Everything you need to know about VALORANT
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VALORANT has taken over the world of gaming. Riot Games is well-known for its popular MOBA title, League of Legends, and it is looking to make its way into competitive shooters. VALORANT feels and plays a lot like CS in terms of gunplay, audio, and pacing. But, it replaces utility with Agents that have varying abilities, similar to Overwatch. Today, April 3, is the first chance we are getting at seeing lengthy gameplay that was recorded in secret by big streamers and content creators. The recorded content allowed them to play the game extensively, and even compete in a Twitch Rivals event, behind the scenes. All of this gameplay has answered many questions that I, and I'm sure many others, had surrounding certain mechanics and elements of the game. Here is where I will divulge all the knowledge I have obtained through watching multiple streams, and I hope it provides more insight for everyone that gives it a look.
Armor in VALORANT is very simple, and much like CS:GO. There are two tiers; Light and Heavy. Light offers you 25 armor, while heavy offers you 50 armor. Your base health is 100. Unlike CS, the light armor does provide head protection and prevents you from being one-tapped. The armor also offers damage mitigation of 50%, until it breaks.
VALORANT sports an economy system, much like CS, where weapons, abilities, and armor all cost money that is earned by winning rounds, eliminating enemies, and planting the spike (bomb). A small, but at the same time big, difference in the economy presentation in VALORANT opposed to CS:GO is that you are able to see the enemy's economy. In CS, money for the enemy team cannot be seen, making you have to guess what their money is like and what weapons they will have. VALORANT eliminates this element by providing that information to players. This is a feature that I'm sure will see a divide in acceptance, but that's the way it works.
The "buy menu" period in VALORANT also allows players to move around their spawn side of the map, but a wall prevents you from advancing too far into the map. This idea is a very good one, in my opinion, and I'll explain why. This feature mitigates an issue we see in CS, and many other shooters, in that players rely on random spawns to determine where they will go at round start. If you spawn closer to a bomb site in CS, then that is usually the most efficient bomb site for you to go to for timing and positioning reasons. Due to the freedom in the buy menu period, this is no longer an obstacle.
Buying weapons for your teammates is also an option in VALORANT if they are low on money, or you managed to save a rifle in the previous round where they did not. A small enhancement Riot made to this feature is that you do not have to buy the weapon then drop it on the ground for your teammate to retrieve. Instead, your teammate can right-click the weapon they want, and they will request the weapon next to their character portrait in the buy menu. You can click their request to fulfill it, and the weapon will appear in your teammate's hands. Once again, this is a small enhancement, but it is a very nice one that allows your teammates to set up the way they want to without having to leave their desired pre-round position.
The buy menu also showcases weapon damage numbers on all weapons, making it much easier to calculate damage per bullet and know how many it will take to kill an opponent.
The mechanics in VALORANT, you guessed it, feel and operate a lot like CS. Though the game seems to feel more like 1.6 than GO, the contrast is very out in the open. I am going to list things that are the same or very similar:
- Aiming and using weapons while moving is not advised as they become extremely inaccurate
- Bullets slow you drastically while being shot
- There are three forms of movement, normal running, walking, and crouching, the latter of the two being silent
- Running with your knife out does offer a boost in speed
- Most walls seem thin and can be sprayed/shot through
Here is how the games differ in the form of mechanics and gameplay:
- You cannot head boost on your teammates
- There are 12 rounds in a half, first to 13 wins
- 128 tick rate serves :P
- Snipers do not auto re-zoom after shooting
- There is a ping system, similar to Apex Legends
- You can ADS in VALORANT, but the weapons still have recoil patterns similar to being fired from the hip
Some of the greater differences in the games are surrounded by the utility in CS versus abilities in VALORANT. Abilities are purchased in the buy menu, except for your ultimate. Your ultimate ability can be charged in two ways. One is obtaining orbs on the map, and the other is getting kills. It takes seven ticks to get to your ultimate using the mixture of these two.
A damage report will come on your screen after death that displays three sections of the body: head, chest, and legs. The damage report will detail how many times you were shot in these areas, and the total amount of damage sustained. This confirms that damage to the chest and leg areas will differ in VALORANT due to them being classified separately, meaning "legging" people will still be a mechanic in VALORANT.
This section could have been included under gameplay, but there are some significant differences that I thought worthy of creating a separate category. Defusing and planting the bomb does generate a sound queue for players in the area, just like in CS. Defusing in VALORANT though provides a "checkpoint." When you begin defusing the bomb, a progress bar comes on the screen. On that bar, there is a line that indicates the halfway mark of the defuse. If you get it to that halfway mark and then are forced off the bomb for whatever reason, when you or a teammate come back to it, the defuse begins at that halfway mark.
It also appears that instead of the bomb detonation having a varying range of damage like in CS, the bomb detonation in VALORANT has a visual area of effect that will kill a player that is in it. So, even you find yourself at the rings very edge; it will kill no matter your health.
Content creators and streamers had the ability to play two maps in their secret sessions. One map had three bomb sites, while the other had two.
I don't want to dive too deep into agents and their abilities, as I feel it would be a bit redundant and lengthy. You can find a list of the agents and all their abilities on this cool image put together by Ollie Toms and his complete guide over at Rock Paper Shotgun.
I am sure there are other elements that I am missing, but these are a large portion that covers gameplay and mechanics. As I encounter and discover small nuances or interactions, I will update this post to help make it even more of a one-stop-shop for players.