Rocket League Divisions Made Simple
If you’re one of us Rocket League masochists, you’ve likely found yourself grinding through the Rocket League’s competitive playlists at one point in time. The struggle is real, as they say. It quickly turns into frustration when you find yourself in need of two or even more wins just to compensate for that single loss. The ambiguous tiers of progression, while objectively correlating well to your overall skill level, are often not very intuitive and can skew your perception of where you really belong on the ladder.
The topic of ranked play and skill ratings is of great importance to many people across a wide spectrum of video games. Rocket League is no exception. So, if you never truly dove deeper into the mysteries of the Rocket League Divisions, we’ll do our best to provide you with a simple and straightforward explanation here. Let’s proceed, shall we?
What’s the deal with Competitive Skill tiers?
Ever since Season 1, the Rocket League competitive skill tier rankings have been going through a steady pace of changes, modifications, and iterations. At the moment, there are 20 tiers, listed below from the lowest to the highest:
- Bronze I
- Bronze II
- Bronze III
- Silver I
- Silver II
- Silver III
- Gold I
- Gold II
- Gold III
- Platinum I
- Platinum II
- Platinum III
- Diamond I
- Diamond II
- Diamond III
- Champion I
- Champion II
- Champion III
- Grand Champion
At one point, Rocket League had a differently worded and distributed system (ahhh, the good old Challenger Elite days!). However, through several iterations and continuous fine-tuning, Psyonix developers in charge of competitive play, have opted for a classic bronze-to-diamond approach.
All of these tiers, except the Grand Champion, are further divided into 4 divisions. After playing the initial 10 placement matches and a few more after that, you most likely found yourself stuck somewhere in between the top and Bronze I Division I, unable to progress forward much more. Well, that’s the way of life – most of us fall somewhere around the middle of the Gauss bell-curve. Let’s explore what exactly determines this doom and gloom, this plight we all “have to” put up with!
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How are rankings (MMR and Competitive Tier progression)?
Scouring the web searching for information, you probably came across something called MMR. It stands for “matchmaking rating,” which is a numerical value used to determine your competitive tier, division within it, and also who you get matched with and against.
If you head over to the Rocket League Tracker distribution overview, you’ll see that every division within the tier has its own range of MMR. Therefore, if your MMR, which you can also check on the website linked above, falls in between the end values for any given tier division, you will get ranked accordingly. In a nutshell, tiers and divisions are just convenient representations of MMR used to rank the entire player pool and determine the match participants.
The exact formula behind MMR is not public knowledge, of course. However, players who often play through the Rocket League ranking system have noticed MMR fluctuating the most in the first few dozen matches. As you play more, your MMR will swing up and down less and less, allowing you to peak and plateau sooner.
Now, winning against players/teams with higher MMR than yours yields greater MMR gains/losses overall. Also, streaks seem to play a role too. Chaining several wins/losses in a row will progressively increase your MMR gains/losses.
An important thing to bear in mind is that competitive playlists have separate MMR. As a rule of thumb, your Solo Standard (3v3) typically has lower MMR than Standard (3v3). This is due to increased teammate and opponent volatility Solo Standard, and the fact you can queue with your high-skilled buddies in Standard to go on winning streaks more often. Doubles (2v2) and especially Duels (1v1) require slightly different strategies and playstyle adaptations, which is why their MMR are often drastically different. Ultimately, you’ll figure out which mode suits you best, don’t worry.
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How do I minimize and avoid significant de-ranking in Rocket League?
You would think that with more time spent playing competitive Rocket League, you would get better at it and therefore keep slowly progressing as the time goes by. Yet, many players report getting permanently stuck, or even worse, they start slowly de-ranking. There are several things you need to be aware of and do to avoid this seemingly strange phenomenon.
Method 1: Mental Notes
First of all, we’re all human and we make mistakes. Sometimes we keep doing them repeatedly and these erroneous ways turn into bad habits. Do your best to make a mental note every time an opponent dribbles you, scores, gets to the ball sooner, wins the 50-50 etc. You will often figure out better ways to approach certain scenarios based solely on these self-observations.
Method 2: Practice
Next, you obviously want to practice your skills in an isolated environment. Rocket League offers dozens of community-made training scenarios aimed at improving specific aspects of your game. Go through these whenever you can. A good thing to do is take a few rounds of practice while the game is searching for your next match. If you do this consistently, you’ll notice visible improvements in your game very soon.
Method 3: Tutorials
Rocket League tutorials on how to perform certain moves and tricks are helpful too. Watching Rocket League pros duke it out on major tournaments gives you plenty to aim for as well. They’re able to perform seemingly crazy stunts consistently thanks to countless hours of practice and trying new stuff out.
Method 4: Forget Tilt
Last, but not least, avoid playing when in “tilt.” Feeling frustrated and “salty” for whatever reason will only contribute to you playing worse than you normally do. Yes, it might be that your teammates can’t hit the ball half the time, don’t rotate at all, keep chasing the ball constantly, and so on. A simple bug resulting in a loss is sometimes enough to throw you out of the loop. Burnout is a real thing too – don’t overdo your Rocket League sessions! Be aware of when this happens, and take a break.
Hopefully, this short and sweet overview of the Rocket League Divisions has been helpful. We suggest you tune-in to the Rocket League Season 4 World Championship in November to see how the top-ranked pros do it!