Valorant’s beta first launched in the summer of 2020, but how is the game holding up two years later? We take a deep dive into the state of the modern Valorant meta.
This excellent video by Upsurge underlines the current state of the meta. One of the most interesting statistics is that the player base has remained relatively consistent for the past 2 years. Hovering consistently at about 14 million average monthly players.
Hype Horizen is very proud of our existing competitive Valorant players and we’re interested in expanding our team. Players new to Valorant would likely appreciate its consistent updates, healthy active community, and tactical gameplay.
Tactical Hero Shooter
The most obvious description of Valorant is that it’s Counter-Strike meets Overwatch. The tactical gunplay is very skill-based, and the hero abilities are carefully designed to enhance the shooting, not overshadow it. Many of the abilities have their roots as Counter-Strike items, such as molotovs and flashbangs. Characters also have powerful ultimates, similar to Overwatch, giving them access to game-changing abilities like one-hit-kills, teammate revives, and epic area control. Ranked matches tend to last a whopping 45 minutes and require a pretty heavy time commitment from both 5 player teams.
Shooting and Strategy
One important element to the shooting in Valorant is that characters can generally not shoot accurately while moving. So it’s more about camping corners, or running up to a specific spot, standing still, and firing. Much of the skill comes down to aiming and crosshair placement. However, most abilities can be used while moving, so some Agents will still have options while on the run. Economic strategy.also plays a huge part: similar to Counter-Strike, players must buy their load out each round. But recharges of hero abilities must also be purchased, meaning every special skill must be used carefully.
2 Years of Live Content
Valorant launched with 12 Agents, but has since increased that number to 20. However those Agents are all split into 4 roles, and many roles feature redundant abilities that might feel different to play as, but more similar to play against.
- Duelists – (Jett, Neon, Phoenix, Raze, Reyna, Yoru) – The majority of Agents are Duelists. Duelists are optimized to win 1v1 fights against other non-Duelists. They have a variety of abilities the hinder visibility, enhance mobility, attack or heal directly, and generally aid in direct combat. The best Duelist for new players is Raze with her movement and attack options. The most powerful duelist is undoubtedly Jett, but her power is limited by the player’s ability to quickly aim and shoot while dashing around.
- Initiators – (Sova, Skye, Kay/O, Fade, Breach) – Initiators have the ability to, well… initiate a push and could be considered supporters. Duelists are much more likely to survive if they coordinate their attack with the Initiator. Sova and Sky have the ability to send in remote-controlled drone cameras that give them intel on enemy positioning. Breach and Fade have the ability to target enemies through walls and impede their movement. The robotic Agent Kay/O has the unique ability that disable opponent weapons and it also features slightly enhanced gunfire speed for its own weapons.
- Sentinels – (Sage, Killjoy, Cypher, Chamber) – Sentinels have the ability to slow opponents down and reveal their location. Most Sentinels also have amazing Ultimate abilities. Sage has the unique ability to revive a downed teammate with her ultimate, similar to Mercy in Overwatch. Cypher’s ultimate can use the body of a dead opponent to reveal the location of the entire enemy team. Killjoy’s ultimate gives players a 13 second warning to get out of a large area, or risk being slowed and disabled for 8 seconds. Chamber can summon a powerful sniper rifle that not only kills instantly, but slows down any allies around the target when it hits. All of these Ults have the power to dramatically change the course of a battle.
- Controllers – (Astra, Brimstone, Omen, Viper) – All controllers have the ability to create orbs of smoke with slightly different rules. They are generally used to block corners and angels, preventing the opponent from shooting and clearing paths for your allies. They also all have pretty powerful ultimates, dealing direct damage to wide areas, dividing the maps and splitting up players.
Valorant also now features 7 unique maps (after launching with only 4) and those maps have undergone numerous minor tweaks over the years. Small changes like benches being added and removed, boxes being stacked in a slightly different formation, etc, have been made to improve the overall fairness for both attacking and defending players.
Toxcity in the Valorant community
Upsurge makes another excellent comment about the toxicity of the Valorant community, especially in online ranked modes. Because the game requires voice chat, 45-minute long matches, and 5-player teams… it is all but inevitable that most losing matches will trend towards toxic behavior, especially given that the player base is mostly teenagers. The best way to mitigate this toxicity would be to play with a consistent team of people you know.