What is LoL MMR and how does it affect you?
In depth article on what MMR is, how it works and how it affects YOU.
LoL MMR - What is it?
You have all heard the term MMR thrown around, and some of you might even know exactly what this means, but we get asked hundreds of MMR related questions every week so we decided to answer you once and for all. In this article we will carefully go through every aspect of LoL MMR, what it means, what it actually is and how it affects you in different situations. After you have read this you will know everything you could ever need to know about League of Legends MMR.
What does MMR mean?
MMR stands for Match Making Rating – It determines which players you will have in your team and who you will be up against when you are playing League of Legends. We will get back to how this affects you later in the article.
MMR VS ELO
A lot of people use these two terms interchangeably and do not differentiate between them. The term Elo Boost came from Season 1 in LoL when League of Legends were using the term ELO to show players their ranking. Do you remember that system? Your rank was just a number, there were no gold and platinum or anything else. You had for instance 1478 elo and that was your rank.
While the elo system was in use, you also had LoL MMR. MMR was the hidden ranking, the number that determined how you were matched when you were playing. Not many people knew ELO and MMR was different, but ELO was actually a system developed for Chess, suited only for two players (1vs1) instead of 10 (5vs5). Riot had to develop a much more complicated system, and when they finally moved away from Elo to a specific rating (bronze, silver, gold etc) they tried to get rid of the term ELO and ELO BOOSTING as well, but the word kind of stuck around.
Now when you play, you have a Tier (platinum, diamond etc) and a division (1-5). Your MMR determines, not only who you have on your team and who you are up against, but also how fast you can climb.
How is LoL MMR Calculated?
The easy explanation is that your MMR is based on your wins and losses. Every time you win a game, you gain MMR and every time you lose a game, you lose MMR. Simple, right? Well, it gets worse.
If you always gained and lost the same amount of MMR then this system would be a piece of cake and you could basically always calculate where you would end up after your placements and how many wins exactly it would take you to reach a specific rating. However, due to the complicated nature of team games, MOBA’s in particular, Riot has had to implement a much more complex algorithm. They have never come out and explained exactly how it works, but sufficient to say, it is a lot more advanced than everyone first thought.
The amount of LoL MMR you gain after a win is dependent on, not only your own MMR, but also on your current tier and division. In addition, the MMR + Tier/Div of your teammates AND opponents come into play.
If you are on a team where your teammates are all higher than you and the opposite team is all higher than you, you will gain more MMR if you win or lose less MMR for if you lose. It goes the other way as well. If your MMR is high and you are up against people with lower MMR than you and you lose, well you will lose a good chunk of MMR.
LoL MMR and LP Gains
MMR is closely tied in with your LP. It determines how much you gain per win and how much you lose per loss. If your MMR is high, you will gain a lot of LP, as you can see on the picture above which is taken from one of our clients after our booster went 10/10 in his placement games. However, if your MMR is lower than it is supposed to be in your particular Tier, you will lose more MMR and more LP for your losses. This can go on to such a point that each win gives you 15 lp while each loss removes 30lp.
For example, Jim is new to League and have just completed his 10 placement games. Not having much experience he decided to play support and try his best not to feed. He got lucky and won 9 out of his 10 placement games and placed in Gold V. Because he did well in his first 10 ranked games, his MMR is fairly high and if he keeps winning he will quickly climb the latter.
However, if Jim starts losing his MMR will drop past his current rank. If he were to lose 10 games in a row his MMR might go all the way down to Silver I MMR, which means after enough losses he would demote. Then, when he is in silver 1 his MMR will be low due to all the losses and he will start getting 10-15 LP per win instead of the 20-30 he would have been getting if he kept winning.
LoL MMR and Placements
Your League of Legends MMR will determine where you place after your 10 placement games have been completed. If you played in pre-season or the previous season, you will have a set rank you can place in. For example, if you were gold last season with silver MMR, you can place anywhere from bronze – gold depending on your placement matches outcome.
The sad thing about placements is that some wins or losses counts more than others. If you are up against a team with high MMR and win, you will place higher than if you won against a lower ranking team. This means that two people with the exact same MMR can place in different Tiers and Divisions even if they have the exact same wins and losses.
For example: Matt and Ryan are both using a fresh level 30 account with no ranked games played. This means they MMR is exactly the same. Both go 8-2 in placements, but Ryan places in silver 2 while Matt places in gold V. This can happen if the two games Matt lost were against higher ranking teams (making him lose less MMR than Ryan, who lost against teams with low ranking). This is why so many people complain about Riot’s placement system. It is a lot about luck and the order in which your games are won or lost. If you need help with your placement’s, LoLBoost.net offers placement boosts where we will place you as high as you can possibly go.
League of Legends MMR and Skipping Divisions
When your LoL MMR is high, you can actually skip a division or even the promotion to a new division. This is a relatively new feature, with the promotion skip only becoming available in season 5 (2015).
When you are on a win streak you start gaining more MMR. After each consecutive win, you gain slightly more MMR. This means after a while your MMR will be higher than what your MMR is supposed to be in your Division. Once this happens and you reach 100LP you might skip the promo and be placed directly in the next Division.
If you don’t skip the promotion, but you play the games and win, you might skip a division, so instead of going from Platinum V 100LP promotion win to Platinum IV, you might place directly in Platinum 3. This is so that you can play in the division that matches your MMR. If you keep winning you can start skipping after every second promotion. That often happens when you buy a boost with LoLBoost, making a 10 division boost go as fast as a 5 division one simply because we keep skipping as the booster is winning almost all his games.
ELO Decay and LoL MMR
As you know if you do not play ranked for a full month, you will start decaying. This is first just LP loss, but if you don’t play for a long time you will eventually drop several divisions. When this happens your MMR stays untouched, which results in very high MMR compared to the division you find yourself in. If you then start playing and winning you will see huge LP gains and you will probably start skipping divisions until you are back to where you decayed from.
LoL MMR and Losing streaks
When you start losing several games in row, or losing more than you are winning, slowly but surely you will start getting bad LP gains. A sure-fire way to see that your MMR is way below where it is supposed to be, is if your LP gain is lower than your LP loss. So if you win a game and gain 15 LP, but you lose 30 after each loss, that means your MMR is very bad compared to the division you are currently in. To fix this, you simply need to get your winrate back up. Getting 10 net wins from LoLBoost.net for example would go a long way towards fixing your MMR.
When your MMR is low the cheapest option is normally to purchase wins. If you are getting less than 15 LP per win or losing more LP than you gain, division boosting costs a little extra (as shown on the boosting price calculator). However, after a few wins in a row with one of our boosters, your gains will start to normalize and you can go back to playing on your own account or letting us boost you higher!
LoL MMR Reset – New Season
When a new season begins Riot does a “soft reset” and makes everyone unranked. A soft reset means that your MMR will be moved slightly towards the middle (around Gold). If you are bronze or silver you get a slight MMR boost, if you are platinum or higher you get a slight MMR decrease. This soft reset is pretty meaningless for most people, except Diamond, Master and Challenger players as after placement games have been played, even though their LoL MMR might be very high, they cannot place higher than Platinum I (Riot’s very own placement CAP). It does not work the other way, unfortunately you can place in Bronze V if you have low MMR and lose enough of your Placement games.
MMR and Dodging.
When you dodge a game you do not lose any MMR. You can get other punishments by Riot, like a queue increase and lose some LP, but your MMR will stay the same.
League of Legends MMR and Duoq’s
In the past there used to be a formula based on your MMR and your Duoq’s MMR to determine which players you would be up against. Riot changed that in 2015, and instead it is very simple. If you duoq, you will be up against players that match the MMR of the higher person in your DUOQ. So if you are silver V and duoq with Silver I – your teammates and opponents should be around Silver I (or at least have Silver I MMR).
MMR and Matching Higher
Sometimes when you play you will be matched up with and against players much higher or lower than yourself. This can happen if either you or one of your teammates have MMR that does not reflect your tier and division. For example, if you are a Silver I player on a winning streak, you may be matched with Gold V-II players.
MMR Distribution by Divisions
Each division has been assigned an estimated MMR. This means that everyone with a certain MMR should be placed in a certain league and division. There are a lot of speculations regarding MMR and specific divisions, but posting them would be nothing more than guess work. Unless Riot comes out and announces how much MMR each division is supposed to represent, we can only guess. I have seen a lot of posts regarding this, and I would not put stock in any of them unless Riot put their stamp of approval on their theories.
Measuring your LoL MMR
You can always visit op.gg and make a search for your summoner name. You will see an approximate MMR value, but it is not 100% correct. Their algorithm does not match the one League of Legends uses to measure your MMR and in some cases it has been very far off. Riot has not released any official information regarding their LoL MMR system, so no third party site will ever be able to accurately measure your account’s MMR. Only use op.gg for an estimation. If you want to see if your MMR is high, low or normal, simply play some games and record your LP values. If they are around the 20 for both win and loss, your MMR is average.
More like this?
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7th of April 2016 UPDATE:
Even though there are no news regarding Solo Queue and when it will be released, there are speculations regarding the MMR that will affect Solo Queue. In the beginning, Riot claimed that Solo Queue would have an impact on where you were placed in Dynamic Queue, and the other way around, but Riot has recently announced that your ranking and MMR will not cross over, and what you gain when you play Solo Queue or Dynamic will stay in just that bracket of play. This is a relief to most people, as Dynamic and SoloQ are two vastly different forms of play, and measuring your skill level alone against others is another thing entirely from playing on a premade team. That being said, we are already a week into April 2016 and there are no news regarding when, or even if, Solo Queue will be released. Will it be before season 6 ends? We will keep you updated.
10th of June 2016 UPDATE:
A few weeks ago Riot finally announced what we had been expecting all along: Project Solo Queue has been cancelled. This came as a shocking dissapointment to a huge part of the League of Legends community. Sadly, LoLBoost predicted this back in February. Riot has yet again failed to come through for it fans, and when asked for an explanation they were solely lacking in anything substantial. On the plus side, this means there will be no changes to the LoL MMR system in the near future.
13th of July 2016 UPDATE:
Sadly there isn't much to report as of yet. No changes have been announced for LoL MMR, no rumors are flying around and there is no Solo Queue in the horizon for us to look forward to. Riot has dropped the ball and I doubt there will be any noteworthy news in the next few months, but worry not, we will update you each month and let you know AS SOON as there are any news for LoL MMR, Solo Queue or anything else of note.
LoL MMR Come-Back - 18th of November 2016 UPDATE
Huge news in the world of LoL MMR - Or at least in the world of League of Legends. Riot has finally made good on their promise of two queues: Solo/Duo Queue and Flex Queue. This will mean another set of MMR for your League of Legends account. When you do your placement games for the first time in one of the queues, the mmr will be losely based on your rank in the other queue (if you have a ranking in one queue and not the other). This means for all those people who have never played Flex before, RAISE YOUR SOLO/DUO LOL MMR first! If you get a good start and reach platinum or higher in your Solo/Duo Queue, your Flex Queue ranking will follow and you will place much higher in Flex than you would if you had bronze, silver or gold in Solo/Duo Queue.
The term MMR will not be affected by this change of course, and it is doubtful Riot has any big plans in that regard in the near future... BUT if the queue health for solo or flex is bad, there may be some LoL MMR recalibration to see if a change in how the MMR works could decrease queue timers. In most cases, Riot would rather disable a specific queue type than mess with their match making system, but only time will tell. Any changes to the MMR system will be reported in this article as soon as the news are announced!
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