What is Valorant? Everything we know about Riot’s upcoming shooter

League of Legends developer Riot Games has been hard at work on its next desktop-exclusive multiplayer game, Valorant. In addition to being Riot’s first foray into shooters, Valorant mashes elements from similar games to create a unique experience. In this guide, we’re going to answer the question, “what is Valorant?” Additionally, we’ll cover all of the other details we know about Riot’s upcoming shooter.

Further reading

What is Valorant?

The game was originally announced in October 2019 as Project A, and League of Legends developer Riot Games officially announced it as Valorant a few months later. It’s somewhat of a post-postmodern game, combining elements of Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and, of course, League of Legends. 

It’s a 5v5 multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) where one team attacks and the other defends. The main game mode is very similar to CS:GO. The attacking team’s goal is to plant a bomb (called a spike) and have it detonate, while the defending team tries to avoid that. Regardless of whether the spike is planted or not, if a squad is wiped out before any other victory condition is met, the opposing squad will win.

Matches are 25 rounds long, with each round lasting 100 seconds. The first team to win 13 rounds wins the match overall. At the beginning of the round, you’ll have 30 seconds to buy weapons and gear for that round. If you die in a round, you’ll have to wait until the next round to respawn.

It sounds just like CS:GO’s Defuse game mode, but Riot has a twist on the formula. In addition to buying weapons, you’ll also choose an Agent at the beginning of each round. Each Agent has an ability, ranging from healing allies to making walls appear out of nowhere. Considering Valorant takes a MOBA-based approach to Agents, you’ll likely need a good spread of abilities if you want to win a match. Note, however, that you’ll need to buy some abilities at the beginning of a round.

How to get a Valorant beta key

Valorant is currently in closed beta for players in North America, Europe, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, Latin America, and Korea. Getting a closed beta key isn’t simply a matter of signing up for an account and hoping for the best, though. In order to get one, you’ll need a Riot Games account that’s linked with Twitch. From there, it’s a matter of watching certain streamers on Twitch who are streaming Valorant. During the stream, players will drop closed beta keys, which you can redeem to gain access.

When will Valorant release?

Valorant is set to release on June 2 after its closed beta wraps up on May 28.

What platforms will Valorant be on?

Riot Games

Valorant is a PC-exclusive game right now. Valorant lead game designer Trevor Romleski confirmed on a Twitch stream that the “focus right now is on PC.” Romleski also said, however, that the team is “open to exploring new opportunities for other platforms.” For the time being, the only way to play Valorant is on PC. We’re assuming that if the game is successful, though, it’ll likely be ported to PS4 and Xbox One in the future. Maybe we’ll even see a PS5 and Xbox Series X release.

Will Valorant have loot boxes?

It seems we’ve finally reached the point where loot boxes aren’t par for the course with this type of free-to-play shooter. Riot Games confirmed that Valorant won’t have any loot boxes. Players can purchase gun cosmetics — Agent cosmetics are still up in the air — but they’ll be distributed through a store, not through loot boxes. If you want to buy a bunch of skins at once, the store also has packs that bundle skins based around a central theme.

Will Valorant have a battle pass?

Riot has confirmed that Valorant will have something like a battle pass in-game. If you have the pass, you’ll receive rewards the more you play. We know that cosmetic rewards will be handed out via the battle pass, though it hasn’t been confirmed if other rewards will come as well. Riot also hasn’t confirmed how often it’ll refresh the battle pass. If similar games are anything to go by, Valorant will likely have seasons, with each season featuring the launch of a new battle pass.

What are the Valorant system requirements?

Riot Games

Valorant, like most other competitive shooters, has very low system specs. Any modern machine can tear through the game with 144+ fps, while older systems should still maintain a solid 60 fps. We don’t know for sure what resolution or graphical quality the specs are based on, so you may have to lower your quality or resolution if you have an older system. Here are the system requirements released by Riot Games.

Minimum requirements

Before getting to the CPU and GPU, you’ll need at least these specs to even run Valorant. 

  • OS: Windows 7-10 64-bit
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Video Memory: 1GB

Minimum system specs ~ 30 fps

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
  • GPU: Intel HD 4000

Recommended system specs ~ 60 fps

  • CPU: Intel i3-4150
  • GPU: GeForce GT 730

High-end system specs – 144+ fps

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4460
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Will Valorant have more game modes?

The only Valorant game mode right now is the CS:GO-like Search and Destroy mode. Come time for launch, this will likely be the only game mode available still. The Valorant development team is on record saying they’re open to exploring other game modes. However, these will come post-launch. Like console ports, Riot Games is open to more game modes in the future, but the core focus is the game mode that’s available now.

How many maps and Agents are there?

The Valorant closed beta has three maps and 10 Agents. Riot Games has confirmed, however, that the full release will come with four maps and 12 Agents. More maps and Agents will come in future updates, though we don’t know the timeline Riot has in mind. Furthermore, we don’t know if the future Agents will join the game for free or as part of the battle pass like Apex Legends.

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