Everything You Need to Know About PUBG's New Ranked Mode
One of PUBG’s most requested features is finally here — Ranked Mode. The highly anticipated Update 7.2 brings with it weapon and armour balances changes, new ways to use the Gas Can and of course, ranked play. Update 7.2 is available on PC as of May 20 and will go live for consoles on May 26.
Ranked Mode has been a highly requested feature since PUBG’s initial launch. However, other time-consuming endeavours such as porting the game to console and the creation of PUBG Mobile have taken priority. Today, PUBG has more competition than ever with the likes of Fortnite, Apex Legends and Warzone exploding into the Battle Royale space. With many of these new Battle Royales already having a ranked mode in place, scores of competitive focused players turned their eyes away from PUBG. Now, PUBG Corporation is looking to draw those fans back in with their own unique version of a ranked mode.
While PUBG has used a hidden MMR/ELO system for quite some time, there has never been a bonafide Ranked mode — until now. Let’s take a look at PUBG’s brand new Ranked Mode.
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Introducing Ranked Mode
PUBG’s Ranked Mode has been described by developers as “an additional challenge for experienced players, allowing them to climb the ranks and see where they stand among other players.” Brian Corrigan, Head of NA, PUBG gave a more straightforward answer in an interview with Gamesradar. Corrigan said, "Ranked Mode is our answer to what it means to be good at PUBG".
PUBG Corp has a specific set of goals that they are hoping to accomplish with the implementation of this new ranked mode. The list is as follows:
Provide an official way to measure skill in PUBG that shares inspiration and direction with PUBG Esports
Provide new ways for players to show off their skill and status to each other
Provide an environment specially tuned for serious PVP only competition
Provide a new queue that divides ranked from normal play, allowing their rules and settings to evolve independently and with separate purpose
Provide a different atmosphere for Ranked play by introducing a special Ranked lobby and additional post-game details
Provide new unique seasonal rewards, reserved for Ranked players of a given season
Introduce new systems that aim to help protect the integrity of Ranked games and leaderboard
A Ranked Mode Aimed at Casuals?
Traditionally, ranked modes are targeted at a games hardcore, ultra-competitive demographic. In PUBG’s case, the developers are aiming to use the new mode to appease casual players as well.
The new trend in game development is Skill-Based Matchmaking or SBMM. It can be discouraging for a casual or a new player to drop in and get decimated every round by more experienced players. That’s where SBMM comes in. SBMM allows players of equal skill to match together and keeps the pro players out of the causal player’s lobbies. This sounds like a great idea on the surface, however, the feature comes with many drawbacks.
PUBG Corp is taking the unique approach of using their ranked mode as a form of SBMM. Fortnite and Apex Legends have received a lot of flak for essentially having two ranked modes. The causal modes in both of these games use extremely strict SBMM systems. This has drawn the ire of much of their communities. So, to avoid that, PUBG Corp suggests that casual and new players gravitate to the new Ranked Mode.
In the same interview, Corrigan says, “casual players get a mode that caters more to their needs - helping them have an easier onramp instead of simply getting eliminated early by players with more experience.”
Casual players know what to expect in ranked play as opposed to the normal modes. In ranked play, they will only face-off with players around their skill level. This will give players of all skill levels a chance to hone their talents without the fear of being destroyed by someone well outside their skill bracket. The hope is that all of this will be accomplished without the need to taint the normal modes with strict SBMM.
Ranked Mode Tiers, Rules, Rewards and More
Let’s break down how each season will work and what separates PUBG’s Ranked Mode from the normal modes.
There are a total of six tiers and five divisions in PUBG’s ranked system. Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Master tiers will each have five divisions to manoeuvre through (V-I, or 5-1). Each mode, TPP and FPP, will have their own separate rankings. All players will be reset to “unranked” at the start of a new ranked season. Players will need to complete five placement matches to receive a rank. Ranked Mode will use a “soft reset” system. Meaning, your previous season’s rank will impact placement in future seasons. However, the highest rank a player can place is capped at Platinum V. All ranks above Platinum V must be earned through additional gameplay.
Climbing the Ranks
Players climb the ranks by earning Rank Points (RP). After each match, players will receive an adjustment to their RP based on their performance. Performance is determined by a mixture of kills, assists and placement. Players ranked in Diamond tier or above that do not play at least one ranked match a week will encounter rank “decay”.
At the end of each ranked season, players will be granted unique rewards determined by their highest earned tier. These rewards are exclusive and will only be obtainable during their respective seasons.
All players that complete at least five placement matches will receive a nameplate and emblem based on their ranked tier. Players that obtain Gold V rank or higher will be awarded a distinctive ranked skin.
The Leaderboards will list the top 500 players per server, sorted by RP. Players that end the season on the top 500 leaderboards for any queue will receive a small additional reward to recognize the tremendous achievement.
Ranked Mode Ruleset
The ruleset in ranked play will differ slightly from the traditional modes. Ranked mode matches will take place randomly on one of three maps. The maps in question are, Erangel, Miramar and Sanhok. To start, TPP and FPP Squads will be the only available modes for ranked play. Games will feature a maximum of 64 total players and will have NO bots. Furthermore, Season 7 Ranked settings include:
Overall increase in item loot spawns
No Crossbow spawns
Red zone has been removed
Motor glider has been removed
The timing and speed of the Blue Zone has been adjusted to increase the pace of play
PUBG Corp will be monitoring these settings closely and consider adjusting the ruleset based on data and feedback.
Warzone and Apex Legends have been on the wrong end of scrutiny for the plethora of hackers plaguing their games. PUBG will look to get ahead of the hackers with their new Ranked Mode.
PC players will be required to authenticate their account with a unique phone number before participating in ranked play. If an SMS verified account gets banned, the device used to verify that account will also be banned. This means a hacker would need to acquire an entirely new phone number to begin cheating again. Also, players can not start up Ranked Mode until they reach Survival Mastery level 20. This will prevent cheaters from creating a brand new account and jumping right into ranked. These measures alone should do wonders in preventing cheats.
Smurfing and dodging have also been addressed. Players that are more than 10 divisions apart from one another in rank will be unable to play Ranked Mode together. Players that continually “dodge” games by leaving during the pregame lobby will receive matchmaking and ranked penalties.
In closing, PUBG’s Ranked Mode brings new life to one of the OG Battle Royales. Time will tell how it holds up as far as player reception and engagement. Stay tuned here @GGRecon for PUBG news, guides and more.
Images via PUBG Corporation