League of Legends: Wild Rift ranked system: A balance between welcoming and competitive

With League of Legends: Wild Rift‘s beta on a brief break, Riot Games used this downtime to talk about the ranked system put in place for the mobile MOBA. Riot had multiple goals in mind when developing the system, taking into account creating a welcoming experience for new players, reducing “player pain” for losses and making it easier to play ranked with friends. However, the same adrenaline-inducing feeling that comes with competitive play is still retained with these new systems.

With that in mind, League of Legends: Wild Rift will feature the same tiers as League PC, Iron through Challenger with the addition of a new tier, Emerald, that’s between Platinum and Diamond. The purpose of this new tier is to allow for “broader skill distribution.”

Anything tier below Diamond uses the new Ranked Marks system and it’s super easy and straightforward to keep track of. Winning a game earns you a Ranked Mark. Losing a game will lose a Ranked mark. Each tier will require a certain number of Ranked Marks to climb with lower tiers requiring fewer.

Below Diamond, players can also filled up Ranked Fortitidue which, according to Riot, “rewards you for skilled play, and protects you from occasional losses.” As we all know, the skill gap in League of Legends can vary, especially on mobile. Sometimes, you can play amazing but League is a team game, so your best may not be good enough to carry every game. In these situations, Ranked Fortitude can come in handy.

We also know how frustrating ranked play can be, especially for newcomers. The reason for Ranked Marks is two-fold. It’s easy to keep track of, which will help newer players, and it allows you to focus on individual accomplishment instead of a ladder leaderboard.

That said, Riot recognizes that very competitive players want that leaderboard experience which is why they are using a Victory Point (VP) system for ranks at Diamond and above. This will feel much more similar to League on PC where even a fraction of a percentage difference in wins can mean all the difference in your rank.

League of Legends: Wild Rift will players to group solo (1), duo (2), trios (3) or as a full team (5). They all enter through the same queue although matchmaking behind the scenes uses an algorithm to optimize matches “with equal power.” Basically, the goal is to have even ratios so that a team of 1-1-1-1-1 isn’t playing against 2-2-1. Full teams of five will always be matched against another full team of five.

Riot wants Wild Rift to be as accomodating as possible for players but they also want it to remain fair. Recognizing that going up against a premade group is inherently more difficult is very important and it sounds like Riot is aware of that, which is why the optimization will come in handy.

Ranked play in League of Legends: Wild Rift is still fairly early in its development so while the core systems seem to be in place, details could change between now and launch. Speaking of launch, we still don’t have a solid date for when the game will be released on mobile.