How does Riot measure ability usage in VALORANT to calculate combat score?

Nafiu Aziz
By Nafiu Aziz
4 Min Read
Image Credit: Riot Games

As with every other competitive video game with a ranked ladder, VALORANT has a built-in system that calculates a players’ combat score for a better matchmaking system.

This matchmaking score or more commonly referred to as MMR(matchmaking rating) plays a major role in a tactical shooter like VALORANT as it is used to match players of similar skills against each other in the lobby.

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Consequently, how accurately the MMR system calculates a player’s combat score is also really important. Even though Riot says VALORANT is a tactical shooter with a major focus on gunplay, proper ability usage can still win matches.

Since VALORANT added agents with unique abilities, the built-in system that calculates combat scores in the game needs to account for utility usage. Riot uses a lot of metrics to give each player a combat rating.

Contrary to popular belief VALORANT takes a lot of information into consideration before attaching a combat score onto a player’s name. And yes they measure how effectively a player uses agent abilities to make an impact on the game.

How does Riot calculate combat score?

Besides the common k/D ratio, Riot also takes first encounter win rates into consideration. A lot of hidden factors like who did you win a duel against affects your combat score and MMR in more ways than you think.

In a recent Reddit discussion thread, a VALORANT developer went into a deep dive on how Riot measures ability usage to calculate the exact combat score of a player.

TECHNICALLY if you wanted to try to calculate missed or faked ability usage:

You could bounce a couple of traces around corners, or check to see if an ability was in the eyesight of an enemy player(so they looked at the ability means it affected their judgment), then look to see if they moved from that spot, were dealt damage, etc.

There are some other ways as well, but Riot’s system does not take into account fake abilities because they would probably mess with the system. All hypothetical, but it probably isn’t worth the work in the long run to determine fake or missed abilities, according to the VALORANT developer.

As for a system that can determine ability usage, that’s pretty easy and VALORANT’s system does do this. You could look at any ability, how many people it hits, what it is doing, etc., and figure out its impact. Basically, every ability could technically have a measurable percentage of time it helps win a round or get a kill if you set up your data correctly.

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In short, Riot’s system does look at ability usage, kills, assists, and various other stats to determine part of your MMR(Performance MMR). The other part of your MMR is based on winning or losing games.

Nafiu Aziz is an avid gamer and a writer at GameRiv, covering Apex Legends, CS:GO, VALORANT, and plenty of other popular FPS titles in between. He scours the internet daily to get the latest scoop in esports.