Everything About LoL MMR

MMR is an invisible rating that helps with fair matchmaking. But what else goes into this score?
Lo L MMR Header
You and the squad logging in to play some LoL like... | © Riot Games

MMR – this is a term you’ve heard over and over. What does this even refer to? There are so many confusing abbreviations in League of Legends and in this article, we will try to make light of one of those annoying abbreviations. What is LP gain, what is elo hell, and what do any of these things have to do with MMR?

If you’re a new player and just started getting into League of Legends, the many terms might be confusing. MMR is one of the most important aspects of the games, it partly decides just who you’re going to play against, but there is more than that, and we’re going to explain how it influences your ranked games and normal games.

What Exactly is MMR?

MMR refers to a player's Matchmaking Rank. So the name basically explains what this score is used for. Your LoL MMR is the reason why you've matched up with specific players. It’s the score Riot Games uses to create games that should be evenly matched.

MMR is a value that is given to each player. Those players that have a similar MMR will be matched together. This is completely and utterly independent of your rank. So even if you’re in Gold III you can still get matched up with a bunch of Silver I players – well that’s due to your MMR – Riot didn’t make a mistake there.

How Does MMR Work?

MMR is an invisible score that players are not aware of. Unlike with LP – League Points – where a player can see their gains and losses after each match. LoL MMR works a little different, but is influenced by your LP in a way as well.

How come it’s also influenced by LP gain and LP loss? Well, easy, if you win, you gain LP, if you drop a game you lose LP. MMR is based on your wins and losses, which means that if you win a lot of games in a row, then you’ll have a higher MMR, which means you get matched up with players of a similar skill level.

The same happens when you lose a lot… only that you get matched up with people slightly worse, which is why you might be playing with Silver players even though you're in Gold.

Lo L Ranks
Rank and MMR are not the same thing. | © Riot Games

How do LP and MMR Coincide?

So, your MMR does not only decide which players you go up against. It also decides whether you gain a lot of LP – after a match – or also lose a lot of LP. So keep an eye on the amount of LP you win or lose after a match because that way you can also tell a bit about your MMR and you can use this as a type of self-MMR checker.

LP

At Victories

At Defeats
19 or moreMMR higher than your EloMMR lower than your Elo
16 - 18MMR and Elo are EqualMMR and Elo are Equal
17 or lowerMMR lower than your EloMMR Higher than your Elo

So if you gain around 22 LP after a win, it most likely means that you were matched with or against players who have a higher LoL MMR than is usual for your elo. On the opposite side, if you gain a mere 10 LP after a win, then you likely played with or against players who have a lower MMR than your elo.

What is the Difference Between Elo and MMR?

The matchmaking rank in League of Legends is an invisible score. It’s a number the system assigns to you after doing some fancy math work. Your wins and losses get calculated to create a score for your skill. This score will go up and down depending on your games.

The elo system comes from chess and refers to the current known rank you’re in. So if someone is Gold, then they are referred to as a low elo player, which means that they aren’t in a high skill league.

On the other hand, anyone in Master, Grandmaster and Challenger is referred to as a high elo player. These are the best players with the highest skill in League of Legends. They also have much higher MMR than those players in lower elos.

So, while a player might be in Master, they can still end up in games against Diamond players, due to the invisible League of Legends MMR which has been assigned to them. If a Master player loses a lot of games, they will have a low MMR, which means they will be matched with players in lower elos as well. Of course, the same goes for players who win streak and have a higher MMR.

Role Choosing Wheel
Will your MMR change if you suck in ranked? | © Riot Games

Does Playing Normals Have an Effect on Ranked MMR?

For each game mode, you will have your own MMR. This means that players who might not play many normal games, but rather spend most of their time playing Solo Queue, will have a lower MMR in normals than in solo queue.

Players who often grind the elo ladder will be matched up with players in much lower tiers when playing normals. They’ve got much higher MMR values in solo queue, where the matchmaking will be much more precise, in comparison to their normal MMR which is based off much fewer games.

So if you’ve ever wondered why you’re matched with a bunch of platinum players when playing a normal, it’s because they usually spend their time grinding solo queue and not much time playing normals.

So by playing a lot of normals, you also won’t affect your ranked MMR nor any ranked matches in the near future.

How does MMR Work in Duo Queue?

Duo Queue refers to you playing together with a friend. This is possible in lower elos, but has been taken out of the game in higher Master+ tiers. But if you’re a mid elo or low elo player, you can still play duo queue. How does MMR work then, though?

Well, the average score of both your MMR’s will be calculated and taken for the matchmaking rating in the games. So if your MMR is extremely low while that of your partner is very high, you’ll likely play way above your skill level, but you could also gain a lot of League points if you do succeed.

Blitzcrank LoL MMR
Professor Blitz in the house explaining MMR to us all. | © Riot Games

Does LP Decay Affect MMR?

Decay does not have an effect on MMR. As explained before, players who might not play a lot of normals, still have a matchmaking ranking from the games they’ve played before. The same goes for those who play solo queue. Even if you don’t play for a while and your LP decays, your MMR won’t be affected.

MMR is only going to change when you play a game and either lose or win. So you can go on vacation, go for a walk or just take a break from the toxicity that is League of Legends and when you come back, you’ll still have the same MMR as when you left – because you haven’t been playing.

Does Queue Dodging Affect MMR?

Pre-season finally ended, and you’ve logged in, gotten into champion select and are ready to play some placement games, but realize that your main champion has been banned. Quickly, you dodge out of there, but does this move have any effect on your MMR?

No, it does not. You might lose some League Points due to dodging, and you could be locked out of ranked queue for a while if you dodge a second time, but dodging games won’t have any effect on your overall MMR.