VALORANT players can look forward to enjoying a five-player experience with their friends, regardless of rank, in Patch 3.10. However, the update also brings changes to "mitigate competitive issues," according to Riot Games.
Playing ranked matches in VALORANT can be a challenging experience, especially when queuing alone or playing in a smaller group. Sometimes it is impossible to play together with your friends if they have a higher rank, making the game a limiting and disappointing experience. Patch 3.10 removes these restrictions by allowing players to form groups of five with friends regardless of rank.
Riot explained that one of the most common reasons for smurf accounts is when players want to play ranked matches with their friends. Removing the group limit of five for all ranks will fix this issue and help prevent smurfs from destroying the competitive integrity of the game.
While players can now enjoy entering up to five without ranked restrictions, there are important new changes to consider. If five players have at least one Diamond Two player, VALORANT will face long match finding times trying to find another five-man group with similar average MMR. Ranking rating (LP) gains and losses will also decrease when playing in a five-man group due to rank disparity within the group.
For example, if a team's lowest player is Silver One and the highest is Platinum One, the group receives a 50 percent LP discount because the highest and lowest members are a rank outside the current ranking restrictions. If the lowest member of the team is Bronze One and the highest is Platinum One, the team receives a percent LP discount as the group is four rows outside the standard group restrictions.
All five stacks, including at least one Diamond Three or higher ranked player, receive a minimum 50 percent LP discount, increasing up to 90 percent based on skill disparity. For example, if a party has four members of the Immortal and one of them Diamond Two, the group will see a 75 percent reduction in LP gains and losses. If the lowest player is Diamond Three, there will be a percent LP discount.
If at least one player in five clusters is Radiant, a 75 percent LP discount will be applied. An indefinite cooldown will also apply, as the game will only match five stacked teams with similar MMR. If any member of the five stacks containing a Radiant player is of a lower rank, the group automatically receives a 90 percent LP discount.
Riot also removed groups of 4 from the competition queue. According to Riot, these groups often “subject the remaining non-party player to a relatively poor gameplay experience,” and this change will help prevent this from happening.
Riot has confirmed that it will monitor changes over the next few weeks and make further adjustments as needed.