How to Unlock Ranked Mode in LoL
The best part about League of Legends is being able to compete against other players in its Ranked Mode.
However, this feature is only available later in the game to give players time to learn the game before jumping into the most competitive feature that players take seriously. Once you’re ready, let’s take a look at how to unlock ranked League of Legends ranked queues so that you can join in on the fun.
What is Ranked Mode in League of Legends?
Riot Games introduces two types of ranked games in League of Legends: the Solo Queue and Flex Queues.
Ranked games use the same map, gameplay mechanics, and champion pool as blind pick normal games but players will be asked which role to play and will be choosing champions using a drafting system that allows them to ban champions and select unique champion choices.
The ranked mode also features a ranking system that starts players at the unranked division, where they can play placement matches to get assigned into any of the five divisions starting from iron, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond, master, grandmaster, and challenger tier being the highest.
Players can rank up by getting League Points (LP) by winning ranked games and collecting 100 points before they can play a promotional series to advance to the next rank. A player’s rank resets back to unranked at the end of the ranked season, usually sometime in November every year.
How to Unlock Ranked Games in LoL?
Unlocking ranked games is relatively easy, but you’ll need to invest some time into doing so, and there’s no real shortcut to doing this aside from maybe getting an account with the mode already unlocked.
Remember that the reason Riot Games has made it so that you can’t immediately get ranked is that you need to learn core mechanics that are necessary when you start playing with serious players. Here are the pre-requisites to unlocking ranked matches:
- Have an account that isn’t suspended or banned
- Get your summoner account to Level 30
- Unlock 20 or more champions
The hardest part on this list is probably acquiring 20 champions.
You’ll need to farm a lot of blue essence and get champion shards that you actually want to play. We always recommended unlocking champions that you are confident playing rather than just unlocking all the cheap champions so that you can simply get it over with.
This way, you’ll have better options whenever you play competitively.
What Do You Get From Playing Ranked Games?
Ranked games offer more incentives to play than normal games because players are rewarded for their efforts during the ranked season.
Once players have completed an entire season of playing ranked matches, Riot Games will be awarding these players according to their current rank on the day of the reset.
Players who have placed Gold IV and above will receive even more rewards, making it the minimum goal for players to achieve each season. Here are some of the rewards that you can get:
- Ranked Borders (any rank)
- Ranked Icons (any rank)
- Free Skins (Gold tier and above)
- Free Champions (Gold tier and above)
- Riot Games Merchandise (Challenger tier)
Season rewards will automatically be given to your account at the end of each season, with the exception of the Challenger rewards, which will be given to the players directly from any of the Riot Games offices.
The free skins that you get from the seasonal rewards are exclusive and can’t be acquired any other way, so it’s a good idea to try and get to gold rank every season so that you’ll be able to collect these exclusive skins.
The Ranking System in LoL
The ranking system in League of Legends makes use of variables such as ELO and match-making ratio (MMR) to match players in the same game.
Players can only play with opponents who are up to one ranked tier above or below them (not applicable in Flex Queue) to make the game as fair as they possibly can.
Depending on the number of games played throughout the season and the player's individual performance, their LP gains may be higher or lower.
Flex Queue and Solo Queue games don’t count the same MMR, so players may have a more difficult time ranking up in one mode compared to the other.
In Flex Queue, ranked matchmaking is completely difficult because it counts the ELO of your highest ranked teammate and lowest-ranked teammate as the ceiling and floor of what competitive level opponents you can get.
This means you can’t abuse the system by trying to carry low-rank players by having high-ranked teammates.
Gold players and below can rank freely without worrying about LP decay. LP decay is applicable for platinum tier players and above who have not played ranked matches for an extended period of time.
Once they’ve reached a specific time frame, they’ll start losing LP and ranked points every day that they don’t play the game, depending on their ranked fortitude.