Valorant

Riot explain their strategy for balancing Valorant Agents & weapons

by Michael Gwilliam
Riot Games

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In a new developer video, Valorant designers Salvatore ‘Volcano’ Garozzo and Trevor ‘Classick’ Romleski delve further into their balance philosophies for the game, and what can we expect in the future for patches.

Since the beta’s release on April 7, thousands of gamers have had a chance to test out Riot’s upcoming tactical shooter and while the results have been mostly positive, some players are wondering when certain Agents, such as Raze, will be nerfed.

“For Valorant we want to take an approach where we’re not knee-jerk reacting to whatever we see on a forum or whatever social platform,” Classick said, mentioning how he worked on League of Legends and was familiar with that game’s balance strategy. “We want to make sure that there’s time for players to problem solve, use all the systems and content in the game to see if they can figure out if something is truly OP or truly underpowered.”

(Timestamp 2:47 for mobile viewers.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu6g1uADlGg

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Volcano chimed in shortly thereafter. “With that being said, we’re going to find a tough balance here. We need to find when is the right time to step in and introduce a patch versus when it would be better to just let things take their course and let players solve the problem on their own.”

This is subject to change, however, as Classick noted this was their current take and they will be “feeling it out” as they go and see what the community wants.

Additionally, another big area for balance is when players begin to get used to the game and improve their muscle memory for things like recoil, projectiles and other weapons.

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It’s still very early in the game’s lifespan so there’s still a bit of a learning process for everything playing the title, so as the game progresses, players will have more knowledge and the devs will have more accurate data to work with.

“We want to be very, very delicate with how we approach changing those if they need to be changed,” Volcano explained.

“We definitely want to respect the knowledge that you build up over time and the muscle memory that you build from playing the game for a lot of hours,” Classick concluded. “We want to respect the time that you put into the game.”

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With Valorant’s ranked mode coming “soon” it will be interesting to see if there are any balance changes that accompany the first big content drop for the beta.

Until then, it's anyone's guess as to what the first batch of nerfs and buffs will entail.