Calibration MMR in Dota 2 – A Detailed Guide

Calibration MMR in Dota 2 - Detailed Guide

Calibration MMR in Dota 2 – A Detailed Guide

Updated on 8 Dec 2018

Before we start this detailed and long article, let me tell you that it took me almost 15 days to conduct research, analyze data available over the internet, carry out some tests and then write this article in most easy language. So even if there are some mistakes, I’ll request you to ignore it. However, if you find any factual mistake, please tell me in the comments below, so I can fix it.

There has been a lot of discussion on the internet about Dota 2 MMR and how to get high calibrating MMR. Valve has never revealed anything about how Dota 2 MMR actually works. However, they just gave some hints and cleared few doubts in their official post. But there are 2 problems with this official post.

  1. That article is more than 3 years old and is never updated.
  2. It does not have complete information about the mechanics of MMR.

I have searched the internet quite some time ago and wrote this guide “How Dota 2 MMR Works“. It can answer lots of questions but still, I feel that it is not complete. Before we proceed any further, please read it once so you have a fair idea what is Dota 2 MMR and how it actually works and all other important details which you need to know about it.

If you have a new account or are calibrating for the first time, read the section below. If you are looking for recalibration, skip this section and go to next section for recalibration.


Calibration for New Accounts / Uncalibrated Players

Following terms will be used frequently in the article below, so its better if you familiarize yourself with them.

What is Calibration MMR

After playing 10 calibrating Dota 2 games, you can see your MMR for the first time on your profile. That MMR is known as Dota 2 Calibration MMR.

What is KDA and How to Calculate it?

Kill-Death-Assists ratio. Here is the formula to calculate your KDA. (Kills + Assists) / Deaths. So that means if your score is 20 kills, 2 deaths, and 10 assists, your KDA will be 15 which is pretty impressive.

KDA (Kill-Death-Assists ratio) only comes into play when we are talking about calibrating MMR or starting MMR, either solo or party. But if your MMR is already calibrated, then KDA does not play any role towards your MMR. It is just your win or loss then which decides whether you will earn Dota 2 MMR points or you will lose it.

Factors Which are Considered for Calibration MMR

There is no official statement form Dota 2 / valve’s side how they calculate Dota 2 MMR. However, over the time people carried our lots of experiments and finally, it was deduced that the following points are considered for sure when calculating MMR. You must also know that all points do not carry the same weight. Some points contribute more (KDA, Damage etc) and some points contribute less (Last hits, wards placed etc).

  • KDA
  • Last hits / denies
  • Match length
  • Damage to tower
  • Damage to enemy heroes
  • Healing
  • Buff / De-buffs placed on enemy/ally heroes
  • Clicks do you do per minute (by clicking on the ground)
  • Courier purchase / upgrade
  • Wards placed
  • Neutral staking

The major factor is KDA and all other factors are minor, but they still affect your Calibration MMR.


Factors Which are NOT Considered for Calibration MMR

Factors mentioned below are NEVER considered while calculating your MMR. Don’t believe even if someone says it does. The reason is that these factors don’t have any impact on your game/gameplay.

  • Steam Level
  • Dota 2 Level
  • Compendium Level
  • Total Hours spent playing Dota 2
  • In-game Items
  • Cosmetic Items

Dota 2 Calibration MMR as Carry

So, what are Carries? let’s see what Dota 2 wiki says.

Carries are the heroes that can obtain the greatest offensive power as the game progresses to eventually bear the responsibility for ultimate victory. Once carries get substantial levels and items, they tend to become extremely powerful later in the game as compared to other heroes. They are expected to have the highest number of hero kills on the team.

So what is their use in the late game? They can kill enemies and destroy enemy buildings to ultimately you win the game or at least TRY to win the game. So how Dota 2 system can judge whether you played your carry good or bad? There are some factors which are:-

  • KDA
  • Last Hits / Denies
  • Damage to tower
  • Damage to enemy heroes

Once you have got good KDA, its obvious that you have taken care of the rest of the 3 factors, i.e., Hero Damage Done, Tower Damage Done and Gold Earned/spent.

Now the question comes, what is a good KDA for a carry? High number of kills, Low number of deaths. Assists do not matter a lot for carries.

So if you want your calibration MMR to be good, go for those heroes which can have high KDA like Spectre, Medusa, Ember Spirit, Ursa, Huskar etc…

But don’t keep farming for the whole game, the game may not last that much longer for you to show your potential. Participate in max team fights and inflict as much damage to the enemy as possible. Even if you are loosing, still don’t lose hope and keep trying. Once the game ends, you may have dealt max damage in your team and in your next game you may rise a step in your calibration MMR ladder. Because damage dealt to heroes and towers matters a lot.

You may like to read How to Reset Dota 2 MMR


Dota 2 Calibration MMR as Support

Let’s refer to Dota 2 gamepedia about Support role. It says…

Supports can focus less on amassing gold and items, and more on using their abilities to gain an advantage for the team. These are the heroes whose purpose is to keep their allies alive and give them opportunities to earn more gold and experience. They are not very dependent on items, and generally only purchase one or two items for their personal usage – the rest of their gold is to be spent on items for the benefit of the team such as Animal Courier, Observer Ward, Sentry Ward, and Smoke of Deceit. They should always try to forfeit kills to any teammate who is more reliant on items than they are, only performing a kill if none of their allies is able to do it

Clear now? So we can simply say, supports created are FOR carries. They don’t have any purpose in the game other than helping their carries to reach their max potential as fast as possible. For that matter you keep them alive with your abilities and items, you ward / de-ward map to save them from likely ambushes, you stack neutrals for them to farm fast and get them as much kills as possible.

It should be obvious how Valve can judge how good you were as support. Still, for your information, following points are considered while calculating calibration MMR for supports.

  • KDA
  • Last hits / denies
  • Match length
  • Healing
  • Buff / De-buffs placed on enemy/ally heroes
  • Courier purchase / upgrade
  • Wards placed
  • Neutral staking

You may say, WTF dude, support is also dependent on KDA? Yes, they are. But support’s good KDA will be a bit different from carries. More assists they’ll have, more KDA they will get.

One major point to note, whether you are plying carry or support, always try to have minimum possible deaths. This will automatically increase your KDA. Check out this experiment.

MMR ReCalibration for Old Accounts / Those Who Already Calibrated Earlier

What are Dota 2 Medals?

Since 22 November 2017, Valve has changed the MMR system. Now other than MMR, you get a medal depending upon your recent solo and party MMRs. Each medal has 5 different ladder steps called stars. Progress in your medal and star is represented by a % below that medal. If it is not showing the % that means you have reached so low that you need to regain the MMR you lost to that %. Once you gain more MMR, you gain more stars and next medal.

So now your 1 medal and the different number of stars on it that show your highest attained MMR in that badge. Also, once attained, your medal and star cannot drop from that level. Now interesting thing is that now both your MMRs (Party and Solo) make the medal. So you might have less solo MMR but might have better Medal just because of your party rank. So, now, no match is insignificant.

Here are some interesting facts about different Dota 2 medals.

This image below shows different MMRs and their respective medals. Credits Reddit user TheHornBlower

Dota 2 Medal MMR

How MMR Recalibration work?

People kept thinking that recalibration still works the old way like you need to have a good KDA and stats and winning and losing does not matter. But this was changed since the inception of the medal system. Now if you have calibrated your MMR once, next whenever you re-calibrate, it will only depend on winning or losing. If you win, your MMR goes up, if you lose, your MMR goes down. There have been examples of people dropping to Guardian rank from Ancient. Because they lost all the matches.

How Teams are Made When Finding a Match?

After the system calculates and knows your MMR, it attempts to balance the game while looking for players with the same MMR as of you or something close to it. The more people on your level are looking for matches that time, more likely to find a balanced match, the fewer people on your MMR level are looking for a match, you will have more chances to play with people above or below your level.

Let me Explain. Imagine a player who has calibrated MMR of 3500.

Option 1 ( Which the system will first look )

– The system will search for the players who are very close to 3500 such as 3550, 3450. If there are 9 players in the queue with that score bracket, the match will be created immediately. That would be the ideal match. But in case the system can not find players with desired MMR, it will increase the MMR search radius to avoid taking too much time to find a match.

Option 2 ( Who the system will seek second )

– Players with different scores, but close. In the case of 3500, a player of 3725 or 3250. Note that this MMR  varies more than option 1, but still is close to 3500. If, nevertheless, the system does not find other 9 players in this MMR bracket too, it will further increase the MMR search radius.

Option 3 ( Last Option )

– Players with a lot of difference in their MMR. In the case of 3500, any player of 4550 or a player in 2500. And this procedure goes on. The system keeps giving “infinite” options to find other 9 players.

How Can I Keep Track of All my Stats?

You can keep track of your own stats and MMR by going to Profile > Stats. However, in my opinion, the best way is to make an account on DotaBuff. It provides detailed stats about your account, unlike the normal in-game stats which in my opinion are just simple crap. DotaBuff is a dedicated site that records your stats and details. You can find almost all types of stats related to your account there.

What Are the Skill Brackets?

Once you visit DotaBuff or DotaMax, you can see your skill brackets under your match detail. They are like categories which these sites show to rate the skill level of matches. In order to know in which category we play we need to enable the option to expose data to outside matches in the DOTA 2 options, and then open any of these sites, make an account and then give it some time to gather your data.

Currently, there are 3 levels. The exact distribution of each bracket is still unknown, but based on data available on DotaBuff and Dota Max, here is how skill brackets are defined.

Normal Skill Bracket – Once MMR (Visible or Hidden) of players is around 3200 or less, they will be playing in Normal Skill Brackets.

High Skill Bracket – If the MMR (Visible or Hidden) of the players reach a score between 3201 and 4000, they will be playing in High Skill Brackets.

Very High Skill Bracket – If the average score of the players exceeds 4000 the match will be counted as Very High Skill Bracket.

How Can I Check My MMR if I am not Yet Calibrated?

So if your MMR is not yet calibrated, you can get a fair idea of your MMR when you play solo in pub games. If all of your solo games are in normal skill bracket, then you are below 3000 MMR. And if mostly your games are in normal skill and some are in high skill bracket, then it means your MMR is around 3300.

If games are consistently in high skill bracket, then it means that your MMR is above 3300 but less than 4000. But If your solo games are constantly in very high Skill bracket then your MMR is above 4000. People have been conducting experiments and they concluded that with best KDA and best stats, they managed to get calibrated MMR around 4600. But till now I have not seen any post on the internet where someone has calibrated more than 4600 in new MMR system.

How to Increase MMR After You’ve Calibrated?

In the case of MMR, you can only increase your score with wins that can give you 5-50 points of MMR in one match depending upon the difference in team’s MMRs.

Random Facts About Dota 2 MMR

Here I would like to refer to you a Reddit post where the writer compiled a list of random facts about Dota 2 MMR. If you don’t want to leave this page, you can read those here as well.

reddit post - calibration mmr

Share this post

Leave a Comment

75 Comment threads
92 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
76 Comment authors
rllanesAnaaR_Ka_JuiCeearl.omegaAbhijeet Chavanpaul kenneth tacling Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

May i ask in the first 10 game i was playing average 3k mmr with calibration, then after finish the calibration mean finished the first 10 games, will it give me around 4k mmr? And i play with support and some game with high KDA


Does spamming zeus’ ulti wll help your damage delt massively? Hence, higher MMR?


Im 3k player. from 800 mmr to 3k. I create my new account after I read your guide. I play tinker my first game. I got 33/4/8. second game I play slark 28/8/17. then my 3rd game I look at my enemy team’s dota profiles.they are all 100+ level and my team lvl 5 below.I thought my team have same skill level. my team pick 4 carry hero then they all want to go mid. sf,invo,clinks and void. so I pick support (imm so bad playing supp)so my death are so high. my question is why dota give me bad… Read more »


my friend post a picitue of his calibration mmr average: 7k. he is still in TBD if you want to see it I can send it to you if you want


Hey, i just wonder how this can be: I started a new account for new calibrating because i was stuck at 2,6k. I was pleasured when my normal dota mmr on dotamaxx showed was in “high skill”. There i had a match with wk within i had a kda from 31 (13/1/18). After that i had a kda with 0,3 which was a really miserable match with leavers included. After that I was again in “normal skill”…I just wonder because if u calculate (31+0,3)/2 it is still above 15 kda which should be really nice…