What is Dota 2 rank reset and how does it work?

Learn everything you need to know about the ranking reset system in Dota 2.

Updated on Jul 31, 2023
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What is Dota 2 rank reset and how does it work?

What is Dota 2 rank reset?

Dota 2 rank reset represents a periodic occurrence during which ranks of all players will be reset. On average, these resets happen every 6 months. This is a great opportunity to gain some new rankings (if you managed to improve your game) but also an opportunity to lose them. The system was also introduced as a way of countering certain types of negative behavior (similar to the behavioral score in dota 2).

Until recently, the rank reset was done at the end of the season. However, since October of 2020, this is an optional thing. Nowadays, you can either reset your MMR or leave it be. In this article, we will talk about resets, why they’re important, and why Valve introduced the optional rank reset.


The first form of Dota 2 rank resets

The first version of rank reset came in 2016, with the International Compendium, which had a feature allowing users to play the International Rank Queue. With it, you had the opportunity to play 10 calibration games resembling the common calibration system that all players have to go through. It is a way of determining your MMR if you wish to play ranked games.

During the event, you could've played the International Rank Queue as much as you want. If you managed to play at least 40 games, you had the option of replacing your standard ranking with the new one. This is a great way to continue playing competitive games and also increase your ranking in a more efficient way. 

The system was deactivated soon after due to an enormous number of complaints. There was simply too much volatility to it, and some players used it to undeservedly gain higher rankings. It was the first attempt at a reset, but it didn't go as planned. However, it did set up a basis for the rank reset that we have today. 

How do ranks reset nowadays?

Rank reset occurs every season in Dota 2. Until recently, and the introduction of optional rank reset, this was the only way to do it. Keep in mind that this isn’t a complete reset per se; the system utilizes your previous scores to calibrate your new rankings. This seasonal event is always good for the people who have experienced a drop in MMR but don't want to create a new account and start everything from scratch. 

So, how do these rank resets work?

They will utilize your previous season's ranking as the base point. You will have a new set of calibration games, during which you may gain or lose 100 MMR per game. In other words, you might lose a total of 1000 points or gain 1000 MMR. Although these are called seasons, they occur every 6 to 8 months. While this might seem like a lot of time to do a reset, keep in mind that some people don't want to do it in the first place.

Rank resets have their positive and negative sides. Anyway, they are a great way to mark a new season, and they can provide a major boost to guys who perform well during these 10 games. Not to be confused with the games you need to play to be allowed to play ranked in dota 2.

Why do you need a reset, anyway?

For most people, this will seem like an insignificant thing, especially the ones with an average rank in dota 2. In the end, most players will remain within a similar tier. However, reset is a great tool to fight all those who have done something wrong during the course of the season. 

Here are the two main reasons why Valve utilizes the system:

Countering inflated rankings 

Inflation of MMR is one of the common Dota 2 problems. The main reason why this happens is that the tier requirements tend to drop as the season progresses. For example, at the start of a season, you might need 4k to reach a certain tier, and by the end of the season, you would need 3.5k to reach it. This occurs because Dota 2 uses a flexible distribution system. 

Although Valve doesn't necessarily have to address this issue, given that players are still comparable to each other, the MMR inflation creates an interesting phenomenon. As it becomes easier to reach higher tiers without even playing, the gamers have a sense of achievement. When they get promoted to the next rank, they simply stop playing so they wouldn't lose the rankings. Needless to say, this is the last thing Valve wants from its players. 

Account manipulation 

Account manipulation was an issue for the longest time. There is an active market for dota account sellers and boosters that allows undeserving players to get to higher ranks. There are several reasons why they do this, for example, to feel better about themselves or to have more competitive games. 

Boosters and account buyers have caused a lot of uproar and still represent a problem for the majority of players. While this strategy might be great for a person buying an account, it leads to the ruination of numerous games. 

Generally speaking, most of these guys will lose their MMR in a relatively short span of time if they decide to play. However, a much bigger problem is that the players simply get higher rankings and stop playing altogether so they can keep their score and brag about it. Rank reset works as an additional deterrent that will bring back these players down to earth. 

What is the optional rank reset? 

Although these rank resets have a very good purpose, they never really got popular with the community. Because of that, the company decided to add optional resets.

The optional rank reset was first a test. It was initiated by the overwhelming feedback of the players who didn’t want to lose their rankings. Among others, Valve also didn’t want to create so much volatility during the events. That way, they wanted to retain all the positive sides while addressing some of the issues. 

Players are able to access this option via setting. Under the account tab, there is an MMR recalibration section. You can use it at any time to reset MMR.

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