Overwatch competitive mode ranks explained


Overwatch competitive mode ranks explained

Find out everything you need to know about Overwatch competitive mode ranks explained Overwatch ranking and how you can improve it.

Are you a new Overwatch competitive mode ranks explainedOverwatch player who is interested in competing and curious about the Rank system? This is an in-depth, one-stop explanation of Overwatch’s ranking system.

Competitive play

Overwatch is an online multiplayer FPS (First Person Shooter), that is team-based and published by Blizzard Entertainment.

It’s an objective-based game where six players are paired up to compete with each other using a roster of heroes with unique skills and roles.

Although Overwatch was not the first “hero-shooter” game, it was the first one to be mainstreamed. Other games, including Apex Legends and Paladins, Battleborn, and many others, have since followed.

Overwatch offers several game modes, including Quick Play, Competitive, Play vs. Ai, Arcade, and Tutorial, as well as Practice Range and Custom. This article will focus on Competitive Play.

This allows you to play against other players around the world in Overwatch’s rank system. A player must reach level 25 in Quick Play or Arcade to be eligible for Competitive Play.

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What is Overwatch’s skill rating?

The primary metric to determine which Tier/rank a player is in is the skill rating. It measures the overall performance of a player and ranges between 1 to 5 000.

A player must increase their Skill Rating to rise in rank. Contrary to popular belief, your win/lose ratio has a greater impact on your Skill Rating than your kill/death rate. To increase Skill Rating, it is important to focus on team wins over individual glory.

What is the purpose of skill rating?

Your Skill Rating (SR), is determined by placing matches at the beginning of each season. A player can gain or lose SR after being placed in a Tier.

This is determined by winning and losing matches. Your personal performance and the Skill Rating of other players determine how much SR you earn or lose. This is just a starting point, and Blizzard conceals the real mechanism behind the Skill Rating values.

Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s Developer, stated that the current Competitive System does not have a progression-based system in which you gain a certain amount of “exp” for each win.

Your skill is constantly being calibrated in relation to other players you lose or win against. It will fluctuate between very little and a lot depending on the other players against which it is compared. Players with SR less than 500 will see “500” instead. This is to prevent them from becoming discouraged.

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Tiers in Overwatch

Overwatch has seven skill Tiers. Each Tier has a badge that can be seen in the player’s portrait. These are the Tier divisions:

  • Bronze (Skill Rating 1-1500).
  • Silver (Skill Rating: 1500-1999).
  • Gold (Skill Rating: 2000-2499).
  • Platinum (Skill Rating 2500-2999).
  • Diamond (Skill Rating: 3000-3499).
  • Master (Skill Rating: 3500-3999).
  • Grandmaster (4000+).

These Tiers should not be viewed as major milestones or achievements. Your Tier is a measure of your skill level. No amount of grinding will guarantee you a rise in Tiers. As you improve, your Rank will increase. Don’t be focused on Tiers and SR, instead, focus on improving your gameplay.

Jeff Kaplan published a February 2018 breakdown of Overwatch players’ distribution among the different Skill Rating Tiers. This is the full statistic:

  • Bronze (8%)
  • Silver (21%).
  • Gold (32%).
  • Platinum (25%)
  • Diamond (10%)
  • Master (3%)
  • Grandmaster (1%)

The statistic shows that Overwatch players tend to be on the Silver, Gold and Platinum Tiers.

The Tiers below them are more competitive than those in Silver, Gold, or Platinum. These three Tiers will have players who are focused on their individual abilities.

This level is not as important as the higher Tiers, but it does require teamwork. The Bronze Tier is reserved for beginners and people who are not familiar with shooting. For shooters with some experience, you can skip Bronze and move straight to Silver or Gold.

The Rank System places players in the top three tiers. Your success will be more dependent on teamwork and coordination once you reach Diamond.

Players in the Silver, Gold, and Platinum skill ranges will be moved to lower skill Tiers during the early seasons if they fail to maintain their minimum Skill Ratings for their Tiers for five matches.

Players who belong to the Master, Grandmaster, and Diamond Tiers will see their rating decay rate of 25 points per hour if they do not play at most five matches within seven days.

This is until they reach 3000 SR or complete the required amount of matches. Blizzard executives removed rating decay starting in Season 18. This was done to stop players grinding too much.

Top 500

The 500 top players on a leaderboard in a particular region earn a badge along with the seven Tiers. To reach the top 500, players must have won at least 50 competitive matches. Two weeks after the season begins, the top 500 leaderboards are released.

Overwatch rank badges

Each rank comes with a badge. You can see the various badges available in Overwatch.

Group skill rating restriction

Skill Rating restrictions are also in place to prevent imbalances in competitive grouping (e.g. Grandmaster against Bronze).

  • Placement matches are not open to players from the Diamond Tier or above.
  • Players with Skill Ratings greater than 1000 cannot group with players in the Bronze, Silver and Gold, Platinum, or Diamond Tiers.
  • Players in Master Tier cannot group with players with more than 500 Skill Ratings.
  • Grandmaster Tier players cannot be grouped with players with more than 350 Skill Ratings.
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Portraits and borders for all levels of 2022

Each tier has its own playing style

Because of the many factors that can influence each player’s play style, it is difficult to pinpoint which Tier plays in which way. We will look at the trends in each Tier below.

Bronze and silver

These Tiers are likely to be filled with new players who are still learning the ropes. These Tiers are where players will either play their favorite heroes, or they’ll experiment with other heroes and see which one is more comfortable.

This Tier is not a good place to use a microphone. In fact, the Platinum Tier is the least likely to see it. Most people are only testing out new heroes and are completely ignoring the teamwork aspect. These Tiers have a lot of new players. However, they don’t usually stay for long as it’s easy to move up to Tier Gold.


According to statistics for 2018, 32 percent of Overwatch competitive players are in the Gold Tier. Due to the sheer number of players, this Tier is considered “most toxic”. 

Many newbies end up stuck in this Tier. They are promoted from Silver but are unable to climb to Platinum. You’ll find players who are focused on their “main” hero or those who are keen to build a strong team.


As you move up to the Platinum Tier, players will notice a shift in their focus from individual skills to team composition and strategies based on game modes, maps, or ultimate abilities. 

This Tier is where microphone usage is crucial. This level requires a good understanding of the game mechanics as well as basic team awareness. Here is where the real challenge begins.


This Tier includes the top 15% of Overwatch players. It is not for casual players. This Tier is full of passionate Overwatch players. Map strategy and map awareness are two other skills that players in this Tier have.

As stated, this is where there is real competition. This Tier is where teamwork is key to a match. Losing is inevitable, regardless of how skilled a player may be.


This Tier houses semi-pro and even professional players. This level is where players are proficient in all technical aspects of the game. This Tier has a majority of players who have a primary hero or role and are not flexible.

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Grandmaster is the top 1% of Overwatch players and where many streamers and pro-players play. This level is home to the top players and the best. A Grandmaster match can be seen live on export.

How to quickly climb the ranks

You must first and foremost improve your skills as a player. You should learn new strategies to use different maps, increase your game sense and awareness, master the game mechanics (accuracy using ultimate abilities, tactical usage of secondary abilities, and improve teamwork.

Although it is not clear how Skill Rating works, we do know that all players must win in order to earn Skill Rating and move up the ranks. However, Skill Rating is not solely dependent on individual performance.

If your team loses, you will still not be able to gain a Skill Rating. It is better to have a group of people to play with, as it allows you to strategize and work together better.

You should have fun when playing a game. Understanding the ranking system can help you be a better player overall if you are trying to become competitive.

It can ruin your experience playing a game if you focus too much on the Tiers that you are in. Don’t take yourself too seriously, have fun, and don’t worry about Tiers.

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Overwatch competitive mode ranks explained FAQs

How is competitive rank determined Overwatch?

Your Skill Rating determines your competitive rank in Overwatch. Although there are many factors that go into determining a person’s SR, most of them are secret.

How does the SR system work in Overwatch?

When you do well, your team’s impact increases and the team with greater impact wins. SR is the outcome number for all those impact stats. The ranks are then determined by the Devs based on the normal distribution.

What’s the average Sr Overwatch?

The average PC player is at the Platinum Tier: 2507 rank equals the 50 percentile.

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