Valorant needs to keep the game fresh by bringing back all maps

Daniel Appleford

Riot Games needs to open up the Valorant map pool to include all the maps for unrated and competitive play to prevent the game from becoming stale.

There are currently 10 maps in Valorant, with another one to be revealed after Masters Shanghai concludes on June 9. However, only seven of the 10 maps are in the rotation for Swiftplay, Unrated, Deathmatch, Escalation, and Competitive.

Valorant has built a reputation for its dynamic map pool, constantly rotating maps while making adjustments. Breeze and Icebox, for instance, underwent significant layout changes before being introduced to the public, enhancing the game’s unpredictability and strategic depth.

Valorant recently removed Haven, Fracture, and Pearl from the rotation, leaving Ascent, Icebox, Breeze, Sunset, Bind, Lotus, and Split as the remaining maps. This decision was criticized by professional players, who thought it made the map pool “boring” in comparison.

valorant pearl map
Pearl offers up an underwater experience for Valorant players.

Since Pearl and Fracture left on November 22, the map pool has become stale and repetitive for the average casual player. This was made even worse when Haven was replaced by Icebox at the start of Episode 8 in January.

Multiple community members have heavily criticized the decision, demanding that the developers stop removing maps to keep the game from getting “stale”.

With a new map on the horizon, it seems like Riot will continue to shift around the maps without letting players adjust and enjoy them as they are released like Pearl, which was only in the map rotation for just over a year before being pulled.

Other games, most notably Overwatch, rotate all maps for both competitive and casual play, allowing players to explore the game’s many features. However, when it comes to Valorant, the lack of map selection draws players away.

In fairness to Riot, the map pool is there for a reason, especially regarding professional play. Having a limited number of maps within the rotation allows professional teams to focus on strategies for those maps and leaves enough maps open for a best-of-five series.

With this in mind, it’s time for Riot to focus on allowing all of the maps to be played and only limit the map pool to professional play.

That way, not all maps have to have a strategy from a professional standpoint, but casual players can still enjoy the benefits and keep the game more engaging and refreshed.