Solo Queue vs Flex Queue – Explained

There are a couple of main differences between the solo/duo queue and the flex queue in the League of Legends ranked system. In this article, we've covered everything there is to cover about both the solo Queue and the Flex queue. We've listed the pros and cons of the each queue!

If you’re a new League of Legends player, you might be confused by the whole “ranked solo queue vs. ranked flex queue” ranked situation, so you need to be explained. Don’t worry! Everything will make sense once we clarify how things work on the League of Legends ranked ladder. We will give you a clear explanation of what a solo queue is, what is flex queue, what the difference is between them, and which one you should go for to climb in LoL! Let’s get started!

What is Ranked Solo/Duo Queue in League of Legends?

Solo Queue vs Flex Queue - Explained Guide

As in every game, LoL provides a ranked experience. This is a competitive mode that every player can access once he reaches level 30 with his account. The ranked mode aims to match all players with other players who have the relatively same skill in the game. And this promises better quality matches and more challenge than the normal games.

The ranked solo queue ladder works on a system that separates all players into Leagues and Divisions. There are currently 9 available Leagues, namely Iron, Bronze, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger. Except for the last 3 (the highest 3 on the ladder), all Leagues have 4 Divisions each. For example, Gold 4, Gold 3, Gold 2, and Gold 1. After that, it starts all over again, Platinum 4, Platinum 3, Platinum 2, Platinum 1, and so on.

Upon completing the promotional matches (the first 10 ranked matches on an account), the player is thrown into one League and Division that the system thinks it’s appropriate for that player’s skill level. And the idea here is that the player must work through most of these Leagues and Divisions to get to the top. Every year, at the end of the season, the ranked solo queue ladder resets. This gives all players a chance to prove themselves and become the best.

Additionally, players receive multiple rewards, as thanks for their attendance to the ranked season. These include champion skins, icons, borders, and emotes. In LoL, it’s considered a distinguished achievement to remain on the top of the ladder, so many people chase the dream of becoming Challenger.

Also read: 10 Most Appealing Female Champions

What is Ranked Flex Queue in League of Legends?

Riot Games made ranked flex queue to allow the players to play the ranked queue with their friends. Before the ranked flex was introduced, you could only play ranked games with only 1 ally (duo Queue). This was a fantastic idea by Riot Games as it allowed the teams to play the ranked games!

On the other hand, we have the ranked flex queue in League of Legends. This is an open type of queue where up to 5 players can team up and battle another team of 5 players. But the flex queue allows for parties to join, namely 1, 2, 3, or 5 players, except 4. The reason for it is because Riot Games don’t want to have only one player stuck in a game with four friends that can potentially be toxic to him.

The ranked flex queue works on the same system as the solo/duo queue. This means that the same rules of Leagues and Divisions work here as well. However, they do not share their rankings and achievements. Instead, they’re two different ladders that you can climb.

Originally, Riot Games introduced the flex queue as a replacement for the ranked 5v5 team queue. Back in the day, players could create teams of 5 and queue against other teams. However, that ladder was later redesigned into flex queue, allowing players to queue as 3 or 2 as well. This was a positive change since teams no longer depend on all five players to be online at the same time.

What is the Difference Between Solo/Duo Queue and Flex Queue?

Solo Queue vs Flex Queue - Difference Explained

As we explained above, ranked solo/duo queue vs. flex queue is mostly this: solo/duo queue is meant for one player, or a player and a friend, to achieve the highest rank in the game; and flex queue is intended for a team to work and progress together, while still not being limited to the number of their members. In short, the most significant difference between the ranked flex queue and the solo queue in League of Legends is the number of people allowed to play together.

However, there are a couple of other things you should know about flex and solo queue.

The ranked solo/duo queue is considered the “main” queue in League of Legends. This simply means that people are generally more serious about solo queue than ranked flex queue. As a result, solo queue provides a more formidable challenge, with many skilled players battling for the number one spot. But, it can also be a very stressful environment since you’re essentially playing with strangers. And because personal ratings are at stake, people can sometimes be very toxic or just “int” and lose you the match.

On the other hand, flex queue is seen as a more relaxed type of ranked play. It’s understandably so because the idea here is to play together with your friends and try to achieve something while still having fun in the game. Players in ranked flex queue can always be toxic, but if you’re going with a full 5-man premade team, you’re looking at a very positive League of Legends experience!

And that’s what mainly separates solo queue and flex queue in LoL!

Also read: 5 Best Solo Queue Champions

Does Ranked Flex Have an Impact on Your MMR?

Solo Queue vs Flex Queue - Average MMR of each Division Explained
Source: Reddit

As far as the official records go, ranked flex does not impact your solo queue matchmaking rating or MMR. Riot Games have stated in the past that these two types of queues should remain separate, with nothing connecting them.

As a result, a player can reach Diamond rank in flex with his friends but remain in Gold in his solo queue rank. Winning or losing games in one queue does not influence the matchmaking you’re going to encounter in another. So you’re pretty safe playing one type of ranked queue while still dabble in the other.

What Are the Flex Queue Rank Restrictions?

If you’ve just encountered the problem where you can’t play a ranked queue with your team because one or multiple members have very different ranks, here is what you need to know.

When you first start playing flex, meaning the first 10 promotional matches, you can play with anyone in your premade. This is because you have no current rank, so you’re free to team up with anybody. However, once you get your flex rank, you can only play with friends that have a similar rank to your own. For example, if you’re a Gold 1 and your friend is Silver 2, you will not be able to queue together because your ranks are too different. But if you’re Gold 1 and your friend is Silver 1 or higher, you will be able to play together.

So, what does this all mean? Why does Riot Games enforce these rank restrictions? Well, the idea behind these rules is simple – you’re not allowed to boost other people in ranked play. And you’re also not allowed to get boosted as well. Theoretically, as long as players respect these rules and queue with similarly skilled people, everything will remain fair.

However, the reality is quite different. Many people have spoken out of the inner difficulties of this system. For example, four friends that are Diamond rank in flex queue cannot play with their fifth friend because he is in Gold rank. So, unless they have another friend, they won’t be able to queue since a 4-only party isn’t allowed either. And this is obviously a problem that Riot needs to attend to in the near future.

Final Words

As you can see, there are many similarities and many differences between ranked flex queue and ranked solo/duo queue in League of Legends. If you’re still aren’t sure which one to take more seriously, take our advice.

If you’re generally playing the game alone and you wish to improve yourself, then go for solo queue. You can still occasionally join your friends in flex when you want to have fun with them. And if you’re usually playing LoL with premade groups, then focus on flex queue. Flex allows you to work on your team skills and how you operate as a team, with less focus on individual play. But, you shouldn’t give up on solo queue either!

And there you have it! Tell us what you think of flex and solo queue and which one you predominantly play! Use the comment section below!

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