In Halo 3's multiplayer matchmaking system, there are two types of ranks. The Global Rank is shown on the Service Record and is based upon a combination of the player's highest ranked skill level and total number of Experience Points (EXP). Playlist Ranks were introduced in Title Update 2 and are based only on the number of EXP accumulated in the respective playlist.
Experience Points (EXP)
After a matchmaking match, players are awarded EXP as follows:
- Win: +1 EXP
- Tie (in team games): +1 EXP
- Loss: 0 EXP
- Disconnecting from a match before it ends (including booted for betrayals): -1 EXP
A player is considered to have won if he or his team places in the top half.
Note that some Global Ranks can be skipped if the player meets the skill level requirement for a higher rank. For example, a player with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant Grade 2 can skip Gunnery Sergeant Grade 3 and go to Lieutenant Grade 1 if he reaches a skill rank of 10 in a ranked playlist before accruing 150 EXP.
- By the Global Rank of Lieutenant, all armor permutations and achievements dependent on Global Rank will have been unlocked.
- The Vidmaster Challenge: Lightswitch achievement is unlocked by achieving a playlist rank of Lieutenant.
- The Vidmaster Challenge: 7 on 7 achievement is unlocked by entering a playlist with 7 total EXP earned in that playlist on the 7th of any month.
- The ranks are based on the same ranks in the United States Army and Marine ranking systems. The notable differences are the lack of Warrant Officer and the difference between a Brigadier and one-star General.