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 shooter.
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, Search and Destroy, 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. This main game mode can be played in either unrated or ranked matches.
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.
Since launch, Valorant has added the Spike Rush game mode. This is a quicker, best-of-seven-rounds mode where every attacker is equipped with a spike, and all players have the same weapon and all of their abilities; there is no buy round.
Valorant‘s seasons will be known as Acts, each bringing new additions to the game including new Agents, maps, and modes.
What platforms is Valorant on?
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.
Does 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.
Does Valorant have a battle pass?
Yes. If you have the pass, you’ll receive rewards the more you play, and each pass refreshes with every new Act.
What are the Valorant system requirements?
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.
Before getting to the CPU and GPU, you’ll need at least these specs to even run Valorant.
OS: Windows 7-10 64-bit
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 modes right now are the CS:GO-like Search and Destroy mode and the Spike Rush mode. The Valorant development team is on record saying they’re open to exploring other game modes.
How many maps and Agents are there?
Valorant currently has four maps and 11 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.
Agents belong to one of four classes. Jett, Raze, Phoenix, and Reyna are all Duelists, meaning they are the front-line attackers. The Initiators, Agents that gather intel, are Breach and Sova. Omen, Brimstone, and Viper are all Controllers, Agents that provide offensive support. Sage and Cypher are the two Sentinels, and they excel in defending.
A 12th agent, Killjoy, will be added to the game along with Act II on August 4. She is of the Sentinel class and a German roboticist who uses different drones to attack and defend.