Welcome! Today we’re going to be taking a look at tier lists! What are they? What are they used for? All of your questions & more will be addressed in this article!
What is a Tier List?
Tier lists, in general, are lists divided into tiers; who would’ve guessed?! The lists are organized from the top tier to the bottom tier. Usually, the organization uses a key metric to define which item goes into which tier.
For example, if you were making a tier list about cars, you might want to rank them from most expensive to least. In addition to ranking the items by one or many key metrics, the items are displayed in their respective tiers.
These types of visual tier lists help the reader determine the information they’re looking for at a glance.
What Do They Look Like?
Tier lists come in all shapes and sizes. Despite that being technically true, the overwhelming majority of tier lists are made using a tried and tested design. Typically, they look like this:
The default labels for each tier are S, A, B, C, D, F in that order. S tier represents the highest tier, and F represents the lowest tier. Items are also associated with an image that gets slotted into one of the categories. This is the most popular design for a tier list because the information is incredibly easy to understand at a glance with minimal text.
Despite the popularity of this design, sometimes tier lists are displayed as plain text augmented with occasional images. This is done when there is a lot of nuance or justification required for each placement.
How are Tier Lists Used for Video Games?
When tier lists are created for video games or video game elements, they can have a huge assortment of key metrics or criteria that the lists are comparing. Sometimes the authors are ranking the best abilities of a specific hero.
Sometimes they’re ranking the fire rate of a weapon, the speed of cars, the overall competency of individual heroes; the possibilities are endless.
The most popular type of tier lists are usually concerning the overall balance or overall performance of a character, class, car, or weapon type across the entire game. For a shooter, the readers want to know the best weapons.
For driving games, the readers want to know the fastest cars. For a fighting game, readers Each game has its own nuances.
Authors of tier lists are usually experts on the subject matter. They know what the readers want to know. The authors formulate a list based on a combination of their opinion and objective statistics.
Due to the editorial nature of tier lists, they can sometimes catch a lot of criticism. We’ll look at this in more depth later.
How Do I Create a Tier List?
There are many online tools available in addition to the manual approach. Let’s discuss some of the options available to you!
First of all, let’s cover the easiest way, tiermaker.com. Tiermaker has all of the bases covered and is an excellent tool for devising your own tier list. They also have an enormous list of pre-existing user-created tier lists for all kinds of topics. There are gaming tier lists, brand tier lists, and so much more.
When creating a tier list template using this website, you will be prompted to enter a title, category, images, and tier labels. After your template is created and published, you can use the website itself to place your images into the relevant tier.
The additional upside of using a service like this is that it creates a shareable link that you can send to your friends. Your friends and any other visitors will arrive at your tier list and have the opportunity to place the items in whichever tier they want. This is incredibly useful to get feedback and insights about your choices.
If you’re looking for more flexibility in regards to aesthetics or privacy, you can create your own tier list using your image editor software of choice. It is fairly straightforward to subdivide a blank image into as many tiers as you want and then add a label.
Once you’re done making your list, whether you used a service such as Tiermaker or made the tier list yourself manually, it’s time to fill it out. During this process, take the images that represent your items, such as cars, weapons, characters, skills, etc., and drag them into their appropriate tier.
Once you’re done, share your list with your community or the community related to the game you’re basing your tier list on!
How Do I Browse Tier Lists?
Tier lists appear on the internet in a huge variety of locations. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
The most straightforward way to find a tier list related to the topic you’re searching for is to simply type into google “Forza Horizon 5 Car Tierlist” or “Valorant Weapon Tier list.” Typing phrases like this into google will likely point you to a Reddit post regarding a tier list or a post on a dedicated forum related to your topic.
Google does an excellent job surfacing the tier lists you’re looking for, but if you’re still unsatisfied, don’t hesitate to check out Tiermaker.com or browse the subreddit for the specific topic you’re looking for.
Why Are Tier Lists Useful?
As mentioned earlier in the article, a tier list can be an incredibly useful type of chart for visualizing the power or quality levels of something at a glance. For instance, if you wanted to know the fastest car in Forza Horizon, you might want to search for “Forza Horizon Car Tier Lists.”
You will be greeted with many results featuring visual or text-based tier lists. In addition to the list itself, the author may choose to provide additional justification for each item on the list.
For shooters like Counter-Strike, you might want to search “Counter-Strike Weapon Tier List” or “Counter-Strike Skin Tier List,” depending on if you’re looking for the best weapon to begin mastering or the fanciest skin to accessorize your character.
For mobs like League of Legends, you might want to search “LoL Champion Tier List” or “LoL Jungler Tier List” to get general or specific information, respectively. This can help you skip playing objectively very difficult or poorly performing heroes.
After reviewing these three examples, I hope the functionality of these types of lists is clear and how they might help you get the most out of your gaming!
Despite their usefulness, there can be some drawbacks when relying on tier lists for your information. Check out the following paragraph for more details about that.
Tier List Drawbacks
Tier lists give you access to comparisons that are very easy to read at a glance. However, in general, tier lists should be read with a grain of salt. After all, the authors of tier lists across the web are regular players like you and me. They might not have the same level of expertise as you, or they may be entirely wrong in their assessment.
Some tier lists can be heavily opinionated. For instance, in Overwatch, there are 32 playable characters. Gamers from around the world might be tempted to group these heroes into different tiers based on how “powerful” they are. While they might be accurate, the accuracy of these tier lists is fleeting.
Developers constantly make changes to live games, and tier lists may not be updated in turn. This leads to out-of-date tier lists with essentially useless information.
This can happen in all kinds of games, not necessarily arcade hero shooters such as Overwatch. Sometimes developers tweak power levels of abilities, vehicles, weapons, characters, causing tier lists to be entirely obsolete.
In other cases, even if a tier list is current, the author might not be entirely accurate. For example, in Forza Horizon 5, you can tune your racecar to get extra performance out of it. In some cases, the tier lists authors might use the stock tuning and compare the cars that way.
This paints a very narrow picture of the cars’ performance and might lead to entirely inaccurate power levels for the cars in their tier list. Again it should be reiterated that these types of errors or inconsistencies can happen with tier lists about any genre of game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What’s the Best Way to Browse Tier Lists?
Answer: Simply type your search query into google and hopefully the tier list you’re looking for. Make sure to check the date to ensure up-to-date information.
Question: Is there a Tier List for ____?
Answer: Rest assured, if the game you’re playing has any degree of popularity, there are people trying to maximize their effectiveness and passing on the knowledge in the form of tier lists. On the extremely rare occasion a tier list cannot be found, make one! It’s your chance to shine!
Question: How Can I Tell if a Tier List is Out of Date?
Answer: Forum posts, Reddit Posts, and other places should have a date associated with each post. In some cases, it won’t matter if no significant changes have been made to the game since the tier list was made.
Question: Should I Use Tier Lists or Rely on My Own Judgment?
Answer: That’s up to you! Generally speaking, looking at a few tier lists can help you avoid committing a lot of time and effort playing a character, using a weapon, or using a vehicle that is generally poor-performing.
That being said, a huge part of what makes competitive games enjoyable is the possibility to succeed in any circumstance. Just because you are playing a low-tier character or using a low-tier item doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to lose!
Tier lists are a very important part of the strategy gamers employ to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their gameplay. There are things to look out for, especially when using old tier lists. Still, generally, they are a great source for learning about the nuances of a specific game.