WarLight ladders are competitive arenas where players compete for the highest spot on the ladder.
You can find the main ladder pages by clicking the Ladders sub-tab under the Community tab. This is where players can join or leave the ladder, or see the up-to-date standings.
WarLight currently has five ladders:
 How Ladders Work
In the WarLight ladders, you don't get to choose who you play against. Instead, the ladder sets up games for you. You can, however, pick how many games you'd like to be playing at any given time.
The ladder updates once every other hour starting at midnight GMT, then 2am GMT, 4am GMT, etc. Each update, it updates ratings and rankings of all players and creates new ladder games.
WarLight ladders use an ELO rating system, similar to what is used in professional Chess tournaments, to rank players by their skill level. Based on the results of your ladder games, you will receive a rating that will be used to give you a rank on the ladder's scoreboard.
Your rating will change based on the results of other player's games, too. For example, if you beat a player who ends up becoming the #1 player, you get the full results of beating the #1 player even if they were not #1 when you beat them.
Players must complete a certain number of ladder games before they are given a rank: 20 in the 1 v 1 ladder, 10 in the 2 v 2 ladder, and 5 in the seasonal ladder.
 Leaving the Ladder
Players are free to leave the ladder and re-join it at any time with no penalty. Leaving the ladder does not delete any on-going games, it just stops new games from being created for you. Your rating continues to be updated even when you’re not participating in the ladder. However, you will not receive a rank while not in the ladder and, therefore, won’t be included on the leaderboard. This is done to ensure high-ranking players have to actively defend their high ranks, and can’t just get into the #1 spot and squat on it. If you re-join the ladder, your existing rating will be used to rank you just as it was before you left. This makes it easy to take breaks in case you’re going to be away from WarLight for a while.
 Automatic Booting
In Ladder games, WarLight uses the auto boot feature to automatically boot any players who do not move for more than 72 hours (3 days). This helps keep the ladder fair and balanced for all players. Without automating booting, players with their finger on the boot button would, over time, have an edge in the ratings over players who give their opponents extra leeway. Automatic booting takes booting out of the equation, and ensures ratings are determined the same way for everyone. This also prevents games from stagnating which can clog up the ladder and prevent players from advancing as fast through the ladder as they'd like.
 Slight Advantage for First Pick
In Chess, it's advantageous to play as the player playing white, since the white player goes first. Similarly, in manual distribution WarLight games, it's advantageous to get first pick. That is, if two players pick the same territory as their #1 choice, the randomly decided player with first pick will get the territory and the other player will get their #2 choice.
To counteract this, WarLight gives a slight ratings advantage to the player who gets first pick in ladder games, similar to how some ELO systems give a ratings advantage to the player playing white. In Chess, the advantage is estimated to be worth about 33 points, whereas in WarLight the advantage is only 10 points.
Only the 1 v 1 ladder and the 2 v 2 ladder give an advantage for first pick. The seasonal ladder does not.
 Expiration of Old Games
Games in the 1 v 1 ladder and 2 v 2 ladder expire after a 5 months. Once they're expired, they no longer count towards your rankings. This date is calculated from the date the game ends, not the day it starts.
Games in the seasonal ladder never expire, but they only apply to the current season.
Expiring old games keeps the ladder fresh and ensures that ratings don't inflate over time. ELO rating systems are zero-sum systems, meaning that each player that joins the ladder brings new points into the mix. See Ratings Inflation and Deflation for a more detailed analysis.