Earlier this week Riot Games officially announced Valorant, their Overwatch-style 5v5 hero shooter, and, of course, one question immediately arose – how will Riot monetize their game? Overwatch was the game that really popularized the dreaded loot box after all.
Well, we now have some more information about Valorant monetization plans, and it sounds like Riot won’t be trying to foist anything too egregious on players. Valorant will be free to play, with a variety of skins for characters and weapons, sprays, and other cosmetics for sale in-game. There will also be a Fortnite-style battle pass system, with many of the game’s cosmetics being earnable through gameplay. Notably, Valorant won’t be offering any sort of loot boxes.
In other Valorant news, we previously heard the game will focus on low-latency online gameplay with 128-tick servers and industry-leading netcode. A recent Polygon article shed a bit more light on how Riot is trying to make online play as seamless and fair as possible. For instance, if one player in a game has a bad connection, you won’t see them skipping around the map as often happens in other shooters. The person with the bad connection will still see themselves skipping around, but the game will fill in their animations so other players won’t notice there’s an issue.
Riot is also trying to deal with the age-old “peeker’s advantage” – for those unfamiliar, the way most online shooters interact with their servers means you can often see your opponents a split second before they see you when you turn a corner. Obviously, some people take advantage of this by repeatedly peeking around corners to get the drop on opponents. Riot hasn’t managed to completely eliminate the peeker’s advantage, but they’ve got it down to around 60ms – largely undetectable for most players.
Valorant launches on PC sometime this summer. What do you think? Can Riot carve out a niche in the competitive hero shooter field?