How Overwatch 2 ranks work in competitive

Overwatch 2 ranks
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

With the launch of season 2, Overwatch 2's (opens in new tab) new ranks, skill tier divisions, and competitive mode rewards have been tweaked a little bit. Or, at the very least, new information about how the rank system works has been revealed. You still have to play a ton of games to climb through the skill tier divisions, but you might start the season in a rank you didn't expect. Here's how all of it works given what is known at the moment.

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

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

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. It 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.

Your skill tiers, or rank, will decay to start each new season off, too. It's unclear how far it can decay and what determines it though, which might be something that will become clear over time as seasons pass.

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.

Overwatch 2's Kiriko

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

How rank rewards work

Overwatch 2's competitive rewards are a little different now too. First, in order to receive any rewards, you have to complete the "Competitive Rewards Qualification" challenge by winning 25 games in Role Queue or Open Queue. Once you do, you'll be ready to earn 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.

Blizzard has changed how rank rewards work in season 2. Your rank rewards are based on your final ranks and the highest rank across Role Queue and Open Queue. Your final rank includes the games you played after your most recent rank update, so your rewards might be higher or lower than you expected.

For example: If you end a season at Diamond in Open Queue and Silver in Role Queue but, at one point, peaked at Master, you'll receieve the Diamond rewards—as long as the games you may or may not have played after the most recent update don't impact your rank. In this scenario, you ended Role Queue at a lower rank than your peak, but your Open Queue rank was ultimately higher when the season ended, so you receive the rewards for that rank.

The competitive point rewards are clarified in competitive challenges associated with each rank. 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
Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.