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Dummies’ Guide to Dota 2 MMR Ranks

If you haven’t played Dota 2 yet, you’re missing out on a rapidly growing community of over 400,000 daily unique users with different Dota 2 ranks. Because of the sheer number of gamers Dota 2 introduced a new system that allows players to find opponents and teammates based on their skill and rank levels. Now, dota ranks can get a bit confusing for some, so I did my best to break down all the info into something a bit more understandable. Along with this guide you’ll also get a breakdown of current dota rank distribution and how you can climb the MMR ladder.

What exactly is MMR in Dota 2?

Simply put MMR stands for Matchmaking Ranking and it allows users to, as the name suggests, determine their skill level and match them with opponents and teammates for balanced gameplay. It eliminates the rage you usually get when playing a ranked game and gets paired with someone way above or below your level. 

Just to break it down to you – Dota 2 has two PvP modes. Ranked and Unranked. While the unranked mode allows you to play more casually, by no means it influences your Dota MMR. You’re not here to read about the unranked matches so I won’t bore you with details. We are here to focus on the ranked mode, so let’s get to it.

Ranked matches have a total of three modes:

  • Ranked All Pick – Players have to vote for the heroes to get banned. Then they take turns picking their own heroes that remain on the list.
  • Captains Mode – The captains of each team, one after another, choose and ban heroes from the general list.
  • Random Draft – A list of 50 heroes is automatically generated and players take turns picking the hero they like the most.

Playing any of this mode can boost or drop your rank in Dota 2 based on the specific MMR point system that we will talk about in a second. An important detail is that you won’t get your MMR score right away. You will need to play 10 games to calibrate your account, and based on your performance, you’ll get your Dota MMR rating and a corresponding medal to go with that.

Let’s talk about the current Dota 2 medals spread across the players before we get all up the Dota 2 nitty and gritty. As per October 2021. Based on stats, an average player has an Archon 2 rank and the most popular rank is Legend 1. There are over 69% (nice) of players scoring this specific rank. There are very few players that rank above that, with around 15% of total players spread from Ancient 1 to Immortal. This poses a difficult task to pair them up, as only 5% of players is a Divine class and moreover they are spread across multiple servers. 

Figuring Out Dota 2 New Ranking System

Valve always tries to improve the gaming experience for its users. And since ranked games are very popular it’s only natural that they focus their efforts on fine tuning the system for best optimal gameplay.

But because of that, the way that medals and ranks are awarded can be a bit confusing for players that got into the game after a break, as well as the new people joining in. To simply explain the biggest change in the Dota 2 new ranked system –  Valve changed their 7-star system back to the 5-star system which made transitioning from one rank to another less of a hassle. 

Current Dota 2 ranking method features eight different ranks that are further divided by the sub-ranks – mentioned above stars. The gist of it is that in order to get a new class you need to go through all five stars and cross the points threshold. When it comes to the number of points, Valve has been pretty secretive but honestly, there is nothing that a little digging a lot of dedicated users cannot fix. 

Here is an estimated number of MMR points you need to advance to the next medal in the new ranked system:

With each season the numbers might change slightly but they should stay roughly the same, at least until Valve switches the brackets. 

Come Get Your Medal!

As I mentioned before, there are eight different medals you can get in Dota 2, starting from the easiest, bottom of the barrel Herald badge, moving all the way up to almost unobtainable Immortal. As you already saw above there is a very specific amount of MMR points to the certain medal. But the points are not the only thing that matters.

As you progress through the ranked system, you will need to adjust and evolve your skills. Luckily I know a thing or two about each medal so you can have a couple of pointers when trying to climb the MMR ladder in Dota 2. 

Herald Medal

When you land in the Herald category you need to learn pretty much everything. The good thing, this is as low as you can go. Figure out the basics and focus on improving your skills with a single hero instead of jumping around different characters. 

Guardian and Crusader Medals

Sticking to one hero is still your best bet. You need to know how to work with them and use them effectively. But, you also need to learn how to communicate with your team. It’s time to include your chat or mic into play, and start reading up on different roles within your team. Knowing what different roles do will help you understand the dynamics of the game better.

Archon and Legend Medals

Those are the most competitive ranks with the biggest player distribution. You need to increase your map awareness and start being a valuable team member – knowing each role and effectively utilizing it for your gains. It’s time to stop using only one hero for gameplay and start working through different roles to implement different strategies. Communication is still the key aspect of advancing and honestly, it will be from this point onwards.

Ancient and Divine Medals

This is the highest most players will get. This tier is highly competitive and people who have those medals will rely heavily on advanced tactics, wits and in-game mechanics. Here, it’s your job to learn how to be flexible, learn about tier lists and patch meta to get a massive advantage.

Immortal Medal

Ah, the creme de la creme. The most prestigious Dota 2 medal there is and that only pro players can obtain. This will allow you to get scouted and noticed, maybe even start playing as a career. But, the way to obtain this medal is difficult and unfortunately, I can’t help you with any tips. My best suggestion? Watch how other people play and learn from the best. Also, maybe look back at your games and learn how you can improve.

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