Riot just unveiled crucial information about Valorant, their first character-based tactical FPS. A quick look at the most recently-released Valorant gameplay video, the game bears plenty of similarities with both CSGO and Overwatch. Most importantly, Riot said the game will officially launch this summer. But the BETA, however, will be released on April 7.
Here's how to get into the BETA:
- Connect your Twitch account to your Riot account
- Watch a Valorant stream on the BETA release - April 7, to have a chance to join the closed BETA.
There's still plenty of room for speculation since the game isn't out yet. However, that doesn't mean you can prepare for the game, even if you're jumping in as early as the beta. Today, we're going to talk about what to expect when Valorant beta launches based on the two games it's closest to in both mechanics and aesthetics.
Valorant Beta Expectations - The Rundown
For those who just want to get the gist of things, here's a TL;DR version of what to expect from the game:
- Are you new to first-person shooters? Valorant would be a great starter title that will let you transition to other existing competitive shooters.
- Are you currently an Overwatch player? You will have an easier time getting used to the character-based abilities. However, they will have to adapt to the faster TTK (time-to-kill), and focus more on their aim.
- Are you a CSGO veteran? You will have an easy time transitioning to Valorant because of the gunplay. However, getting used to the character abilities will be a major hurdle.
That's it for the rundown based on our experience playing both of the older shooters. How did we come up with these expectations? Let's give these points a closer look.
Players New to FPS
If you are new to first-person shooters, then Valorant would be a promising title. According to Riot, Valorant will be free to play, so you don't really lose anything trying out the game. Valorant's official website also shows that the devs aiming for a 30 frames per second minimum, even for older PC setups. Add an ambitious <35ms latency and high server tick for all regions where the game is launched and you're in for a very accessible FPS.
The game may look intimidating for players new to the genre. The fast-paced gunplay and the flashy abilities seem overwhelming at first glance. Fortunately, Riot said that they will put a heavy emphasis on clarity as they keep developing the game.
The best thing about starting with Valorant as your first FPS is its versatility. Get the hang of the game and you will be able to transition to either Overwatch or CSGO easily if you wish to do so. However, we do suggest getting a good start by trying either of the older games before Valorant beta servers go live.
Like Overwatch, Valorant's "Agents" will have character-based abilities that will dictate the pace of a match. Overwatch's gameplay depends heavily on these abilities. Because of this, we expect Overwatch players to have no problems getting used to their ability system.
Of course, there will be a couple of differences between Overwatch and Valorant's ability-based mechanics. For example, Overwatch heroes have full access to their abilities, with ultimates being usable on a full charge. Agent skills only be accessible if purchased for the current round (similar to grenades in CSGO). Also, the ultimate abilities will only be available after a certain number of rounds has passed (instead of being meter-based).
What's the catch? The gunplay is quite different from Overwatch. All the weapons (barring ability projectiles) are hitscan, hit like a truck, and have recoil. Time to kill (TTK) is extremely short, so you can expect to die a lot faster than if you would get focused in Overwatch. Therefore, you need to learn to shake off your dependence on auto-aimed, projectile, and melee weapons.
Valorant's gunplay is very similar to CSGO. However, based on what we've seen so far, the recoil for most guns are significantly lower than in the older FPS. You still have your standard collection of pistols, submachineguns, assault rifles, snipers, and shotguns. Since gunplay is the bigger aspect of Riot's new FPS, transitioning from CSGO will be easier than transitioning from Overwatch.
There's also the more grounded playstyle and match formats. Riot said they'll be adding multiple game modes. However, we think the classic bomb/defuse mode will take priority and become the main format for competitive matches. Because of the game's buy system and the familiarity with bomb/defuse mode, CSGO players will also have an edge when it comes to eco-management.
Agent abilities will be the bane of a CSGO player planning to make the switch. Depending on your Agent of choice, you can either deny zones, provide intel around corners, and even bring back dead teammates. These could be difficult to deal with for a CSGO player. Why? Because CSGO gameplay generally involves holding angles and stealth to get the drop on the opposition. A single drone could scout you from a blind corner, rendering your ambush ineffective.
Other Things to Expect from Valorant Beta
Aside from these speculated transitions, we also have a small list of what we think will also be part of the Valorant experience.
- Access to all guns will help keep the playing field even. However, agents with scouting and healing/resurrection will be a staple of meta teams.
- Similar to CSGO, competitive matches will favor certain guns, like this game's equivalent of the AWP/M4/AK.
- Since ultimates will be available after a certain amount of rounds, expect the meta to involve "going eco" before the round when the big playmaking abilities are available.
Valorant Dev AMA Highlights
Classick, the lead game designer of Valorant held an AMA session on the official Valorant discord server. Here are some of the most important info that we were able to find out from the session.
- The game has been in development for six years. The first three years were spent on research while the last half was spent on pre-production/production.
- Support for colorblind people is currently in development.
- Like with League of Legends, the devs will be looking to improve the game based on customer feedback and suggestions.
- However, the game is a completely separate IP from LoL.
- There are no set schedules for how often they will patch the game, but the devs say regular patches will be a thing.
- There are currently no plans for single-player modes.
- Classick's favorite hero is Omen, followed by Brimstone.
- All agents will have the same HP and hitbox.
- Agents will be able to move relatively unhindered unlike in CSGO. However, devs plan to limit their mobility.
- Agents will not have self-regeneration like in CoD, although some agents can heal using abilities.
- Some agent abilities will be affected by recoil and movement.
- Some agent abilities can also be ricocheted around corners.
- Agent abilities will render you unarmed, forcing you to choose between guns versus abilities for a given situation.
- Signature abilities (ultimates) are unique per character instead of having standardized cooldowns.
- Brimstone's stim packs works on all rounds.
- There currently no global utilities, but it may change depending on how the game turns out.
- The guns will have recoil and shot spread.
- Shooting a weapon will also cause camera shake.
- Most of the guns will also have an ADS (aim-down-sights) feature like in Rainbow Six Siege. However, there will be no leaning mechanic.
- Hipfire (non-ADS) firing will have some spread.
- There will be an in-depth writeup for weapon spray patterns vs recoil.
- Movement will affect a weapon's accuracy.
- Shots will have varying degrees of wall penetration. It will also be possible to shout through two people.
- Weapons will have varying reload speeds and sounds that can be heard by nearby players.
- Some guns will have lethal (1-hit kill) headshots while others will not.
Other gameplay-related Info
- Crosshairs will be customizable.
- Players will have a set amount of money on the first round and a guaranteed "minimum income" for each round.
- The core gameplay mode will be bomb plant/defuse.
- Each map will have a unique element. For example, one map has three bomb sites.
- Players that got disconnected will be able to rejoin a game.
- There is no sky box so agents can "throw" abilities as high as they can.
- The game will have a server tick rate of 128.
Valorant Release Date and Beta Keys
There's already plenty of hype about the game's release date, but it's still mostly speculation beyond an official statement saying a "summer 2020" launch.
However, @ValorantPRO has this interesting tweet:
We could be getting our hands on the open beta sooner than later, with key players (possibly high profile streamers and pro gamers) having earlier access.
Important! - There's already talk about Valorant beta keys being available through giveaways or sales. These are not true; Riot has never mentioned anything about beta keys. Any offers of said beta keys are most likely scams or phishing attempts, so watch out for them!
Valorant Beta Expectations - Conclusion
That wraps up our discussion on what you can possibly expect when Valorant beta goes live. Do you have your own ideas that can help you get a good start when the game launches? Let us know in the comments section below!