How Does Overwatch Ranking Work

Competitive is a popular mode in Ow and gives each player their own Overwatch Rank. This ranking system can be hard to understand and navigate your way through; here’s how to make it easier to understand and make progress.

How It Works

The Overwatch Rank System is generally similar to other game’s ranking systems for competition. The ranks are split into seven groups: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Masters, and Grand Master, with Bronze being the lowest and Grand Master being the highest. Increasing your rank is a clear goal, but progress can take a long time considering you need at least twenty wins to make it to the next rank.

How to Rank Up Quickly

If you want to avoid plateaus and achieve your next rank as quickly as possible, it still won’t be quick, but there are some ways to speed it up a little. Firstly, you need to get wins. This may seem obvious, but competitive is no place to play for ego or K/D; your wins vs. losses are what decide your Overwatch Rank. Next, you will have to play a lot, like more than you do know. Ow ranking is mostly based on SR (Skill Rating), which is essentially XP for competitive, so play as much as you can. The most important trick for increasing your rank and achieving the last two goals is playing with your friends. It’s no secret that playing with people you know and communicating is more effective than trying to do the same with silent strangers. Get a team together, grind out some wins, and you should rank up faster than before.

When to Start Playing Competitive

To even have competitive enabled, you have to hit level 25, which is understandable because of the skill and experience gap between standard play and competitive. And being honest, Bronze shouldn’t be considered a competitive rank; Bronze should be for players who just started playing competitive, but some do join ill-prepared and stay in Bronze longer than they should. The skill and experience gap only gets larger, which each jump from rank to rank afterward, so it’s best to be ready before you go in. Considering you probably want to be in Gold or Platinum rank, you should know Ow very well and be able to pull off expert plays. Once you see the game and can play it skillfully, then you are ready to enter competitive. Bronze will be easy to pass, but don’t underestimate how much more difficult each rank becomes.

Bronze Rank

Bronze is the rank you will start as when you first start playing, and if you do come in prepared, it should be a breeze. You can get the wins you need and progress without ever getting a squad together or plugging in your mic. Bronze is essentially just for rookies.

Silver Rank


Silver is where things start to get more interesting. If you don’t have a reliable team and don’t communicate, you may have trouble ranking up from here; however, you should have little problem making it past Silver rank if you are a good player.

Gold Rank

Gold rank is where you need to start working. You’re going to have to start worrying about losses affecting you and dropping your Overwatch Rank while still trying to get as many wins as possible. A good player could maintain their stay in Gold rank, but you will need a communicative team if you want to make it into Platinum rank.

Platinum Rank


Platinum rank is only possible to achieve if you are a skilled player with good teammates. Platinum doesn’t make you the best of the best, but it will likely give you bragging rights to your friends that are stuck in Gold.

Diamond Rank


You need to play with friends and use your mic if you want to survive in Diamond rank. This rank is the highest of “casual” players and holds the cream of the crop of Ow players that might still play at home in their bedroom.

Masters Rank

If you make it to Master’s rank, you have certainly put in the effort and almost definitely play with a solid team. Masters rank is an indication that you are better than the average player base and are a definitive high-skilled player.

Grand Master Rank

If you reach Grand Master rank, you are probably known as an Ow player. This is the highest Overwatch Rank and only makes up about 1% of the total player base. Grand Master rank is reserved for talented players that put in a vast amount of time and effort into Overwatch. If you have the Grand Master rank in Ow, you are good, and you want everyone to know it.


Why Ranking up is so Difficult

“There are better players” is a vague yet straightforward way of explaining the incredible skill gaps between each of these ranks. These statistics from Jeff Kaplan, creative director for Ow, should clearly show why ranking up is so difficult. Less than 10% of Overwatch competitive players are in Bronze, which explains why it’s easy to get through. However, over 75% of the players fall into Silver, Gold, and Platinum. About 10% make it into Diamond rank, leaving a mere 5% to be in the Masters and Grand Master ranks. With these stats, it’s no surprise most people find themselves, and everyone they know, somewhere between Silver and Platinum rank.


There are the seven ranks in Overwatch competitive and how to progress through them and a look into how the Overwatch Rank System works. With the statistics provided by Jeff Kaplan, it’s easy to see why most people find themselves somewhere around Gold, and why knowing a Masters or Grand Master ranked player is like spotting a unicorn. Use these tips to keep grinding and hopefully see yourself make it to the next rank you have been waiting on. For more tips like this for Overwatch and similar games, go to