How does sr work?


I’m not a great playet but really enjoy comp. I hover around silver gold. I play a lot of solo queues as my mates get on at different times and when they say to me ‘how did your games and sr turn out’, the response is usually ‘like the tides man… Up and down’. I’m a healer and tank main but would like to rank up my damage to improve my overall sr. I just played a game of damage(12 min queue time) on lijiang tower. Played junk and soldier and it wasn’t working. 0-1. Changed to sym… 2-1. I went from 1637 to 1703!!!


It says your DPS is in bronze. Slow updates or something? Anyway I doubt it was this much, you are gold portrait so plenty of info for the system to work with. Also you have over 5 hours on Symmetra in competitive, once again doubtful your SR is so volatile the system would give you this much.


This was on my alt account. I made it because people see my gold border and see my bronze damage


There is your answer then - a new account naturally has a more volatile SR and big swings are expected. ESPECIALLY when you are smurfing and not really a new player.


Why? Shouldn’t we get ranked on preformance and win/loss over past experiences? That is partially why i made this new smurf/player.


You were ranked exactly based on performance. You are a smurf who already plays Symmetra a lot, so you went there, switched to your best character, won and the game assumed you should be higher so it pushed you accordingly.


But I’m a mercy/zen main and when i get a win with golds on the board i get 19 sr average for a win. I can understand what u mean. My sym play was that good that i shouldn’t be that rank and yet my sym pkay on my main gets me to bronze. I’m still the same guy with the same thumbs. I guess the randomness of doing solo queue says it all?


You don’t get it.

Its a single game. Everybody can have a blast of a game and rack up the stats. You don’t get more SR on your main account because on average you are not good enough for it. The new account has no idea how good you are so it pushes you up based on the limited information of a single game. Plus you were quite possibly put against a bunch of new players(not that hard to do this low in bronze and silver) so it was easy for you to do all that once.


Thank you for answering. I can see you post regularly and i read you posts and replys regularly. I respect you. What is the way forward with me? I play many hours for someone that has a full time job and a wife. Do i just give up on damage on my main? Also, is it a bad thing to have an alt account?


If you already have a decent life you should not care at all what your virtual SR in a game is. Play for fun, if that new account is fun to you - go and play it. But don’t have big expectations and don’t believe the system puts you down. Its not only wrong but also delusional.


I just wanna have fun man. And i would like to be able to play dps in comp with my mates. Occasionally. But anyway dude. Thanks for the lesson.


Having a lot of data both makes algorithms extremely intelligent and extremely stupid. What do I mean? Well…

We don’t like smurfs, they destroy the integrity of the game, so it’s very easy to say that in an ideal world the system would be able to evaluate exactly how good you are and place you there. GM on a new account? You play one game with bad players and instantly get put in GM where you belong. Ultrasmurf who deliberately throws? Get placed low, but as soon as the truth comes out, you get put where you belong. There are however many issues with that:
a) The game doesn’t know what’s good. Sometimes dying is a good decision, most of the times it’s really bad. Getting 4 kills with your ult is usually good, but what if you solo zerg, get killed after and by the time your team arrives, the defending enemy has respawned? As long as we don’t have an AI that is better than humans (in decision making, not aiming and such), no algorithm can identify the strength of players. And Blizz is really bad at this, historically. Their entire approach to everything is superficial - stats, not situaions.
b) The game still thinks it knows what’s good. If you outperform other Symmetras, you will gain more SR. What does outperform mean? See my point a - the game doesn’t know. Heck, maybe you only have amazing Symm stats, because your team enables you perfectly, but it’ll still be you who benefits from it, and Rein on your team might even get punished, because his damage stat is lower than average, since he was playing more protectively.
c) The game treats you as a monolith. To the algorithm, you can’t improve, at least not by much. Superficially, that may seem like a contradiction to the example of the hard throwing smurf I gave earlier, but it works along the same vein. We don’t like boosters, so if an account suddendly explodes in performance, the game doesn’t want to overcommit on that improvement. If you play badly as DPS for a year, the game would take forever to realize you’ve gotten better. This is mostly reflected on MMR. MMR is the invisible rating you get that in turn influences your SR movement. Not much is known about how it influences it, although most would agree that: if MMR>SR, SR gains are higher. It’s also possible that if the game thinks you are worse than your rank (MMR < SR), you get thrown in harder match-ups in order to deflate your SR to where “you belong”. It’s hard to say whether that’s true, it can feel like that however.
d) Doesn’t matter though. Whichever way we get ranked, that’s the system. Blizz is bad at judging abilities, Blizz encourages playing much over playing well and Blizz does not want to give you any insight on how it does things. Because at the bottom of it, Blizz is pretty casual (I can already see fanboys’ heads explode from this - but let’s face it, from WC3 to WoW to Diablo 2+, Hearthstone, OW: everything is build for mass appeal, easy to get into, never much depth to it - and that’s fine. Not every RPG has to be Baldur’s Gate, not every card game has to be Magic, not every MMORPG has to be UO, not every strategy game has to have strategy - I like many of those games myself, but they are inherently shallow) and favors accesibility and rewards for playing as much as possible over deliberation and understanding. What’s my point? If you like the game, you have to accept that that’s the system. Grinding your main account to gold DPS would probably take forever in this system, but you have an alt, so use that. At the end of the day, SR doesn’t matter much anyway. Yes, it bars you from playing with certain friends (only in comp though), but ultimately, it’s just an ego thing. You will find toxic team mates in bronze and in masters, you will find good communication in silver and annoying one-tricks in diamond. Play the game whichever way you want. If you get better at it, eventually you will climb. More slowly than you should, possibly, but as long as you have a positive impact on your team, meaning you raise your win rate from the average 50% to 50.1%, you will eventually climb.
e) New accounts are the new pay to win. With all that said, we see one thing: if you were once bad at the game, it might become impossible to dig yourself out of ancient holes. I have to think about the game modes that only have competitive play once a year. When I did them, my SR was 1500, so - big surprise - I got placed at 1500. A year later, my SR was 2500, so I did my placements and - big surprise - they aren’t placements, so I win 8 out of 10 and now sit at 1600 and am in a spot where I don’t want to play, because I realize that my opponents are 1k SR below me - that’s no fun. So IF you think you truly are better than your SR. And IF you need validation from a random number in a random game. And IF you think that Blizz deserves your money after creating this flawed system: buy a new account and see where you actually rank. You will get judged by your current performance and not your performance a year ago. But you will also lose the manipulation game Blizz put you through.