Riot exploring changes to Valorant’s map system, but still won’t let players select

Phoenix and Viper walking in ValorantRiot Games

Continuing the eternal ‘will they, won’t they’ of player-based map picking in Valorant, Riot Games has come out and openly knocked back the idea again. However, they’re still looking at ways to diversify map selection beyond their current system.

With the ever growing list of maps in the pool for Valorant, players have long pushed for a CS:GO-style map selection system.

With Riot pumping out new maps every few months, and map 8 getting a sneaky teaser at the tail end of 2021, the debate has resurfaced as to whether the current ‘weighted random’ system gives a fair division of playtime on  each map.

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However, with some players still having their playtime skewed towards some maps rather than others — spending more time on Icebox or Fracture than Split or Haven — the status quo has been called into question.

fracture mapRiot Games
Valorant players still want the option to choose maps to queue for, but Riot isn’t convinced yet.

Developer Jonathan ‘EvrMoar’ Walker chimed in with this handy explanation: “[Weighted Random] looks at previous matches played and lasts for multiple games after you get that map. I don’t want to talk about how many, but it does look back a ways on your match history and keeps the weight of running into that map.”

The dev also added, behind closed doors, Riot are “actively talking about this system and exploring ideas”.

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The most popular alternative offered to the weighted random system is a feature taken straight from CS:GO, where players pick from a smaller list of maps to potentially play on, instead of the full list.

This flexibility, while allowing for players to stick to maps they enjoy, has the downside of causing skill imbalances within ranked games. Riot are keen to avoid players being “Gold on Blind, but Bronze in Breeze”.

They also want players to take time to learn new maps when they release rather than avoiding them.

“Another thing that happens is that players don’t spend the time to learn a new map they may love! It does suck not knowing a map, but if the community always avoids it may bleed a fun map from the game,” EvrMoar added.

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Another potential option is the “map ban” system similar to how Riot allows for banning champions in League of Legends. A familiarity with the system could be an indicator of how they will approach any potential changes.

This is nothing new however as Riot have been teasing that they’ve been looking at solutions since September 2021.

While pleasant to see that Riot are taking player feedback to heart it remains to be seen just how this will get implemented in-game.