Overwatch 2’s (opens in new tab) new ranks, skill tier divisions, and competitive mode rewards can be a lot to take in. The original Overwatch skill ratings are gone. Now, you have to play tons of games before you rank yourself among one of the many skill tier divisions. This new system puts the focus on improving and playing many matches over trying to perform your best in just one. Overwatch 2’s new rank system hides more information than the skill rating system, but it tries to me less discouraging in the long run.
Overwatch 2 has two ranked modes: Role Queue and Open Queue—both require winning 50 games or having owned the original game to unlock. Role queue locks your team composition to one tank hero, two damage heroes, and two support heroes. You select the roles you want to queue for, play matches, and get an individual rank for each role. Open Queue is a free-for-all like Overwatch at launch back in 2016. You can choose any hero in any role and receive one universal rank.
At the start of each competitive season, you have to complete a number of matches before you receive your rank. You will be unranked until you achieve seven wins or 20 losses, whichever comes first. If you played competitive modes in Overwatch 1, your rank will be close to what it was but modified for all the new changes in the sequel.
This system replaces the original game’s placement matches. It encourages you to simply play consistently over several matches instead of treating every one like a school test where you have to perform your absolute best.
For the entirety of the season, your rank will only update when you’ve hit the seven wins or 20 losses threshold again. And by “update” it means your rank can go up and down any number of skill tier divisions or stay the same, which is a pretty big change compared to the linear Skill Rating system in the original game.
All the ranks you can earn
Ranks are broken up into seven medals that represent each skill tier. Each one has five numerical divisions within it that ascend until you break into the next highest tier. So if you’re Gold 1, win seven games and go up in rank, you’ll be Platinum 5.
The ranks break down like this:
- Bronze 5-1
- Silver 5-1
- Gold 5-1
- Platinum 5-1
- Diamond 5-1
- Master 5-1
- Grandmaster 5-1
Two weeks into every season will mark the release of the Top 500 leaderboard and rank icon—and if the season has a new hero, they will become available to play in ranked. Top 500 is a shifting list of 500 of the highest ranked players. Top 500 doesn’t require you to be in a certain rank to qualify for it; it’s a snapshot of whoever is at the top. But it does require you to play 25 matches in Role Queue or 50 in Open Queue first. And because it’s only 500 players out of what is probably thousands of players in total, it will largely consist of Grandmaster and Master players.
If you take an extended break from playing, the invisible MMR, or matchmaking rating, will decay, or be lowered, to place you in easier games in case you’re a bit rusty. Blizzard said your MMR will adjust faster than normal during this period to get you back on track.
How groups work with ranks
Overwatch 2’s competitive modes have some limitations on playing in groups. Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond players can group up with any number of people within two skill tiers of them. Master players can also group up with any number of people, but they have to be within one skill tier from them.
Everything gets more strict in the two highest roles. Grandmaster players can group up with one player within three skill tier divisions of them. And Top 500 players can only group with one player that is also in the Top 500 in their region.
New rank rewards
Overwatch 2’s competitive rewards are a little different now too. There are competitive points for buying your favorite heroes’ golden weapons (3,000 competitive points each), and titles to put on your name card in the following season (and must be earned again in that season).
For every game you win you’ll receive 15 competitive points, and for every draw you get five.
Your highest rank across Role Queue and Open Queue at the end of the season will reward you with a chunk of competitive points via a competitive challenge associated with it. Here’s how many competitive points you’ll get, along with the associate title rewards:
- Bronze: 65
- Silver: 125
- Gold: 250
- Platinum: 500
- Diamond: 750, Diamond Challenger
- Master: 1,200, Master Challenger
- Grandmaster: 1,750, Grandmaster Challenger
- Top 500: 1,750, Top 500 Challenger
You get titles for completing a number of competitive games too:
- 250 games: Adept Competitor
- 750 games: Seasoned Competitor
- 1,750 games: Expert Competitor