In all the things that add up to your VALORANT rank, average combat score might seem to be the most important after winning. Yet, with a high ACS and a tight loss, you shouldn’t drop much if at all, and a win with a high ACS will grant you a lot closer to promotion. But how does it all work? And how important, if at all, is Average Combat Score?
ELO in competitive video games has always been more smoke and mirror than concrete. Generally, players believe all they have to do is frag well or have a high K/D/A. Yet, for some players, ELO hell is a fate that is all too common. You may be stuck in gold in VALORANT like yours truly or trying to crack your way out of Platinum or Immortal.
The VALORANT game developers may have released some insight into the confusing ELO system of VALORANT. In the 7th rendition of their routine “Ask VALORANT” series, developers answered questions on ACS as well as the stars that show up in your match history.
Q: Is it true that there’s an extra importance on frags when it comes to getting a good combat score? If so, do you plan on increasing the recognition of assists and other forms of contributions to your team (spotting or slowing enemies, healing allies, etc)?
Your combat score is not just based on kills, although that is a big factor in the score. We also look at damage inflicted, meaning that assists where you help kill an enemy are taken into account, as well as utility that does damage. There are some other factors that help inform your combat score, such as first bloods and streaks. These are called out on the combat score tool tip. Longer-term, we are looking into ways to incorporate non-damaging assists into your combat score as well.
Regarding competitive, while your combat score indicates how well you performed in core combat during the game, it’s not 1:1 with the performance calculations we use for your rank updates. Rank updates leverage some, not only, of these data points. Simply put, the focus of whether or not your rank updates is primarily focused on wins and the decisiveness of these wins.
—Ian Fielding, Senior Producer
Fielding brings up a few interesting points here. The first being that your VALORANT combat score has more to it than just fragging. Assists in VALORANT come from different ways, hitting an opponent for a percentage of their health and having them finished off by another teammate or things like Sage healing a teammate who then wins a gunfight. These non-damaging assists can be achieved by a few characters, and counting them will help those support agents.
First bloods and streaks also reward players for unique aggression or sneaky plays on the map. ACS isn’t necessarily perfectly correlated to your rank as Fielding points out. The primary way to rank up is to get dubs, man.
Q: I understand it means I’m doing something right, but what exactly does it mean when I have stars in my performance history?
If you’ve ever received a gold or silver sticker in your life for doing well, then this system likely speaks to you. In the performance tab, a star indicates if you’ve played better than we anticipated. That is, if you were regularly beating someone in combat and/or closely competing with someone of a higher rank than you, expect to have that acknowledged via a star.
A silver star means you exceeded expectations and a gold star means you’ve really punched above your weight. Pat on the back not included.
—Ian Fielding, Senior Producer
Gold stickers in video games! Answering a question in your early schooling days has the same positive effect as dropping a 30 bomb in a game with a bunch of higher ranks. Gold star for you, gold star for you, everyone gets a gold star. These actually don’t seem to have anything to do with ACS.
Average Combat Score seems to be a combination of overall frags, impact first-blood kills, damaging-assists and 3ks, 4ks and aces. Frag out, but also try to make some impact plays in the early rounds to boost your ACS.