK players and also more worked combat smurfing,” Fielding said. “We know those have been pretty vocal asks from players, so you’ll see some more changes coming out in the coming months towards those in the short term.”

Riot Games is also looking at more team-based competitive modes in the longer term, although they noted that it is “not quite ready to commit to a date”. Walker said that the team is “looking at ways where you and four friends can group up and possibly play a competitive slice of the game somehow”.

“We really wanna push five players grouping up and doing things together. What form that takes and what that means we’re still investigating and figuring out, but I would expect at some point some kind of way to group up with your friends and play competitively,” he added.

Elsewhere in the Twitch stream, developers form Valorant’s Design + Maps, Characters and Premium Content team also talked about the changes coming in Episode 2. Watch the full livestream here.

Valorant Episode 2 will also introduce the game’s 14th agent, Yoru, who will be an Infiltrator Duellist specialising in stealthy misdirection and movement. The forthcoming update will also include a new battlepass, balance changes and more.

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