Valorant players call for fix to footstep audio giving unfair advantage

Riot Games / Dexerto

Valorant’s footstep audio has long been a hot topic of debate among its player base, but now players are calling for a tweak to the depth of sound given off by enemy movement.

While the visuals of a tactical first-person shooter can make the game great, poor audio can be a deal-breaker.

Ever since Valorant launched its closed beta in April, there have been numerous attempts to tweak the game’s audio in a bid to make it more audibly appealing to players. From headshot and weapon sound effects to making Agents’ sound cues more distinctive, Riot have been perfecting sound visualization since the game’s release.

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Although, one area which has remained under scrutiny is footstep audio. Ever since the game’s beta, players have had their gripes with the two-dimensional sound cues given off by footsteps around the map.

Valorant gameplay on Ascent.Riot Games
Enemy footsteps can be heard through multiple walls, with next to no sound buffer.

Time for Riot to tweak Valorant’s footsteps?

Valorant’s footsteps are two-dimensional in the sense that there is no distinguishable drop-off depending on where they’re stemming from. Meaning that players can hear an enemy five meters away in the same room just like they would if there was a wall between both parties.

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This is the crux of one player’s argument, who contested that the current state of Valorant’s audio presents a distinct advantage for Defenders. “There is little if any sound drop-off from footsteps next to a player and footsteps at the very edge of the audible range,” they began. “And these footsteps are barely dampened by walls if at all.”

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“This provides a Defender advantage that shouldn’t exist to the extent it does. It is one thing to hold for retakes on A-Site, it is another to not have to always hold A-Sewer on Haven because footsteps can be completely identified from the opposite side of B-Site.”

Player shooting weapon on Haven in Valorant.Riot Games
Players on Haven’s B-Site can gather plenty of intel from enemy footsteps alone.

As a solution, ‘ComOddity’ believes that adding an additional layer to the sound cues, to allow players to better gauge both direction and distance would be beneficial.

“There should definitely be a distance drop-off and/or a dampening effect when obstacles and walls are between players. I think this would assist players with using sound to gauge depth.”

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As a secondary point, the Redditor reiterated the arguments of Cloud9 pro, Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo, who provided the perfect way of overcoming the current Operator meta. By simply introducing a scope sound, players would be better informed on the location of the enemy using an Operator, and thus can use utility to overcome their advantage.

Operator scoping in Valorant.Riot Games
Sound cues from scoping the Operator would better inform players how to counter the Sniper.

This is an element that works well to balance weapons in CS:GO, where Snipers are often punished for the distinct sound cue given off when scoping in with the AWP.

While fixes to both footstep and Operator scope audio would be a welcomed change, there has been no insight from Riot as to whether this is on the horizon any time soon.

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