What is MMR in LoL

Published at 2019-03-01 12:06:25 - Edited at 2020-10-22 13:45:14

MMR and Ranking in League of Legends

In a lot of e-sport games, we see some concepts such as “MMR”, “ELO” or “MMR Chart”, especially when looking into rankings. While these names are written differently, they refer to similar meanings. If you are a League of Legends player, before explaining “What is MMR” and “What is ELO”, you should know that these concepts exist in League of Legends and they are very important. If you are a player who persuades a good ranking in Leauge of Legends, you must understand and master the concepts LoL MMR and LoL ELO.

If you want to learn what MMR or ELO and in League of Legends, this article will explain what it is and how it functions, along with some tips on how to manage it, so you can become a better player that is aware of the information others may not be.

What is MMR in E-Sport Games

Whether you play or watch an e-sport game regularly, the term MMR has come up to you, at some point. So, What is the meaning of MMR? It stands for Match Making Rating is a rating system that is in use in many e-sport games. Ultimately, it makes a ranking by giving each player a score in the game. In some e-sport games, MMR is visible to players so that players have a better knowledge of where they are located in rankings of the game. However, in games like League of Legends MMR is a hidden feature and players do not know what their rating score is. Rather than a rating score, League of Legends displays “tiers” (divisions) to players so LoL players do not have very clear knowledge about their rankings as the other players who play games that displays the rating score.

Still, you can pretty much understand what your level is in League of Legends. Because, there are many tiers; bronze, silver, gold, platinum, etc. and those tiers have subgroups within themselves, meaning that tiers also have tiers (gold 1, silver 3, etc.). Thank you Riot Games!

An accurate representation of you vs your opponent.

So, we know that MMR is a hidden ranking score that determines the ranking in the game. Then What is ELO in LoL? Well, MMR is actually coming from the ELO rating systems. ELO system was originally developed for chess but is widely used in online multiplayer games.

The ELO rating system is a method for calculating relative skill levels of players developed for chess by Arpad Elo, an American-Hungarian mathematician. Now it is widely used in other games including competitive multiplayer online games. Each alters its methods of calculating the respective ELO.

So when someone asks “What is your ELO?” or “What is MMR?” they basically mean the same thing: your ranking score. Some games directly use the ELO system and even call ranking scores ELO, in-game. However, other games do not refer to ELO and use the word “MMR” to make the system more unique. The e-sport game developers also may change some of the ELO features, hence, saying that MMR and ELO are the exactly same thing, is wrong.

How ELO and MMR Systems Work

The main idea of ELO systems is actually pretty simple. The Player has a rating that is represented by a number. Player gains and loses points by playing rated games. The total number of points gained or lost are determined by difference in rating between two players. So what does that mean for you? Simplest way to put it is, if you have higher % to win a game you get less points for winning it, but if you win a game you are more likely to lose you get more. And vice versa.

Also, we need to remember that when we lose a game we lose points numerically. And when we lose, someone else (our opponent or opponents) wins the game and she gain points, again numerically. So when someone gets a defeat her score decreases numerically and vice-versa. This means that the one who got the defeat goes down in the ranking while the other one goes up. And regardless of how many players are in the system, this would work with the correct adjusted numbers.

ELO systems are perfect for many e-sport games such as League of Legends. When a new player gets into the ranking, the system and the other players do not get affected. Now, think about a huge leader-board where all the League of Legends players is in this leader-board. Starting from the player who has the highest rating score, the list goes down to the lowest. And at some ranges of this ranking list, there are tiers. This is how the ranking system in League of Legends and pretty much any other competitive e-sport game is about. Also, note that if every League of Legends player would be at the same level in playing, then this MMR system in LoL would not work at all. Thankfully, there are bad and good players in this game and the MMR in LoL.

League of Legends MMR Checker

We know that even if it is hidden, there are MMR scores for each player. This means that every player has a number and she can understand her position in the game’s ranking if she knows her “hidden MMR”. Many players who pursue the goal of getting to a good division often try to calculate their MMR. They ask about “How to Check MMR?” or “Is there an MMR Calculator in League of Legends?”. Well, there is not an official MMR calculator developed by Riot Games and for MMR check or LoL ELO checker, but there are some websites exist that estimate the hidden rating score. Before Season 3 of the game players were able to check their scores. After season 3, Riot Games has decided to hide the matchmaking ratings of the players and focus on the divisions.

Why Can’t You Check League of Legends MMR?

Unfortunately, you cannot check your match making rating in the game or by using any other Riot tools. Since seasons 3 Riot renamed ELO to MMR and hid it, behind the Leagues System with divisions that most players are familiar with (Gold 4, Gold 3, etc). Even though you cannot see your match making rating you can estimate it based on LP gains and losses. If you have higher LP gains than losses it means you have higher MMR than the division you are in. If the opposite is true, then your MMR is lower than the division you are in. The system aims at having 50/50 chance of winning for both teams and for you to have equal amount of LP gains and loses. The more games you play, the more accurately you ELO is determined. Once you reach 50% win-rate with decent amount of games (200+) your ELO is set more or less. However it is important to remember that since matchmaking is never gonna be perfect to avoid long queue times you'll rarely see equal LP gains and loses for every game you play.

Note: Even though you may never see it, MMR exists for all que's (Normals, ARAM's, etc.)

Also, have you ever wondered that why Riot Games won’t let players check MMR? Why MMR in LoL can’t be checked? Well, the best probability is that Riot Games always wants to make League of Legends a simple-looking, non-confusing game, and the MMR system may confuse the newcomer player which would not attract them to the game. This is actually the main and the biggest strategy of the LoL developers, making the game look simple as possible to attract more players; and hiding the MMR, replacing it with the division system is just one part of this strategy. However, the biggest disadvantage of this affects expert players or players who want to develop themselves in League of Legends. They would like to know their specific matchmaking rating so that they would understand where they are in the whole League of Legends ranking. Actually, this is a way that some websites which estimates a player’s MMR exists.

How to improve your MMR?

Questions like “How to improve your MMR?” or “How to increase you MMR in LoL?” are very general question that is asked by almost every LoL players who seeks a good ranking placement for themselves. Well, of course, the only way to increase your MMR is to win games. However, surely you will not win every game even if make a great performance. So, there are some strategies that you may find beneficial when increasing your MMR. Since Riot has no released formula for how exactly they calculated gains and losses of MMR, it's hard to exactly tell how MMR gaining works, but the community has found out couple ways to help you preserve it and improve it.

The first way is to dodge games that seem to be lost in champion select. Even if you are in promos you should dodge games that seem lost, even though it will count as a loss, since you will not lose any MMR points. And for games that are not promos, you will lose 3LP for first dodge and 10LP for every consecutive one. You should not be afraid to use the first dodge of the day ever, it will only benefit you by avoiding unwinnable games, and save you MMR.

The second way is to duo queue with someone who has a higher rating score than you, it will force you to play against people who have higher match making rating, and each win will net you more MMR than you normally would get by playing alone. It is important to remember that the opposite is true, if you have high rating and play with someone who has low rating, you will gain less rating score while losing more.

And finally, you need to win significantly more than you lose to raise your MMR. The system will then naturally start pushing you up the ladder. However, it is important to remember that Riot's system is somewhat disjointed from MMR therefor either the MMR or Divisions can lag behind. That's how you see people that are Plat 4 in Diamond 4 games and etc.

E-sport players have the highest MMR in LoL


What is ELO Hell and How to Avoid it?

There is also a term called “ELO hell” which is used commonly among the players. While this term is being used in a lot of e-sport games, in League of Legends, it is quite popular. So, “What is ELO Hell?”, exactly. LoL players use this term when an experienced player has to play with amateur, inexperienced players. Hence, we can define ELO hell as a situation where a good player unwillingly has to play with bad players. This situation usually occurs when a season starts, meaning that when there is an ELO/MMR reset. Since at the beginning of the season all players ELO resets, players get mixed up and they play with the players who have a much different division. For the first games, ELO hell may seem inevitable, but there are ways to escape from this situation much easier.

When the season starts, if you do not wish to stuck with the bad players or in a division that you don’t deserve, you should try to exit from ELO hell as soon as possible. Initially, there can be better players in the opponent team, so it is normal to lose some games at the start of the season. However, the divisions and the player profile get shaped quickly, so before getting stuck at the worse divisions that you do not deserve, try to focus on winning and play many games. If you don’t get out of the worse divisions that you think you don’t deserve, it would be harder for you to get in better rankings in the future.

Videos About ELO

If you are interested in learning about ELO visually consider checking out this videos:

A video about Elo generally by numberphile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsYfbmp0To0

A video about Elo in LoL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oFdcjL9ILI