Riot Game's Valorant, a multiplayer first-person hero shooter similar to Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has seen massive success on Twitch since it entered Closed Beta in early April for streamers and other content creators. But Riot Games has made a major change in how Valorant keys are distributed, so for anyone who's interested, here's how you can gain access to play the game right now on PC.
Riot Games announced the changes to beta key distribution on Tuesday,
Step 1: Connect your Riot Games account and start watching streams on Twitch — If you weren't directly given a code by Riot Games, the only way to get a Valorant key is to watch the game on the popular live-streaming platform Twitch. You'll need both a Riot Games and Twitch account that are already linked in order to get a Valorant code. Once you do that, start watching one of the hundreds of Valorant streams that is going on, and the more hours you watch, the more likely it is that you'll get a beta code distributed to your Twitch inbox.
Step 2: Wait for the keys to drop — This is where the major change to how keys a distributed has happened. Previously, Valorant key drops only happened at certain times on certain streams. Now, any Valorant stream can give award you with a key to the closed beta. While the number of keys being given out hasn't increased on Riot Games' end, the process to get a closed beta key has just gotten a lot simpler on the viewer side of things. Just watch as much Valorant as you can from any Twitch stream, and it'll increase your chances.
That's all there is until getting a code, and that may ease your frustration. The random nature of Valorant key drops might seem frustrating, but mainly because this feels like an experiment for the industry at large. This new method for beta code distribution is pretty much unprecedented. Still, Riot Games did take the time to address key distribution in the post that revealed the recent key drop changes: "We know there’s a lot of demand, and it can be frustrating not to get access after a few days of watching," the post reads. "There are many of you, and we’re trying."
"Our goal with [the] Valorant Closed Beta is to learn all the things we need to know going into launch, and one of those lessons is server load management," the post also reads. "We are still in the active process of rolling out server infrastructure around the world — including more in EU and NA — and closed beta is doing a great job of telling us where we need to be."
The Inverse Analysis — The main purpose of betas like this is to stress-test servers, and Riot made that clear in its statement. If too many people are given access, it's entirely possible that the whole infrastructure would crash and no one would be able to play. That's why beta key deployment has been slow and steady.
As some connectivity issues already exist, all Riot Games can do is work on their server infrastructure and control how many codes go out. Regardless, getting a code has become an easier process, so keep watching Valorant on Twitch and you should get a code at some point.
Valorant is in closed beta now and will be released by Riot Games sometime in summer 2020.