In RISK, you earn Ranking Points from 'Global Domination' multiplayer matches only. 


The RISK ranking system is a modified version of the ELO system used in Chess. You are given initial rating points and you win/lose rating points against opponents. The size of the change depends on the difference between your ranking points when you start the game.


Your ranking points are not visible in the app to avoid confusion - it’s a number calculated to 6 decimal places. 


In the app we do display your leaderboard position (the number that varies between 1 and 3+ million). It is important to to note that class and leaderboard rank are not directly related but both are determined by your ranking points. It’s possible for you to win a game, but go down in leaderboard position if others also win. You’ll notice we’ve removed display of this after each game in the latest release as we had too many questions – but you can still see it on the leaderboard page


Some Quick Answers


As we get a LOT of questions on this

  1. CHANGES ARE NOT CALCULATED in real time. Even if you lose, ranking point changes cannot be calculated until the game has ended. In some cases, there can be a delay up to 24hrs for ranking points to change.
  2. AI difficulty does not take into account your rank or class. 
  3. We will be updating this system later this year. We have millions of users and the leaderboard positions can fluctuate greatly because of this.
  4. The rank is for fun! Don't take it too serious


RISK Ranking System


The simplest way to say it is, you start at roughly 1000 ranking points and every 50-100 you go up in class, 1250 points being Grand Master.


You can gain or lose anywhere from 0 to 20 or more ranking points per game depending on the number of players, your's and their ranking points, and your end position.


You require a good win-rate to move up the leaderboard otherwise you will stay where you are or move down. If you want to move up in ranking points and class, you should be aiming for at least a 40% win rate and be placing relatively high in your losses as well.


The initial rules (2016):

  • All human players are treated as pairs, and each is a win/loss between themselves and change in ranking points calculated accordingly.
  • The points won/lost is calculated from the difference between your ranking points, as per ELO. So beating a lower opponent is a small rise, beating a higher opponent a larger rise.
  • Each pairing is then added up: if you win against 5 players you will win 5 times as many points as if you play against 1. (And conversely for losing)
  • Your ranking points are then adjusted by the sum.

 

Note that there is no upper or lower limit. You also don’t necessarily lose on one game all the points you won over the previous games (in fact, that’s highly unlikely).

 

2018 change:

  • To prevent duplicate accounts and to remove the demoralising feeling of dropping down the leaderboard, we made it so no one could drop below their initial ranking points. (Beginners found it was easier to create a new account than to win your way back up.)
  • While appearing a benefit those with lower ranking points, mathematically this actually benefits those with higher ranking points as the points lost (if they lose) is smaller, and points won (if they win) larger than if the beginner was on their actual ranking points.

 

2019 change:

  • We now periodically clear out the non-active users from the leaderboard. This is because the system actively encouraged people to get a good position on the leaderboard, and then never play again. You’ll notice periodic jumps in your leaderboard position when we do the clean-up.
  • Due to the gaming of the system, we also removed “Play with Friends” as earning ranking points.
  • We also started clamping down more on cheats (as playing known opponents can easily skew the results). Remember: if you know your opponent use “Play with Friends”


Why we chose ELO


The reasons for this approach are: 


(1) It rewards the quality and consistency of results over sheer frequency of playing.

 

Ranking systems that are purely based on wins, defeats and losses only are easily exploited. In our ranking system though, three good results, for example, will gain more ranking points than ten mediocre results.  


(2) It takes into account the relative skill level of players.


The number of Ranking Points gained or lost from a game of RISK takes into account the strength of your opposition. This means beating strong opponents gains more ranking points, and losing to weak opponents loses more ranking points.


Where next: Why we think we need to change from ELO

 

What you can confidently say is that those at the top of the leaderboard are the best Global Domination Risk players currently active.

 

However, we know that the system has issues. Some major issues include:

  • There is no reward for single player, play with friends etc. We have the leaderboards for all these online, but none are promoted. 
  • Ranking points can only be calculated once the entire game has been completed; if you are knocked out mid-game, your ranking points may not change for another hour or more.
  • Ratings don’t “deflate”; if you remain active, even one game, you can hold your position at the top of the leaderboard.
  • It causes confusion and consternation.

 

We’ve been discussing a fairer system for a long time – but every solution benefits some players but not others.

 

We already have monthly and weekly leaderboards, and in early 2021 we will follow this up by introducing “seasons” to keep the ranking points leaderboard fresh. But we’re actively working towards a fairer system for later in 2021 that rewards those that play scenarios, those that prefer single players games and those that like multiplayer.


Any other questions?


Q: I won a game against 5 players, but my "rank" went down?


It didn't - it's your leaderboard position that went down. This scenario is possible for 3 reasons: 


(1) A player of similar rank scored more Ranking Points in a separate game.

Let's say you defeated 5 mediocre players of a much lower rank in your game. At the same time, in a separate game, another player (1 rank below you) beats 5 players of a much higher rank. In this case, he/she would receive more Ranking Points from their win, which could be enough to move him/her above you in the ranks (and push you down).


(2) There is a delay of up to 24 hrs in the server calculating Ranking Points.

Let's say you lost one or more RISK games before your current win. It's possible the negative ranking points (and your rank position) from these losses were processed by the RISK server at the time you won your current game, causing your rank to go down.


(3) RISK games can take several hours to finish.

It's possible that you lost a game [A], quickly joined a new game [B]. Game A lasts longer and so both games finish around the same time (and the results are calculated around the same time). You may have lost more ranking points from Game A than the points gained from winning Game B.


Q: What are the Class Point Requirements 

The required ranking points for each class are:

  1. 1250 > Grand Master
  2. 1150 - 1250 Master
  3. 1100 - 1200 Expert
  4. 1050 - 1100 Intermediate
  5. 1000 - 1050 Beginner
  6. <1000 Novice