Riot Games have vowed to “evolve” the FPS genre with Valorant and it appears that the developers are taking all of the right steps to make that happen.
Riot’s 5v5 character-based tactical shooter has hit the ground running after dropping a gameplay teaser trailer on March 2.
Valorant’s alpha version has received an abundance of praise from playtesters and fans alike, and the developer’s pledge to mitigate cheating, alongside their commitment to providing a level playing field has got plenty of esports fans excited.
Riot have been vocal about their efforts to “ensuring a high-fidelity gameplay experience” in their free-to-play title.
As part of their mission to achieve that, they are including: “dedicated 128-tick servers for all players; a global spread of data centers and a custom-built netcode in pursuit of precise hit registration.”
Our @PlayVALORANT commitments: 128-tick servers, 30+ FPS on decade old computers, 60-144 FPS on current gaming rigs, datacenters aimed at <35ms for players in major cities around the world, a netcode we’ve been obsessing over for years, and a commitment to anti-cheat from day one
— nicolo (@niiicolo) March 2, 2020
Alongside improving the player experience tenfold, Riot are also incorporating “proprietary anti-cheat prevention and detection from day one.”
Valorant’s server quality and infrastructure
Riot have promised to do their bit to fight ‘peeker’s advantage,’ a common crux to fast-paced shooter games where an attacking player can sometimes see (and shoot) a defending player before the defending player can react, due to poor or low-quality network and server issues.
How, you might ask? Riot have been working with Internet Service Providers since 2014 to create ‘Riot Direct’ — a global network with points of presence in 25 cities around the world.
This means that at least 70% of Valorant’s global player base will have 35ms ping or less (if you’re based in a major city).
To top it off, Riot have guaranteed 128-tick servers for everyone, right from the get-go, which upsamples player movement to 128 frames per second.
So even if your opponent is lagging due to a poor internet connection, Valorant servers will automatically upscale their movement to be silky smooth so you don’t have to suffer the consequences. All of this, completely free of charge.
Valorant anti-cheat systems
Riot have also promised to take down the final boss of online gaming — hackers. To do this, they have incorporated several techniques, which (when combined) provide the ultimate resistance to hackers.
One of the biggest hacks in an FPS is wallhacking. So Riot has an in-built wallhack-resistant ‘Fog of War’ system, which “omits player locations until just before line of sight contact.”
Alongside taking wallhacks out of the equation, all Valorant games are what’s been dubbed ‘server-authoritative.’ This means the server framework is end-to-end controlled exclusively by Riot, so no third party server queries can be made — preventing things like speed hacks happening.
The icing on the cake is that Valorant will make use of League of Legends’ anti-tamper system, complemented by a brand-new anti-cheat platform called Vanguard.
On the face of it, this is a uniquely designed algorithm that is designed to detect cheats and evolve as the game develops. Riot says that “any game with a cheater detected will be ended immediately and forgiven for all other players.”
Alongside all of Valorant’s efforts to reduce cheating in the shooter realm, the character-based shooter will run on a relatively low-specification machine, which means that the vast majority of the PC Master Race will be able to get their hands on the title from day one.
So while Riot’s Valorant might not be there to take the crown of other leading FPS on the market, it is certainly setting the bar for the competition.
It’s no wonder why players all around the world are eager to get their hands on the tactical shooter in Summer 2020.