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Splatoon 2's rank system


Pro Squid
Aug 2, 2017
Vienna, Austria
Switch Friend Code
Ranked is probably more fun if you just ignore the rank altogether and play it for the modes. Sure, you should definitely still be trying to win but the ranking itself is meaningless. It's literally a grind up and down, there's no placement matches or anything like that so it actually just means nothing except how much you were willing to grind and your luck in matches. It's definitely not a very serious mode, even if it claims to be.
I can stick with you here to 100% but at the same time to 0%. If we forget about the difference between S and A+ than it's not really saying anything. Also A- and A felt a lot harder then A+. But if we look at the difference between S and B+ than there is a huge difference in skill.

I pretty much agree on Ranked being in a worse state than it ever was in Splatoon 1. Both games have the exact same issue of automatically pushing you out of lower ranks and eventually edging you towards S rank, but now with Splatoon 2 we can skip upwards faster and have a pretty easy time of not deranking. I've had way too many situations occur when I get put in Danger! (of course indicating the next loss is a 4th crack and a derank) and then literally crawled into OK and had it crack a game or 2 later. This essentially becomes a flytrap, people who get into ranks they aren't entirely ready for manage to luck out and stay there for ages, pushing others up to ranks they don't belong in, and they do the same thing to the people they play with, they scrape wins to OK every single time, lose, reset their progress and push more people upwards.

In Splatoon 1 you could say the same between how easy C- to B was with ranking where wins always gave you more points than defeats (C- kicks you out with +20/-10). The same thing happened there, but it took a lot longer because it you actually had to hit 100 points to score a rank up, and losing 5 matches would deplete 50 points for the most part. Now you can lose 5 matches and have 2 cracks, with the 6th match most likely being a 3rd crack, but you still only need 1 or 2 more wins to rank up, no progress was lost. So for the most part Splatoon 1's ranking system kept skill levels more balanced at first. I was a solid B/B+ for the first few weeks of Ranked, then bounced between B+ and A-, and around the time of 2.0.0 launching I climbed up to A+, and broke into S in September. I first hit S+ there in October or November (most likely November), and S+ totally felt like a place where the best of the best played.

As time went by and more people eventually got pushed into S (some might have gone for S+), they stopped playing Ranked, did Squads, turned around to their friends and said "I can help you get to S if you play Twin Squads with me, S and S+ don't have rank affected there so I can get you to A+99!" which started the trend of carrying lesser players into ranks they don't belong in, which pushes other people up to the next ranks they don't belong in. Some of those people carried to S attempted going for S+, they might have lucked out and got there, they might have cheesed a ranked mode to get there or they were able to learn how to play as an S and made to S+ after a long while struggling. The majority of carried players stopped at S and stuck to Squads, but the damage was still done for those who went back to solo. I can tell you now that I felt the quality of S+ degrading over time, and you were getting seriously unbalanced matches where all the amazing S+ players were on one team and up against lesser skilled S+ players who got lumped with the carried players who don't belong there.

As of right now, Splatoon 2 is at the point that the first game is now regarding Ranked. League Battles replaced Squads, which was a good thing, but we still have the issue of S+ being all over the place with skill. The ping based matchmaking doesn't help either because the Japanese were a hard counter to Westerners being able to get into S and S+ if they truly didn't deserve it yet. Splatoon 2's ranking system is more of a "how long you played" than Splatoon 1's (which was already like that). The only way to know you were an S or S+ was if you got there fairly early on in 2's lifespan (which I managed to do). I don't believe in the argument that S+ players aren't as good at this game as 1, because it handles the exact same, only differences being maps and weapon kits (all new specials and a few new subs). Overall the fact that S+ is easy is due to playing with Westerners non-stop and let's be honest here, we all know our player base generally lacks any real skill at this game.

The real mess shines through when you get paired with competitive players in a lobby and you're one of the only people that adapt and don't get dominated whilst your team throws themselves at them over and over, never learning. The rank system won't be fixed, and it's certainly not an improvement over the first. It's essentially little more than a "everyone's a winner" approach to letting the entire world and their dog hit S+ if they play long enough, it's not a matter of if, just a matter of when and that's just going to make Ranked super pointless and a waste of time. What's the point in being S+ if the matches will play like B ranks in a few month's time? It'll just be you dominating matches or getting dominated because one team will be so low skilled in comparison to the other, leading to dull and repetitive matches. It obviously means League Battles are the way to go, because they do placement matches and try to match players of similar Power together so matches are more balanced and less likely to swing one way with little effort on the winning team's part.
It takes way more efford for me to break through A- or A instead of A+. The moment I reached A+ I were almost instantly carried up to S and from there to S60 and from there... Well all of a sudden I almost always got very bad teams and I dropped very fast back to A (almost A-).

For Splatoon2 now: My first time were I got a 4th crack was A+ and then S+ and I think in TC in S later. However it really feels like a push the player as fast as possible to S+ but if they want to get past S+3 they really need to be good. Idk but I even struggle getting one point in S+3 but sometimes not even getting on crack in S+2. There must be other parameters instead of your rank and your points. I even read that the skipping rank mechanic does not take your kills, deaths, assists and or how often you used your special into account. So what does it take into account, I can say that its not the crack count either.

I really wish I know the ranking system better.

Drew Sebastino

Inkling Cadet
Aug 9, 2017
Switch Friend Code
It may be difficult to level up past S+, but only due to luck in matchmaking; You're still thrown in with the same people, meaning no rank should be more difficult than the other.

I feel that the "everyone's a winner" system they put in this game is just to cover up the fact that matchmaking is nonexistent. Accurately judging individual skill based on whether or not your unbalanced team (that you can't communicate with) won or not is impossible.


Semi-Pro Squid
Aug 12, 2016
Just so everyone knows, I have low rank, but more because I wasted time getting all hero mode weapons than because I'm bad. I am a decently good player, but not competitive-level.


LFT mid range, former xlt
Jun 3, 2015
Switch Friend Code
I feel like there's a bit of fixation on rank over power level. The entire playerbase could be S+ and it wouldn't be that big of a difference. I honestly think it could be an improvement. ELO is a big deal, it's not just for decoration. I get that ranks give a sense of accomplishment, but they aren't as accurate as real matchmaking scores.

Like I've said before, the system does make some sense from a design perspective. You add a C- through S gateway for people to be totally separated from the experienced players, and then S+ becomes an arena to fight for a high ELO to get matched up with the best players. I get that it's a problem that ELO is too hidden, but to be totally fair, it's far more out in the open than it was during Splat 1's launch.

You can see it during splatfests. If you're reaching 2000+ power level, you're generally going to get put into games at that skill level. The only problem is that I would have to get matched with low power level players by 2200-2500 if no good players were on.
(Even then, that's largely because other western players have a vicious cycle of not playing turf war. There's a flaw with scoring, so it didn't get added to tournaments. It's never in tournaments, so no one practices it. Now we understand it less than ranked modes, and therefore it's avoided even more. As a cherry on top, it gives hardly any money/gear exp. It's to the point where splatfests are treated like monthly salmon runs, and you see some really strange opinions on how TW is played.)
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Inkster Jr.
Sep 5, 2017
(Even then, that's largely because other western players have a vicious cycle of not playing turf war. There's a flaw with scoring, so it didn't get added to tournaments. It's never in tournaments, so no one practices it. Now we understand it less than ranked modes, and therefore it's avoided even more. As a cherry on top, it gives hardly any money/gear exp. It's to the point where splatfests are treated like monthly salmon runs, and you see some really strange opinions on how TW is played.)
I understand this is probably a little off-topic, but I would love to see this discussed more. I've always found it odd how Turf War seems to be treated as a "lesser" game mode compared to the ranked modes, and I'm curious about the strange opinions others might have about it now.

Back on the main topic: I'm still not entirely certain of what to think of the new ranked system. I'll admit it felt good the first time I found I skipped ahead a few ranks, jumping up from C- to B without anything in-between, but over time I've begun to see the negative effects of this system. It really does make matchmaking much worse than it was in the first game. At least in Splatoon 1 I knew playing S+ matches meant I was going to be seeing players of high skill, but at the same time A+ seemed to be an absolutely mess, so I can't speak for its consistency.

I do hope this is something Nintendo will consider modifying as time goes on. If they want it to attract serious esports players, which it seems they do, then they need to resolve the issues with this system, yeah?


Inkling Cadet
Aug 13, 2017
I don't know if it's just me, but I'm finding it harder to rank up in this game than in S1.


Senior Squid
Aug 28, 2017
Switch Friend Code
Every day I feel more and more vindicated in my decision to never touch ranked. The S+ number system is probably supposed to be bragging rights, but can it really be bragging rights when the system is pure chaos?
Same here. I did play briefly. I never thought C was an acceptable grade in my schoolwork, so I went a little obsessive compulsive and played each mode to B- and stopped.


Inkling Commander
Oct 3, 2016
ur mom
My main problem with this ranking system is that it is way too easy to reach S+. And then when you reach S+, and try going for S+50 the devs thought it would be funny to stack all the difficulty of ranked here.

I can't be the only one here who thinks grinding all the way up to S+50, and barely reaching the bonus meter (at the very end btw), and then declining into S+0 if I so dare to crack it the 4th time. Sure, I get it, ranked should be hard. It was hard getting S+99 in the first game. But this garbage that makes you play hours and hours of games to attempt to be back where you were is stupid.

But the ultimate irony here is that even though this system is brutal to S+ players who want to climb up farther, it doesn't hesitate to put people who are clearly below S+ rank in S+. How does this happen? It's too easy to keep ranks in this game. By the time you get 3 cracks in S rank, you probably have gotten past the okay mark. And even if you crack the rank bar, it doesn't matter anyway because you're still in S rank, with a little boost compared to the time you just got it. So for most people, getting to S+ rank isn't a matter of skill, just a matter of time. Therefore, I don't think the gain to get to another rank is the problem, I think people losing ranks is just not happening enough. Compare it to splat 1, say you lost a rank, you'd have to be in the rank below and win 4 or so matches before coming back. So, you had to prove that you mastered the rank before it. This game just lets you stay in the same rank forever, as long as you don't lose 70% of the time.

As for rank skipping, I think it was implemented so that "good" players from the last game didn't have to inhabit the low ranks for the first 2 weeks the game was brought out, but the feature just isn't consistent enough. This is especially true in the S+ ranks, as the skipping is based on your power level (which is invisible to the player), not the visible bar and the condition it's in. As the rank up can rank you up one rank, or it can bring you up ten. I've had one crack going up in S+ rank, and didn't skip, yet multiple people with two cracks skip S+ ranks. What? Why? Is this a joke Nintendo? It's just icing on the cake for S+ solo queue players who actually care. With teammates that might as well be A-, with the everlasting threat of going back down to S+ 0.

Why should competitive players even care about this anymore once they hit S+? It's not like we get a reward for hitting S+50, just some bragging rights. Why not just playing league with some friends and then boasting about how you and your friends got to be top 10 in a given rotation, it provides a lot more insight as to how you add value to a team, and not this inconsistent garbage. As mentioned before, the only players who benefit from this are the players who in splat 1 believed they deserved to be S+, and never showed the skill or game knowledge. I hope you privileged brats who wanted this are happy with your S+0, because it's a lot easier to get in this game.

Sorry for some of the salt in this post, but it just shows how discontent me and other competitive players are with solo queue right now.


Aug 31, 2017
Switch Friend Code
Please tell me I'm not the only one who LOATHES the new system.
You can reset all your progress on the rank if you lose too much.
You benefit from streaks, which is something I've ALWAYS hated in any game.
It makes it so much easier to drop ranks than before, and that's why I hate it so much.
Anyone else feel the same way?
Keep in mind I hate it so much that I'm typing this AFTER skipping a rank in Tower Control.
What I hate about it is how unpredictable the system can be. On one of my previous matches, we lost a teammate, yet I still received a crack in the meter. Another time, I won 3 matches in a row, lost the next one and got another crack. Splatoon 2 in general can be unpredictable with this and the hitboxes


Inkster Jr.
Mar 13, 2018
Number of matches loses required to reach 4 cracks in rank C- to rank C+: ~8

Number of matches loses required to reach 4 cracks in rank B- to rank S+: ~6

4 cracks in a rank bar: the player will rank down or the player will maintain rank

One rank match win: the player will have their rank bar fill by 0.1 (0.15 if certain conditions are meet)

Note: if the player manage to fill their rank bar, that player will rank up

Note: after 'rank up'/ 'maintain rank'/ 'rank down' status had occur, the player will have their cracks count set to 0 (with zero shake at zero crack)​

Maintain rank
  • Rank bar fill amount okay line: c (0.4 or 0.5 or 1)
  • Rank Bar current fill amount before the player had reach the 'maintain rank' status: a
  • Rank Bar current fill amount after the player had reach the 'maintain rank' status: b
  • a is greater than or equal to c.

b: [ ( a - c ) / ( 1 - c ) ] * c​

Rank down
  • Rank bar fill amount okay line: c (0.4 or 0.5 or 1)
  • Rank Bar current fill amount before the player had reach the 'rank down' status: a
  • Rank Bar current fill amount after the player had reach the 'rank down' status: b
  • a is less than c.

  • Player will rank down by 0 rank if their rank was rank C-
  • Player will rank down by 1 rank if their rank was between rank C to S+1 including rank C and rank S+1
  • Player will rank down by 1 rank to 2 ranks if their rank was rank S+2
  • Player will rank down by 1 rank to 3 ranks if their rank was rank S+3
  • Player will rank down by 1 rank to 4 ranks if their rank was rank S+4
  • Player will rank down by 1 rank to 5 ranks if their rank was between rank S+5 and S+50 including rank S+5 and rank S+50

b: ( a / 2 )​

Rank up
  • Player will rank up by 1 rank at a minimum. Player cannot skip the following ranks: rank B+ (if the player rank was rank C- to rank C+ prior to the rank up), rank A+ (if the player rank was rank B- to rank A prior to the rank up), rank S (if the player rank was rank A+ prior to the rank up)
  • Rank Bar current fill amount after the player had reach the 'rank up' status: 0
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