Everything we know about Valorant, Riot Games' new tactical hero shooter

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Would you love to play Overwatch and Counter-Strike: GO at the same time?

That’s where Valorant, the new game from League of Legends developer Riot Games comes in. The FPS combines elements of hero shooters like Overwatch with tactical shooters like CS:GO. Since it debuted, Valorant has become quite popular on streaming platforms, making those who have yet to play the title even more eager to get going. Here's everything we know so far about Valorant.

When is the Valorant release date?

Valorant will enter open beta for PC players on June 2.

What platforms will be Valorant available for?

As far as we know at this point, Riot only plans to release Valorant on PC. The game could come to consoles down the line, but don't expect to see it anytime soon. League of Legends took ten years to reach consoles, but it did so eventually as League of Legends: Wild Rush. Wild Rush is a little faster-paced than its PC counterpart to account for the typically shorter play sessions among console gamers.

Does Valorant have a story?

A narrative is hinted at in the game, but you're not required to progress through the story in order to play. A full scope of lore will be available through supplementary materials like animated shorts and other media, which resembles what Blizzard does with Overwatch.

Shooting guns

Riot Games

What is "Valorant" in the game?

Valorant is an agency comprised of characters with special abilities, and its members will make up most of your playable characters. It remains to be seen if other factions will be introduced as the narrative moves forward.

What modes does Valorant have?

Valorant’s main draw is essentially CS:GO’s defuse mode, which they have renamed Demolition. The mode features two teams of five. An attacking team has a bomb they can plant on various sites, while the defending team has to protect their locations. Every player only has a single life, so either team can simply eliminate the opposing party to win the round.

Each round lasts 1 minute, 40 seconds. You'll start on attack or defense then switch sides every 12 rounds. Players will continue to go through rounds until one team has reached 13 wins. This has materialized as most matches lasting upwards of 30 minutes.

Valorant changes things up a bit from the standard CS:GO formula by throwing hero-type characters known as "Agents" and abilities into the mix, similar to those found in Overwatch and Paladins. Heroes will make every match just a little bit different.

Unlike other hero shooters, you’ll be unable to change your character once the match begins, so make sure your first choice is your ideal choice.

Check out that spicy nuclear reactor.

Riot Games

What are Agents in Valorant?

Similar to "Heroes" in Overwatch or "Champions" in League of Legends, playable characters in Valorant have the snappy name of "Agents." Each Agent fits into one of Valorant's four classes: Controller, Sentinel, Initiator, and Duelist.

Controllers are characters that act as deterrents to the opposition's progress. They primarily use techniques that can disable foes in some manner with Area-of-effect attacks. Perhaps they'll put up massive walls to block foes, they might use Slow to reduce enemy speed to a crawl, or activate smokescreens that block vision.

Sentinels are perennial defenders in Valorant. They'll assist the team with traps that can kill enemies without entering combat, which helps fortify locations. Sentinels also have abilities like cameras that can scout when enemies are nearby.

Initiators are characters intended to cut off chokepoints and counter defenders. Many Initiators have access to stunning abilities, letting them stop foes in their tracks.

Duelists are the real offensive characters of Valorant. They'll act as your team's DPSes, focusing on engaging and eliminating enemies. They're formidable when it comes to clearing corners. You should also let them act as your vanguard when taking a point

How many Agents will be available in Valorant at launch?

There will be 10 Agents available when the open beta launches. More will launch in the future, depending on what the meta calls for.

You'll begin with five characters:

  • Sage (Sentinel)
  • Jett (Duelist)
  • Phoenix (Duelist)
  • Brimstone (Controller)
  • Sova (Initiator)

As you progress, more characters will be unlocked. There are currently five known unlockable characters:

  • Cypher (Sentinel, must be unlocked)
  • Raze (Duelist, must be unlocked)
  • Viper (Controller, must be unlocked)
  • Omen (Controller, must be unlocked)
  • Breach (Initiator, must be unlocked)

If the Open Beta is anything like the closed beta, additional Agents can be unlocked by getting their Agent Contract to Level 5. This means either having said active while you're in battle or paying for it with an in-game currency, Valorant points. Each level costs 200 Valorant points, which converts to two real-world dollars. This is essentially a mix of the Battle Pass system with League of Legends' character leveling system.

Each Agent has a variety of abilities that can range from lethal attacks to reviving teammates. You’ll have to try out them all when the game launches.

What weapons can characters use in the game?

Any of them! Guns are purchased before each round. No character is limited to a specific gun or loadout, simply use what works best for you!

How much will Valorant cost? Are there loot boxes?

Your money is safe with Riot! Like in League of Legends, Valorant is completely free-to-play. There are no loot boxes just yet, the only thing you’ll have to pay for right now are cosmetics, specifically weapon cosmetics which are available in the store. You can decide the exact skin you want and pay for it or purchase it within a bundle!

The store currently offers weapon skins and buddies (essentially weapon charms) in exchange for Valorant points. There are currently six Valorant point bundles available:

  • $4.99 for 475 points
  • $9.99 for 1000 points
  • $19.99 for 2050 points
  • $34.99 for 3650 points
  • $49.99 for 5350 points
  • $99.99 for 11000 points

If purchasing cosmetics through the store seems expensive, you can also earn gun skins, buddies, and other goodies through leveling up Agent Contracts. Each Agent Contract level will provide a few new items to use.

Is there a trailer for Valorant?

Yes, you can check out here:

The trailer shows how a full round plays out, along with a gander at the gun storefront before the action begins.

One minute in, a colorful wall obstructs the player’s line of sight. However, this wall can still be shot through. A minute and a half in, the player uses a drone to survey the area, showing just how many different abilities are available. At multiple points throughout the trailer, an electric bow is pulled out, implying there might be other elemental bows available in the wonderful world of Valorant.

Valorant will launch for PC on June 2, 2020

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