Overwatch Ranks and Skill Ratings System: The Complete Guide

Overwatch

Here you will be able to learn everything about Overwatch ranks and its ranking system, such as a list of all the ranks, ranks distribution, how to start playing ranked, and more.

We also did all the research and summarized them here. Keep reading to learn about them.

Skill Ratings & All Overwatch Competitive Ranks

Your competitive skill rating is displayed as a number from 0 to 5000, 5000 being the highest possible skill rating.

You also get a rank, based on your skill rating. There are 8 ranks in Overwatch:

RankSkill Rating
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemBronze1 – 1499
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSilver1500 – 1999
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemGold2000 – 2499
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemPlatinum2500 – 2999
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemDiamond3000 – 3499
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemMaster3500 – 3999
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemGrandmaster4000 +
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemTop 500Players ranked in top 500 of highest skill ratings in their region

How much SR do I earn or lose after a win or a loss?

Typically, you earn about 20-30 SR after a win. And lose around 20-30 SR after a loss.

The amount you gain or lose depends on your performance.

And if you’re on a winning streak, that signals the game that your skill rating is lower than your actual skill level, and you will earn more SR per win.

How are the ranks distributed?

The only official stats available is this post from Jeff Kaplan, lead designer of Overwatch, in February of 2018:

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

Bottom 8% of the total players belong to Bronze. The bottom 8% to 29% are Silver.

And Gold makes up the biggest portion of the pie at 32%, which is bottom 29% to top 39%.

Top 39% to 14% are Platinum players. And top 14% to 4% are Diamond players.

The most prestige ranks are Master who are top 4% to 1%, and Grandmaster who represent the top 1% of all players.

Silver, gold and platinum add up to 78% – more than 3/4 of all players.

Placement Matches and Getting Ranked

Each season, you need to complete 5 placement matches for a role(Tank, DPS or Support) in order to receive your skill rating and rank.

Then, you will receive a rank for that role only. To get ranks in other roles, you’ll have to complete 5 placement matches for each role:

Before you can play placement matches, your account needs to be at least level 25.

Overwatch XP Levels

You get XP points by playing Quick Play, Play vs AI, Practice vs AI, Arcade, Custom Games or Competitive Play.

The amount of XP points are based on these factors:

  • Length of game: About 211.5 XP per minute, or 3.525 per second.
  • Match finished: 150 XP
  • Win: 500 XP
  • Played matches consecutively: 300 XP
  • Backfill (Joining an ongoing game after someone has abandoned the game): 400 XP
  • First win of the day: 1,500 XP
  • Medals: 150 XP per Gold, 100 XP per Silver, 50 XP per Bronze
  • Group bonus: 20%

You earn different amount of XP for these game modes:

  • Practice vs AI – 90% (10% less XP)
  • Arcade – Free for All, Arcade – Deathmatch: 80% (20% less XP)
  • Arcade – Lockout Elimination: 40 – 125% (60% less – 25% more XP), based on game length between 1:45 – 3:15
  • Competitive Play: 115% XP (15% more XP)

If you abandon matches at a high rate among your last 20 games, you will get -75% XP penalty temporarily. So do not abandon matches too much if you’re trying to level up as fast as possible.

If you’re in a group, you will get 20% extra XP at the end of each match. So try to party with your friends, or find a group with Find Group in the game:

You also get extra 1,500 XP for your first win of the day – so try to win at least 1 game everyday.

Here is a list of XP needed to level up for the first 25 levels:

LevelXP for next level
12,000
23,500
35,000
46,500
57,500
68,500
79,500
810,500
911,500
1012,500
1113,500
1214,500
1315,000
1415,500
1516,000
1616,500
1717,000
1817,500
1918,000
2018,500
2119,000
2220,000
2320,000
2420,000

Role Queue

Role queue is the current system of Overwatch, where each team must pick 2 tanks, 2 DPS and 2 supports.

Thus, players must pick one or more roles before queueing up for a competitive match or quick match. Once you find a match, you’re locked into a role, and you’re forced to pick a hero for that role only.

Rank Up and Down

When you reach the skill rating for the next highest rank, you immediately get promoted:

Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond players do not immediately rank down as soon as their skill rating drops below their current rank.

Instead, they get 5 matches to recover their SR back to their original rank. If their SR is still below their original rank after the 5 matches, then their rank goes down.

However, you get the Competitive Points based on the highest rank you achieved that season.

Hero Pools

On June 8th 2020, Blizzard announced that hero pools will be removed indefinitely from competitive play.

Hero pools was a now-removed system where a total of 4 heroes were banned each week in Masters’ and Grandmasters’ competitive games. It was introduced in competitive season 21.

Blizzard gathered hero play data from Overwatch League matches from the last 2 weeks, and picked heroes that were played over a certain percentage during that span.

Out of all the heroes chosen, 1 tank, 2 DPS, and 1 support heroes were removed. The higher the play rate was in previous 2 weeks, the better the chance was to be chosen.

A hero was not able to be banned for two weeks in a row.

Hero pools were announced on Sundays, after Overwatch League matches are complete.

Playing Competitive in a Group

There are a few rules to playing competitive games in a group:

  • Skill rating of each member in the group must be within 1000 of all other members in the group, for Diamond rank and below.
  • Skill rating of each member in the group must be within 500 of all other members in the group, for Master rank.
  • Skill rating of each member in the group must be within 350 of all other members in the group, for Grandmaster rank.
  • Players who have not completed the placement matches cannot play in a group with players in Diamond rank or above.

Top 500

Within two weeks after each competitive season starts, top 500 leaderboard comes out.

You can see the leaderboard by right clicking on Competitive Play, then clicking on Leaderboard.

In Leaderboard, you can see the list of top 500 players for different roles, seasons and regions. You can also check the friends icon on the right to see the leaderboard among your Battle.net friends.

Players who have reached top 500 get a Heroic icon, a player icon and spray which are different than the regular icon and spray. Player icon and spray are different each season.

To be qualified for the top 500 leaderboard, you must have played at least 50 competitive matches in that season after Blizzard SMS Protect has been enabled.

Here is a guide to setup Blizzard SMS Protect.

Length of Seasons

Currently, each season lasts about 8 weeks, with no time off in between seasons. The beginning of each season is the first Thursday of every other month.

To see how many days are left in the current season, right click on Competitive Play. The days left are written in the orange bar here:

After the season is over, you will see a summary of the season next time you’re in home screen. You can see your highest achieved SR for each role that you finished placement matches in:

As soon as a season ends, the next season begins.

When a new season begins, you will see the rewards the next time you click on Competitive Play.

While You Wait

While you’re in queue for a quick match, arcade or competitive match, you can join a practice range, skirmish, deathmatch or custom games. You can only join custom games that are set to allow players in queue to join.

Skill Rating Decay

For Diamond, Master and Grandmaster players, the skill rating used to drop by 25 points for every 24 hours they did not complete 5 competitive matches. And it kept dropping until it reached 3000.

This is called skill rating decay. However, it has been removed since Rold Queue Beta.

Competitive Points

Competitive points are points you need to buy gold weapons for heroes.

After each competitive season is over, players who completed their placement matches get competitive points based on the highest rank achieved that season, for each role:

Bronze25
Silver50
Gold100
Platinum200
Diamond300
Master450
Grandmaster650

You get competitive points for each role you completed placement matches in. So if you want to earn competitive points fast, you should aim to complete the placement matches for all 3 roles.

You also get 15 competitive points for each win, and 5 for each draw, in Competitive Play.

Season Player Icon and Spray

After each competitive season, a player icon and spray are rewarded to any player who completed placement matches.

Players who finished the season in top 500 will also receive a Hero icon and an animated Hero spray which are also unique for that season. They also get a regular Top 500 icon, which is given to all players who have finished in top 500 in any season at least once.

Here are all the player icon and spray for each season:

Competitor Icons

Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 1 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 2 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 3 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 4 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 5 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 6 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 7 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 8 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 9 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 10 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 11 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 12 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 13 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 14 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 15 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 16 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 17 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 18 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 19 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 20 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 21 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 22 Competitor

Competitor Sprays

Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 1 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 2 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 3 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 4 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 5 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 6 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 7 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 8 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 9 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 10 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 11 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 12 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 13 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 14 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 15 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 16 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 17 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 18 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 19 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 20 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 21 Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 22 Competitor

Hero Icons

Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemTop 500
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 1 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 2 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 3 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 4 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 5 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 6 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 7 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 8 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 9 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 10 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 11 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 12 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 13 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 14 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 15 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 16 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 17 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 18 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 19 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 20 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 21 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 22 Hero

Hero Sprays

Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 1 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 2 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 3 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 4 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 5 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 6 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 7 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 8 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 9 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 10 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 11 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 12 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 13 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 14 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 15 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 16 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 17 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 18 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 19 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 20 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 21 Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemSeason 22 Hero

Other Competitive Icons

Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Competitor 2020
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Open Queue Competitor
Competitive 6v6 Elimination Competitor 2018
Competitive 6v6 Elimination Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 6v6 Elimination Competitor 2020
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Deathmatch Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Deathmatch Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 3v3 Elimination Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 3v3 Elimination Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Team Deathmatch Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Team Deathmatch Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Open Queue Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Hero 2020
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive-6v6-Elimination Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive-6v6-Elimination Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive-6v6-Elimination Hero 2020
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Deathmatch Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Deathmatch Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 3v3 Elimination Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 3v3 Elimination Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Team Deathmatch Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Team Deathmatch Hero 2019

Other Competitive Sprays

Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Luioball Hero
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCopa Lucioball Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Competitor 2020
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive CTF Hero 2020
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 3v3 Elimination Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 3v3 Elimination Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 3v3 Elimination Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 3v3 Elimination Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 6v6 Elimination Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 6v6 Elimination Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 6v6 Elimination Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 6v6 Elimination Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 6v6 Elimination Competitor 2020
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive 6v6 Elimination Hero 2020
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Team Deathmatch Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Team Deathmatch Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Team Deathmatch Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Team Deathmatch Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Deathmatch Competitor 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Deathmatch Hero 2018
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Deathmatch Competitor 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Deathmatch Hero 2019
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Open Queue Competitor
Overwatch Ranks And Skill Ratings SystemCompetitive Open Queue Hero

Did you learn something new from this article? Or do you have other stuff you’d like to add to our list?

Feel free to let us know in the comment section – any input is very appreciated!

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Author Info
Andrew is a lifetime gamer and a former amateur esports player. He has worked as the manager for teams such as the New York Excelsior and the Los Angeles Gladiators. Andrew has been mentioned in ESPN, Inven, The Ringer and other esports magazines and journals. andrew@gearrate.com