Here in this guide, I will explain how Dota 2 MMR ranking works, or you can simply say what are MMR Mechanics in Dota 2. I will go step by step so this will be a long guide. I will be writing it as question answers, so if you want the answer to a specific question, as that is not in this guide, you can ask me below.
Disclaimer: I am not a Dota 2 official. All the information depicted blow is based mainly on my detailed research and most of the data extracted from the official Dota 2 site or Wykrms Reddy’s social account (Valve’s graphic designer and unofficial spokesperson).
You can also check our guide about how Dota 2 Calibration MMR works and how to get high Calibration MMR. It explains in detail about different aspects of calibration MMR.
What is Dota 2 MMR Ranking?
MMR stands for Match Making Rank /rating. Sometimes we also call it your skill level. While making your match, Dota 2 considers MMR as a primary factor but not the only factor. There are 2 categories of Dota 2 MMR Rank.
- Normal Dota 2 MMR: This MMR number is not visible on your profile, but it is stored in the Dota 2 database. Dota 2 uses this MMR when they are making your normal match. It is different for support and core MMR. Sometimes it is also referred to as Hidden MMR
- Ranked Dota 2 MMR: This MMR number is shown on your profile and it is used once Dota 2 is making you a team in Ranked Match. It is different for support roles and core roles.
What are the Core and Support Medals?
Core: These include Safe lane carry (position 1 hero), Mid lane (position 2) or Offlane (position 3). If you select any role out of these 3, your core MMR will increase/decrease depending upon the outcome of the match.
Support: It includes Soft support (position 4) and Hard support (position 5). If you play these 2 roles, your support MMR will increase/decrease depending upon the win/loss.
Interestingly, Valve has interlinked both MMRs now. Because of that, if you win 1 type of MMR, some (about 10-15 points) MMR of other roles will also get affected. So, it means, you are spamming for core MMR and keep winning all the matches, you’ll notice your support MMR is also increased slightly. Keep in mind if you win/lose a core solo queue match, you support MMR will also increase/decrease by 15 points and vice versa. However, if you are playing core in a party match, your support MMR will increase/decrease by 10 points and vice versa.
Also, you’ll get a separate medal for both these roles and the highest medal will show in your profile. You can see both your medals if you hover over your Dota 2 medal.
What is the Difference Between Normal and Ranked MMR?
Since your day 1 and game 1, your MMR is calculated by Dota 2 even in normal matches. However, in Ranked matches, the only difference of MMR is that it is visible on your profile. Normal MMR is NOT visible on your profile, but Dota 2 knows it. (Source = Official Dota 2 Blog)
This is what the Official Dota 2 Blog says about it.
“Dota 2 matchmaking has always calculated MMR and used it to form matches; in ranked matchmaking we make that MMR visible”
In the start, How my Ranked MMR is Calculated?
When you play your first ever match, it is assigned to you randomly. Then whatever you perform in your 1st match, that is taken as a guide and then your next matches are made. Dota 2 Keeps noting your result and performance in all normal matches.
When you have completed 100 hours of Dota 2 gameplay, you can then play Ranked matches. This includes Turbo and all other modes of game, except ranked, offline, practice, tournament and lobby matches. You need to play 10 calibration matches each for both support and core MMR and after that, your ranked MMR is visible on your profile.
You will get your first ranked match team basing on your normal MMR (hidden MMR). Then whatever you perform in your first calibration MMR match, you will be assigned next match accordingly. In very start when you are calibration your MMR for the very first time, you can jump almost 1000 MMR depending upon your performance. For example, if you are playing your first match in the Herald Medal bracket, and you stomped hard in that game, you might see your next game in the Archon medal bracket. Ultimately after 10 calibration matches your ranked MMR is visible on your profile.
How Dota 2 Calculates all types of MMR?
Let’s see what official Dota 2 site has to say about it. It will be clear to you once you read official information.
Dota 2 uses standard techniques to quantify and track player skill. We assign each player an MMR, which is a summary metric that quantifies your skill at Dota 2. After each match, we update your MMR based on what happened in that match. An extract from official Dota 2 Blog;
We also track our uncertainty about your MMR. New accounts and those playing in Ranked Matchmaking for the first time have high uncertainty. Higher uncertainty allows larger adjustments after each match, and lower uncertainty leads to smaller adjustments. Together, the MMR and uncertainty can be interpreted as a probability distribution of performance in your next game; the MMR itself serves as the mean of this distribution and the uncertainty is its standard deviation. If the match outcomes (both the win/loss and individual performance) repeatedly match our expectations, the uncertainty tends to decrease until it reaches a floor. A surprising match outcome will tend to cause an increase in uncertainty.
Since September 17, 2020, Dota 2 only tracks 2 types of MMR.
- Core MMR
- Support MMR
However, both these MMRs are calculated differently when playing solo or when playing party matches. Once you play in a party, your MMR increase/decrease is 20 points per match no matter which role you play. Whereas, once you play a solo match, you can gain/lose 30 points per match irrespective of the role you selected.
How I am Placed in Teams when I am Playing Ranked Calibrating Matches?
They take your hidden MMR from normal matches and use it as a starting point, so they don’t just match you randomly in ranked matches. Also, as soon as you play your first ranked match, your normal and ranked MMR are split and completely separated. From that moment onward, both MMR (Normal and Ranked) are calculated separately based on games (normal + ranked) you play.
This procedure is explained in further detail and with examples in this post.
How do I Increase my Dota 2 MMR Ranking?
In general, when you win, your MMR will go up, and when you lose, your MMR will go down. Win/loss is the primary criteria to update MMR, but individual performance also plays a role, especially when our uncertainty about your MMR is high. It is possible for an individual MMR to increase after a loss or decrease after a win, but, in general, the winning team’s average MMR will increase and the losing team’s MMR will decrease. (Extracted from Official Dota 2 blogpost)
For image proof of an inconsistent increase in MMR see images below.
You mentioned Uncertainty in the above point, What is it?
Uncertainty is the standard deviation of a player’s Dota 2 MMR ranking. Let’s see what role it plays according to Dota 2 Wiki.
- Players with high uncertainty are more likely to be matched with players that differ more greatly in skill level, and vice versa.
- New accounts with few games played tend to have high uncertainty, while older accounts with many games played tend to have low uncertainty.
- Since normal and ranked matchmaking are tracked separately, a player who has many normal games will still experience high uncertainty in ranked matchmaking if he or she has only played a few ranked games, and vice versa.
- Higher uncertainty leads to larger Dota 2 MMR adjustments after each match, and lower uncertainty leads to smaller adjustments.
- Highly uncertain matches are sometimes called swing games because their outcomes are “breakthrough” moments that are indicative of a player’s MMR progression or regression.
- If game outcomes (win/loss and individual performance) repeatedly match the system’s expectations, uncertainty will decrease until it reaches a floor.
- Conversely, unexpected match outcomes will tend to cause an increase in uncertainty.
How much MMR increases / decreases if I win/lose a game?
There are a few scenarios, let me explain each one. For example, you are playing the Solo queue and Core role. You win this match. Your Core MMR will increase by 30 and support MMR will increase by half (by 15 points). This works for both roles, i.e., core and support.
Now you are playing a party match and selected support role before queuing for that match. Once you win this match, you will gain 20 support MMR and 10 core MMR even though you didn’t play core.
Your highest medal will be visible on your profile no matter if it is core or support.
How Dota 2 Automatic Matchmaking Works?
The main goal of automatic matchmaking in Dota 2 is for players to enjoy the game. The automatic Dota 2 matchmaker searches for matches with the following points (listed in no particular order): (Source = Official Dota 2 Blog)
- The teams are balanced. (Each team has a 50% chance to win.)
- The difference in skill between the most and least skilled player in the match is minimum. This is related to team balance, but not the same thing.
- The difference between an experience (measured by the number of games played) between the least experienced player and the most experienced player is minimized. More on this below.
- The highest skill Radiant player should have almost the same skill as the highest skill Dire player.
- Each team contains about the same number of parties. For example, the matchmaker tries to avoid matching a party of 5 against 5 individual players.
- Players’ language preferences contain a common language. Lack of a common language among teammates’ language preferences is strongly avoided. Lack of a common language across the whole match is also avoided, but less strongly.
- Wait times shouldn’t be too long.
The automatic matchmaker rarely achieves all of those goals perfectly. When making a match, the automatic matchmaker assigns a quality score for each of the points above and then takes an average for the whole team. If the overall quality score exceeds a threshold, the match is considered “good enough” and the match is finally made.
When my MMR changes and when it does not change?
Dota 2 MMR ranking will not update if:
- A non-partied member of your team early abandons (Before First Blood) a normal match. However, in Ranked Matches, your MMR will count even if someone leaves before First Blood.
- Poor network conditions have been detected. A message must appear in the game in order for this to apply.
Dota 2 MMR ranking will update if:
- Any member of your team late abandons. (After 1st Blood)
- Any member of your party abandons in any form.
Your MMR will ALWAYS update in ranked matches either you win or lose, even if someone abandons the game at any stage, it will still count.
Where can I see Top MMR Players?
Dota 2 keeps a leader board of the top Immortal players of All regions and both roles separately. You can see it in Dota 2’s LeaderBoard.
Some Important points about Dota 2 MMR ranking?
- MMR is the main but not the only factor used in matchmaking.
- The system also takes into account Experience (number of games played), Player Performance, Gold Difference, and various hidden variables.
- The system does not directly try to achieve any particular win rate for players.
- However, it does try to ensure that each team has a 50% chance of winning by matching players of similar skill against each other.
- This means that, over time, win-loss ratios will naturally settle around 50/50 for all but the very best players.
- The system does not examine individual win/loss streaks or try to end them.
- Win rate and win count are not related to Dota 2 MMR ranking, nor are they meaningful measures of player skill.
- According to Valve, player opinions of the MMR system are highly correlated with their recent win rates.
Guys if you have any questions, please post them below in comments, so I can reply and keep a track of all questions. If there are worth mentioning questions, I will add them to this main post. I will update this thread when there is anything new to add.