Dota 2 MMR Ranking System Explained

Rakshak Kathuria
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Dota 2's MMR Ranking system is inherently complex and includes various nuances, making it hard for the average gamer to understand it. Over the last decade, while Dota 2 had numerous tweaks to gameplay, heroes, economies, and landscapes, there has also been an equally high number of changes to its matchmaking rating (MMR). New players or players who have not played for a long period of time might struggle to grasp how the current form of Dota 2 MMR works. So here is a comprehensive guide that walks you through the various aspects of the Dota 2 MMR ranking system. 

What is Dota 2 MMR and Medals?

Dota 2 matchmaking rating (MMR) is a positive integer that represents a player’s skill level. MMR also helps determine your allies and opponents in various matches, so it is also Dota 2’s matchmaking tool. However, Dota 2 players can only earn and lose MMR points by playing ranked matches and not by playing other game modes.

Based on your MMR level, you will be provided with a specific Dota 2 medal. There are eight Dota 2 medals currently. In the increasing order, they are:

  1. Herald
  2. Guardian
  3. Crusader
  4. Archon
  5. Legend
  6. Ancient
  7. Divine
  8. Immortal

There are five tiers/stars within each medal, with tier five being the highest. As you win and lose ranked matches, your tiers and medals might change. 

Dota 2 MMR Ranking System Explained

For example, if you are in the Legend 4 tier on Friday and then win a certain set of matches in the next couple of days, your medal tier will move from Legend 4 to 5. Additionally, if you go on to win more ranked matches than you lose in the coming days, you will move from Legend five to Ancient one.  

Barring Immortal, the highest rank in Dota 2, every medal has tiers. In Immortal, you will instead have a ranking placement based on your region, so the player who has the highest MMR in a region will have rank 1.

Dota 2 MMR Ranking System Explained
Image Via Dota 2 GamepediaIf you dwindle down the ranks considerably in the Immortal medal and find yourself on the verge of falling into Divine, your rank can disappear, and you might only have the medal displayed under your name.

Dota 2 Medal Distribution Based on MMR

Even though Valve has never revealed the MMR required for achieving a particular medal tier or medal, the community has used various combinations to generate the following medal distribution.

Herald
Medal TierMMR
Herald 1~0
Herald 2~154
Herald 3~308
Herald 4~462
Herald 5~616
Guardian
Medal TierMMR
Guardian 1~770
Guardian 2~924
Guardian 3~1078
Guardian 4~1232
Guardian 5~1386
Crusader
Medal TierMMR
Crusader 1~1540
Crusader 2~1694
Crusader 3~1848
Crusader 4~2002
Crusader 5~2156
Archon
Medal TierMMR
Archon 1~2310
Archon 2~2464
Archon 3~2618
Archon 4~2772
Archon 5~2926
Legend
Medal TierMMR
Legend 1~3080
Legend 2~3234
Legend 3~3388
Legend 4~3542
Legend 5~3696
Ancient
Medal TierMMR
Ancient 1~3850
Ancient 2~4004
Ancient 3~4158
Ancient 4~4312
Ancient 5~4466
Divine
Medal TierMMR
Divine 1~4620
Divine 2~4820
Divine 3~5020
Divine 4~5220
Divine 5~5420

From your Main Menu, you can see your progression to the next tier. If you are winning more than losing, a percentage meter will be shown beneath your medal. Once you cross 100%, you will move to the next tier. However, if you tend to lose more, the percentage meter may disappear, indicating you might be on the brink of falling to the previous medal tier.

Other Aspects of Dota 2 MMR

Ranked Roles/ Ranked Classic

Ranked matchmaking is divided into two categories - Ranked Roles and Ranked Classic. With the former, players choose their roles beforehand, while with the latter, no roles are assigned to any of the five players.

When you queue for a match under ranked roles, your medal tier might be below the one displayed on your Main Menu. This is because of your skill level in that particular role. Support players might be more skilled at playing support than a core role so that they will have a Legend 4 medal on the Main Menu, but their tier will be displayed as Legend 3 in the drafting stage when they queue for a core role. Valve likely implemented this to ensure that you do not have to compete with the toughest opponents when queueing for your weaker roles. 

How Much MMR Do You Gain When You Win/Lose a Ranked Match?

Valve changes this from time to time but currently, you gain or lose 20-30 MMR based on the outcome of the game. Generally, you lose or gain 20 MMR when you play in a party and 30 MMR when you queue alone. At times, this observation may differ.   

Average Dota 2 Medal and MMR Leaderboards

Since most Dota 2 player profiles are public, individuals and institutions have been able to determine the average medal. The average medal tier for Dota 2 players is Archon 1-3. (Via esportstales)

However, if you are a cut above the rest, you can see your name on the Dota 2 MMR Leaderboards once you reach the top of Dota 2 ranked matchmaking, the Immortal Bracket. Dota 2 MMR leaderboards represent the rankings of players region-wise. Valve updates it every hour. A player needs to play "At least 14 ranked games in the last 21 days in the same division (region)" to be eligible for the Dota 2 MMR leaderboard. 

How to Unlock Ranked Matchmaking in Dota 2?

When you open Dota 2 for the first time, you will not be able to queue for ranked matches. To unlock ranked matchmaking, you need to have 100 hours of playing Dota 2. Remember that this playing time is different from the time that shows up in the Steam Client. Dota 2 may be open for 100 hours, but if you have only played a small number of matches, the playing time that counts towards unlocking ranked matchmaking may be less than 100 hours.

Any Dota 2 game mode will count towards this 100-hour goal though we recommend that new players spend some time playing unranked and turbo matches before jumping into ranked matches. The Dota 2 tutorial might also come in handy for new players.

If we consider an average Dota 2 unranked game duration, it will likely take around 150 matches to fulfill the 100-hour quota and unlock ranked matchmaking.

After you pass the 100-hour mark, just enter your mobile number and link it to your Steam account. This will enable ranked matchmaking. 

You will then need to play 10 matches to calibrate your matchmaking rating (MMR) and determine your skill level. MMR is believed to be derived from your performances and the number of wins and losses in unranked game mode, along with similar factors in each of these 10 ranked calibration matches. However, Valve has never publicly revealed the exact factors behind it. 

Rakshak is an undergrad, an inquisitive person who likes to acquire information and knowledge of varied sectors in esports. However, his current focus is specifically on Dota 2.

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