If you’re new to competitive online gaming then chances are you have probably seen or heard the term “MMR” mentioned somewhere before, but if you’re new, then the likelihood is that you don’t know what it means.
MMR is incredibly important in online competitive play, and is, therefore, a term that you should really know before you begin venturing too far into competitive play, as MMR is something that is essential to your competitive play.
So if you’re unsure what MMR means and want to learn what it means, then read on further as we discuss everything you need to know about MMR and what it means in gaming terms.
What Does MMR Mean?
In gaming, MMR stands for “Matchmaking Rank”, which is a number within a game’s system that is used to determine your skill level in-game, and therefore matchmake you with people of a similar skill level in order to ensure that each match is fairly balanced on both teams.
Your MMR is completely discrete and is not something that you’re able to view as a form of in-game stats, and therefore you’re not able to compare it to your friends’ MMR either.
As a number, your MMR increases when you win, and then decreases if you should lose. Typically in competitive modes of online play, your MMR number will be designated a rank, within many competitive games following the system.
As a generalized example, a game’s competitive ranking system might look something like Bronze – Silver – Gold – Platinum – Diamond and possibly even beyond this too depending on the game.
When the MMR system works perfectly, it ensures that the game is accessible for everyone regardless of their skill level, as they’ll be placed in matches with people of the same skill level, which should result in a fair fight for all.
It is possible to move up the ranks as your MMR level increases, which is a sign that you’ve improved since you initially started.
How MMR Is Determined?
There is no set way for a game to be able to determine your MMR, however, most games tend to make the player participate in a number of “placement” matches against players of a mixed skill level who are also playing their placement games.
The results of these games, as well as some of your in-game performance, will mean that the game is then able to determine your skill level, and denote you a rank for you to begin playing competitively.
Competitive Placement Matches
Throughout your placement matches, you won’t have an assigned rank, and will therefore be placed in games of people with mixed ability.
If you happen to win a game, then your next game will come against tougher opponents who have also won their last placement match.
But if you lose, then you will come against easier opponents.
Whilst in-game performance is given some consideration by the game’s ranking system, your win/loss ratio is what plays the biggest role in determining your rank once you finish your placement matches.
So even if you have a particularly standout performance throughout a match, and yet your team still loses, then your MMR will still drop.
However, it is important to remember that the rank you are given after the placement matches is not a permanent one, and can fluctuate based on your performance in online competitive games.
How Long Does My Rank Last?
Another thing worth knowing is that your assigned rank doesn’t last forever.
Competitive game modes tend to run in “Seasons”, which will usually last for a number of months, usually between 2 to 4 months, and once the season is over, their rank then disappears and they will have to play another set of placement matches at the beginning of the new season.
So at the start of the new season, you do have to rerank. However, for certain games, your MMR isn’t actually reset back to 0.
Instead, the games do more of a soft reset, and your previous MMR is still considered when it comes to determining your rank after you play your placement matches.
The likelihood is that unless your performance drastically improves upon last season, then you’ll rank the same as you were at the end of last season, giving you another chance for you to try and work your way up the ranks.
Climbing The Ranks
With your rank now obtained, this is where you begin grinding. Don’t worry if you happen to lose 1 or 2 games every now and then, that’s natural, especially if you game solo and have to matchmake with random people.
The only concern you should have is when you lose up to 7 games in a row, as this is when your MMR will begin to drop. Alternatively, if you begin to win 7 games in a row, then your MMR rating will begin to increase, which is what can elevate your rank.
Typically, your rank will change upon your MMR reaching a certain threshold, if you’re unsure about what the MMR threshold is for the next rank in the game you’re playing, then you will likely be able to find that information online!
Improving your MMR is about improving your in-game skill overall, so don’t get too distracted by the MMR system that your playing abilities begin to suffer as a result.
Just remember that if you’re away from the game for a while, you’ll likely experience what is known as “MMR Decay” which is where your rank slowly rolls back the longer you’re away.
This means you can’t just reach the highest rank and disappear for the rest of the season, and it keeps the matchmaking fair for the other players who are committed.
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