Overwatch 2 ranks: Competitive mode details and rewards

Overwatch 2 ranks - Tracer
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Overwatch 2 ranks are finally starting to settle after Blizzard made a series of changes to how they work. The competitive ranked mode works like you'd expect with some limitations on playing in groups. That said, there's still a lot to unpack if you're new or returning to play ranked. So I've broken down everything you need to know about Overwatch 2 ranks.

Overwatch 2 has two main ranked modes: Role Queue and Open Queue. You need to win 50 Quick Play games in Overwatch 2 or have previously owned Overwatch 1 to unlock and play both ranked modes.

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 the original Overwatch was back in 2016. You can choose any hero in any role and you receive one, universal rank.

At the start of each competitive season, you maintain the same rank you had before with some slight adjustment based on any games you played after your last rank update (more on that later). For most people, you will see an increase in your rank at the beginning of a season.

If you're brand new to ranked, you will be unranked until you achieve five wins or 15 losses, whichever comes first. If you played a ranked competitive mode in Overwatch 1, your rank should be fairly close to what it was before.

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 five wins or 15 losses threshold again. And by "update" it means your rank can go up and down several skill tier divisions at once, or stay the same—which is a pretty big change compared to the linear Skill Rating system in the original game.

Overwatch 2 ranks

All the Overwatch 2 ranks you can earn

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

Overwatch 2 ranks are broken up into seven medals that represent each skill tier. Each skill tier 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.

Here's all of the Overwatch 2 ranks you can earn:

  • Bronze 5-1
  • Silver 5-1
  • Gold 5-1
  • Platinum 5-1
  • Diamond 5-1
  • Master 5-1 (Top 500 roughly starts here)
  • Grandmaster 5-1

Overwatch 2 competitive group restrictions

How playing in a group works in Overwatch 2 ranked

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

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.

The two highest Overwatch 2 ranks, however, have strict limitations on who you can play with: 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 their region's Top 500 ranks.

Overwatch 2 Top 500 ranks

How Top 500 works in Overwatch 2 ranked

Two weeks into every season will mark the release of the Top 500 leaderboards and unique rank icon. And if the season has a new hero, they will become available to play on the same day.

Top 500 is a shifting leaderboard, or list, of the highest ranked players broken out by each role and a combined role category. You can view the leaderboard under the competitive card in the main menu.

To make it into the Top 500 leaderboard, you technically don't need to be a certain rank. It's a snapshot of the highest ranked Overwatch 2 players and it shifts as people win and lose. If you barely squeeze into Top 500, chances are other players will push you out of it rather quickly. It's fluid, so expect ranks to change on a daily basis.

The requirement to get into Top 500 is to play and win 25 matches in Role Queue or Open Queue. Because Top 500 is quite literally only the top 500 players out of what is probably thousands, if not millions, of players in total, it will largely consist of Grandmaster and Master players.

If you take an extended break from playing, your invisible rank, or matchmaking rating (MMR), will decay, or be lowered, to place you in easier games in case you're a bit rusty. Blizzard says your MMR will adjust faster than normal when you return to get you back on track quickly.

Overwatch 2 rank rewards

How Overwatch 2 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 Role/Open Queue Player" challenge by winning 15 games in either mode every season.

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 to use in the next one, too).

For every game you win you'll receive 25 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.

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

For example: If you end a season in Diamond in Open Queue and Silver in Role Queue, you'll receive 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. Even if you peaked at Master sometime earlier in the season, you won't get the rewards for that rank because you didn't end on it.

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: 300
  • Silver: 450
  • Gold: 600
  • Platinum: 800
  • Diamond: 1000, Diamond Role/OpenChallenger
  • Master: 1,200, Master Role/Open Challenger
  • Grandmaster: 1,500, Grandmaster Role/Open Challenger
  • Top 500: 1,500, Top 500 Role/Open 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

Overwatch 2 MMR

How MMR works with Overwatch 2 ranks

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

Your matchmaking rating, or MMR, is a hidden reflection of your skill that exists to give you good matches. You'll never know exactly what it is, but the game's matchmaking system uses MMR (not skill rating ranks) to give you the most fair games it can find when you queue for competitive.

MMR is a moving target and isn't necessarily the same as your visible skill rating rank. The MMR system compares your skill against other players as everyone who plays Overwatch 2 wins and loses games. That means your MMR can shift up or down regardless of your personal skill. In order to keep the system free of manipulation by players who want to exploit it, Blizzard can never explain exactly how it works, nor can it show you your exact MMR value.

With MMR, a player could have a high Platinum rank on their career profile, but might be put into Gold-level matches. So don't fret if you see someone with a similar disparity in your ranked games.

After all, competitive ranks are an elaborate form of a leaderboard you'd see in a game at the arcade, except it's full of millions of players and is constantly shifting around. The only thing you can control is how you play and how you learn. If you focus on winning matches instead of trying to game the system by playing certain heroes or chasing after certain stats, you'll probably be disappointed with the results.

Other than using tools like Overwatch 2's replay system to learn and improve, the goal with ranked should always be to try to win and have fun.

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.