Rainbow Six: Siege Rank Distribution | A Visualized Breakdown
Rainbow Six: Siege, like most competitive shooters, works on a ladder system where each player climbs or drops in rank based on their skill. The ranked system is designed in a way that makes sure that the player base is distributed in a fair and balanced way while also encouraging everyone to grind through the ranks.
What Are the Ranks in R6?
The Siege ranked system places players into one of seven skill ranks based on their MMR: Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Champion.
Before we get into what fraction of the player base resides in each rank, we’ll have to give you a bit of insight into how the ranks are assigned at the start of each season. Since Year 4 Season 2: Operation Phantom sight, the game has reset returning players between the MMR range 1500-3500 based on how they perform in their placement games.
This ‘soft reset’ was designed to ensure that the skill difference in the players' first few games does not fluctuate too much, compared to a hard reset, where all players are reset to the same rank.
Ranked Distribution in Rainbow Six: Siege (Current Season)
The average player is placed around the 2500 mark (Silver), and then their ranks taper off onto either side of the ranked distribution based on their games. While the general trend of the distribution is given in the image below, the table we have created is more in line with the latest percentages recorded during the current season.
Number Of Players
It's important to note that the general trend does not change across the course of multiple seasons, such as the concentration of players in the middle. This is precisely what we observe from the data taken; the vast majority of the player base is condensed around the Silver I - Gold III mark. Moreover, the distribution starts at Copper V, the lowest rank, and goes up to the highest rank in Rainbow Six: Siege, Champion.
Factors affecting the Ranked Distribution
The spread displayed above can be expected, given the nature of the games' ranked system. Although the effects may vary from season to season, the factors that influence the ranked distribution remain more or less the same.
Whether you gain or lose MMR depends mostly on the result of the games you play. If a player wins more than they lose, their MMR should increase - conversely, if their losses outweigh their wins, their MMR should decrease. So the effect of the worst performing players is balanced out by the best performing players. The former group finds itself stuck inside the depths of Copper while the latter basks in their Champion glory.
MMR in Circulation
The game tries to balance the ranks by tweaking the amount of MMR you gain in each rank. That’s why it’s so tough to reach platinum from higher gold. You’re used to gaining MMR easily in the lower ranks, so the psychological effect of not gaining as much gets to you.
However, ranks can inflate depending on the amount of MMR in circulation. Let’s take an example where we have just 10 players playing the game. At some point, the worst performing of this group would hit the bottom of the ranked distribution, 0 MMR.
Now, to further add to the player’s misfortune, the second worst performing player manages to win five more games against him. The player who wins would gain MMR, but no one would lose MMR to balance this out since the opposing team can’t fall below 0 ranking points. This domino effect would continue until it reaches the upper ranks, where suddenly, the amount of rank points in circulation has increased. The ultimate scenario here would be an overall increase in the average rank of players.
Inflation of ranks can be seen in the most recent data for ranked distribution as well. A large portion of the player base is placed around Gold I - Gold III instead of what should be the average, Silver V.
Similarly, certain factors also contribute to rank deflation. Match abandons, vote-kicked teammates, and AFKs, all count as a loss. If the handicapped team still manages to pull the win, the net MMR shift during that match is negative (6 players lose MMR, while four players gain MMR). Results such as these have a cascading effect of MMR loss that affects the percentile of players at a particular rank.
The ranked system is designed to ensure that the difference in skill between players is kept at a minimum for players at the same rank. In a scenario where a large majority of players are condensed towards the Gold rank, there would often be a significant skill disparity between two players of the same rank. A high-level player could queue up against a low-level player because of the reduced skill disparity between the two ranks.
This is balanced through constant updates to the ranked system. You’ll get high MMR at inflated ranks and decreased MMR at deflated ranks until the ranked distribution is balanced out.
Key Analysis of the Ranked Distribution
The key takeaways are the same if you look at the ranked distributions across past seasons. Diamond and Champions stay at the highest end of the ranked spectrum, and you must really prove your worth to cross that threshold.
The average player across both seasons would hover around the Silver-Gold mark consistently. Owing to the soft reset, only a small fraction of players would ever fall below Silver. The Platinum rank would often get inflated because of the same reason in previous seasons; Players would often place Platinum after the seasonal reset and not put in the effort to climb toward Diamond.