Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play Skill Rating, Divisions, Ranks & SBMM explained

Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play

Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play arrived with the Season 2 update, so here’s what you need to know about the competitive mode’s format including Skill Rating, Skill Division, and Ranks.

Modern Warfare 2 players were finally able to bask in the competitive Call of Duty experience as Ranked Play made its way to the game in Season 2.

While the CDL Moshpit playlist gave players a taste of what a competitive Modern Warfare 2 experience would feel like, it was devoid of some classic Ranked Play features.

For starters, Ranked Play allows Modern Warfare 2 players to climb up the Ranks and move their way through Skill Divisions by earning SR.

To get you up to speed for Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play, we’ll break down what you need to know about the format including Skill Divisions, Skill Rating, and Ranks.

All Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play Skill Divisions

Modern Warfare 2 players will start their Ranked Play journey in the Bronze Skill Division.

Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play features the following eight Skill Divisions:

  • Bronze0-899 SR – (Bronze)
  • Silver900-2,099 SR – (Silver)
  • Gold2,100-3,599 SR – (Gold)
  • Platinum3,600-5,399 SR – (Green)
  • Diamond5,400-7,499 SR – (Blue)
  • Crimson7,500-9,999 SR – (Red)
  • Iridescent10,000 SR minimum – (Purple)
  • Top 25010,000+ SR – (Gold skull)

In Modern Warfare 2’s Ranked Play, players are placed in one of eight Skill Divisions. These Skills Divisions will separate players into skill brackets based on performance.

This means you’ll match up against players that are of similar skill in Modern Warfare 2. As you improve by grinding Ranked Play matches, you’ll have the chance to rise up the Skill Divisions. However, the risk of falling down a Division after poor performances also looms large.

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Every player will start in the Bronze Division at the beginning of their Ranked Play journey, removing the need for placement matches. Each Division below Iridescent has three tiers which will indicate your progress within a tier. Once you’ve made your way through the three tiers you’ll earn a promotion.

Players will look to grind all their way to the Iridescent Skill Division. If you’re looking for a true challenge you can set your sights on the Top 250 Division. This is the most exclusive Division in Modern Warfare 2’s Ranked Play, as it features some world-class players.

At the end of each full season, a Ranked Play reset will take place, knocking every player back down to a lower Skill Division and forcing them to make the climb back into the higher tiers. The first of these is set to take place in Modern Warfare 2 Season 3.

Nearly all players will drop down one Skill Division, with a few notable exceptions. Anyone in Bronze will return to Bronze Tier 1, while both Top 250 and Iridescent players will be pushed back to Diamond Tier 1, blowing the race for the Top 250 leaderboard wide open.

For a full breakdown of how the new season will impact you, check out our Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play reset guide.

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How to earn Skill Rating in Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play: SR explained

Modern Warfare 2 players will gain or lose Skill Rating based on their performance in Ranked Play matches. Ranked Play SR is a number assigned to each player that will change after each match.

Your SR is directly tied to your Skill Division. While the Skill Division is a visual representation of your quality, your SR is the number you’ll want to see rise after a match. If you get your SR to increase, you’ll find yourself promoted to a new Skill Division.

You can find the SR needed to enter each Skill Division in our table above.

In Ranked Play, winning will increase your Skill Rating, while losing will see your assigned SR number drop. The amount of SR gained after a match will be influenced by the outcome of the match as well as personal and team performance.

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What is HPR in Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play?

Each player has a hidden skill value known as Hidden Performance Range or HPR for short, and this stacks you up against players based on how good the performance system thinks you are.

Defeating players with a higher HPR than you will cause your HPR to go up and vice versa. The developers confirmed that HPR and SR are directly linked in Modern Warfare 2’s Ranked Play.

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With each win, the SR system in Modern Warfare 2’s Ranked Play is trying to climb you closer toward your underlying HPR. The further away your SR is from your HPR goals, the bigger your gains will be.

So, players starting off with 0 SR will see the biggest gains early in their grind as they’re far from their underlying HPR. As your SR catches up with your HPR, you’ll gradually earn less SR from your wins.

The distance between your SR and HPR determines the amount of SR that you can get after your next win, based on personal and team performance. In the lower Divisions, players with better personal performance will progress quickly while earning close to the maximum SR amount available, based on the current distance from their HPR.

What are Ranks in Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play?

Modern Warfare 2’s Ranked Play Rank Icons feature some ferocious beasts.

Ranks are a form of bragging rights separate from Skill Divisions in Modern Warfare 2. Unlike the Skill Rating you accumulate, Ranks will not reset at the start of a new season.

There are 50 Ranks in total and every player starts at Rank 1. As players progress through Modern Warfare 2’s Ranked Play and win matches, they’ll rise up the Ranks.

Players can move up the Ranks by earning Stars. Each win in Modern Warfare 2’s Ranked Play will reward players with one Star.

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Every 5 Ranks, players will receive a new Rank icon. Players from Bronze to Iridescent can hit the top Rank as SR has no influence over your Rank. The Dragon icon that awaits players at Rank 50 is the ultimate flex.

In addition to Rank icons, players will earn exclusive Ranked Play rewards by climbing up the Ranks. Two skins await players at Rank 5 and Rank 50 respectively, so get to racking up Ranked Play wins with the best Ranked Play loadouts.

How does SBMM work in Modern Warfare 2 Ranked Play?

Skill-based matchmaking in Ranked Play is a slightly different concept than the SBMM present in Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer.

The idea of a Ranked Play mode is to play against players of a similar skill level. The MW2 Ranked Play system will naturally pit you against players with a similar SR or Skill Division.

The one thing you need to know about SBMM in Ranked Play is how it impacts who you can team up with. Ranked Play party restrictions are based on Skill Divisions, and here’s an overview of the rules:

  • Bronze through Platinum players can party up with no restrictions.
  • Diamond and Crimson players can only form parties with and play against other players within two Skill Divisions.
  • Iridescent and Top 250 Players can only form parties with and play against other players within one Skill Division.

Interestingly enough, there have been several reports of players disappointed with finding themselves in lobbies with players outside of their Skill Division.

However, according to the rules above, Platinum players can party up with Bronze players. This means that Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum players can all share a lobby.

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For more, check out some of our other Call of Duty guides:

Best guns in Modern Warfare 2 | How to get Modern Warfare 2 Twitch Drops | How to play Modern Warfare 2 on Steam Deck | Are Modern Warfare 2 servers down? | Does Modern Warfare 2 have a Tactical Nuke Killstreak? | How to turn off crossplay in Modern Warfare 2

Image Credit: Activision