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, and 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 somewhat personal experience (Which may be less than many of you). There might be some stuff which you may not agree, but remember all the data is taken from the official and very reliable sources.
If you are looking for details about how Calibration MMR works and how to get high Calibration MMR, please read this article. 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 Solo Player matches, Party matches, and Dota 2 Team matches.
- Ranked Dota 2 MMR: This MMR number is shown on your profile and it is used once Dota 2 is making in Ranked Match. It is different for Solo Player matches, Party matches, and Dota 2 Team matches.
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 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 reach your experience trophy level 50 you can play Ranked matches. Basically, you get almost 50-100 experience trophy points after each match depending upon the time of the game. So if we take average 75 points, it means you will have to play almost 150 matches to reach 50 levels of experience trophy. Remember its not your new Dota 2 level we are talking about, it is about Experience Trophy points. You need to play 10 calibration matches and after that, your ranked MMR is visible on your profile.
You will get your first ranked match team basing on your normal MMR. Then whatever you perform in your calibration MMR matches you win or lose and so your MMR increases or decreases. 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.
Dota 2 actually tracks a total of five MMRs for each player:
- Normal matchmaking, playing Solo
- Normal matchmaking, playing with a party
- Ranked matchmaking, playing solo
- Ranked matchmaking, playing with a party
- Team rating (Ranked games), when all 5 members of a team collectively play ranked matches as a team.
Each of the three ranked MMRs has its own calibration period. Under certain circumstances, we may need to reactivate calibration if we think the MMR is inaccurate.
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.
For image proof that no increase in MMR after a win in ranked match 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?
It is basically the difference between total party MMR which decides how much MMR will change. So there are some examples which I will give first, then I will explain it based on those examples.
In these examples, I will explain only considering you Win in Ranked Match. You can vice-versa yourself.
- Teams have Exactly same MMR: You will get 23-27 MMR increase.
- Once Enemy Team has more MMR than Your Team: Then you may get MMR to increase up to 40* depending upon the difference of total average Team MMR.
- Once the Enemy team has less MMR than your Team: You may not get any MMR increase, or even your MMR may decrease depending upon how you played in that match. (See image below)
- So in this image, you can see in the red highlighted area, this user lost matches, but he did not lose any MMR.
- In the green highlighted area, you can see he won a match but his MMR did not increase.
- In all cases, if you abandoned the ranked match, even if you win, your MMR will decrease.
*This is maximum MMR I have seen till today, if anyone has seen more than 40 MMR increase, please show me a screenshot so I can update it.
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 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 point 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 top 200 players of All regions 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.