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Fortnite’s new ranking system, explained

You can get up to an “Unreal” rank

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Epic Games has rolled out the red carpet on proper ranked play in Fortnite and it extends not only to the base Battle Royale mode, but Zero Build as well. Here’s a quick rundown of how the system will work going forward, following a beta-like release of “Season Zero” until the end of Chapter 4 Season 3.

Season Zero starts on May 17, 2023

As a preamble to a proper rollout of Fortnite‘s ranked play in 2023, Epic Games will be testing the system for several months and potentially adjusting some finer details: they’re calling this preliminary period “Season Zero.”

It kicked off on May 17, 2023, and will run through “the end of Chapter 4 Season 3.”

How many games do you need to play to get ranked in Fortnite?

Epic Games is going to allow players to rank after just one match of Battle Royale or Zero Build, and performance will be based on “past matches.”

This is a massive relief, as one of the biggest ways to take the wind out of my sails is to force me to play 10-20 ranked games before I can properly match up with people.

Fortnite ranks, explained

Here are all of the ranks that will be a part of the new Ranked Battle Royale & Zero Build mode, from lowest to highest:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond
  • Elite
  • Champion
  • Unreal

This system should be familiar to folks who play any ranked games, as the “bronze through diamond” rankings are an industry standard. However, Epic Games also added a few higher tiers through “Unreal,” which has its own set of rules.

If you rank up to Unreal you’ll “stay in Unreal for that ranked season” no matter what, even if you perform poorly every game after that. The catch? Unreal also has a delineation of ranked numbers, so your performance will dictate how you actually rank within the Unreal tier.

All of this will be tracked on a public leaderboard. If you don’t want your position to be public, Epic Games has a workaround: “Players can opt out of being displayed on the leaderboard by turning ‘Public Game Stats’ off in the ‘Gameplay Privacy’ section of Fortnite’s in-game Account and Privacy settings.”

How do you actually gain ranks in Fortnite?

Ranks are based on the following criteria:

  • Your match placement
  • How many eliminations you or your team got in the match
    • Eliminations later in the match will count more than eliminations earlier in the match.
    • The ranks of the players you or your team eliminated will be taken into account.

At the moment Epic is treating teams “as a single unit,” meaning everyone rises (or falls) with the group. The highest-ranked person will dictate the pacing: so a Diamond player working with Platinums will match with other Diamonds. Note that individual ranks will also be preserved when playing with a party. Given how large Fortnite‘s player base is, matchmaking likely won’t be a big issue.

How do new players unlock ranked play in Fortnite?

To even unlock ranked play, new players will need to finish the quest “Outlast 500 opponents.” For example, if you finished 20th in a match, you’d outlast 80 opponents (assuming it’s a full game).

This task will take some players as little as six games, or as many as 20+, depending on your performance.

Does ranked play have different mechanics in Fortnite?

Yes! Materials will cap out at 500 instead of 999, harvesting rates are increased, and players will drop “50 of each material when eliminated.”

Do you get anything out of ranked play?

Besides ranks and your own sense of personal satisfaction, you do get a bone or two if you play ranked in Fortnite.

“Ranked Urgent Quests” will pop up every match and provide “seasonal cosmetic rewards.” You’ll also earn the “burn bright emote” as the “final cosmetic reward of Season Zero.” It’s similar to the trophy emote in that it showcases your rank.

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Chris Carter
Managing Editor - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!