(Riot Games)

Arts and Entertainment

Review: A ranking of ‘Valorant’ modes for the video game’s second anniversary

"Valorant" is a first-person competitive shooter game free-to-play on PC.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/alexwang745/" target="_self">Alex Wang</a>

Alex Wang

September 12, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic brought many difficulties: mask mandates, toilet paper shortages, and most importantly, the lack of socialization. Online school wasn’t the most interactive way of getting an education because I couldn’t interact with classmates.

The only way I socialized was with my friends online, playing “Valorant.”

Named the “Game of the Year” in 2020 at The Esports Awards, according to IMDB, Valorant has recently celebrated their second year anniversary on June 2. “Valorant” is a 5v5 first person tactical shooter published by Riot Games, who also owns another popular game League of Legends. If the games Overwatch and Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) had a child, “Valorant” would be it. 

The concept of abilities from the game Overwatch and the gunplay from CSGO combined in a fusion makes Valorant an exciting and fast paced game. Like CSGO, “Valorant” has two teams, an attacker side and a defending side. The objective of the attackers is to plant and ignite the spike (a bomb) on a designed area. The defenders’ objective is to defuse or deny the spike plant. 

There are 17 playable agents, and each agent has their own unique ability kit, consisting of three abilities, and a special one called an ultimate. A team can pick from five agents. Each ability costs money to buy, with varied prices. The ultimate ability, or ult is charged from eliminating opposing team members.

In addition, “Valorant” has seven different maps, each with their own gimmicks, such as teleporters, ziplines, and breakable doors. With so many different aspects in “Valorant,” teams have to come up with strategies and team compositions in order to get an upper hand.

“Valorant” also has many different game modes: Competitive; Unranked; Spike Rush; Deathmatch; and other special game modes such as Replication, Escalation, and Snowball Fight. After hundreds of hours on the game, these are my rankings on the multiple “Valorant” game modes.

  1. Deathmatch

One of the most played game modes in the game is called Deathmatch, where 12 players compete in a free for all to reach 40 eliminations first. While professional esports players like to use Deathmatch for warmup, I find Deathmatch to be a pain in the butt. The random spawn points are poorly optimized. It is common for 3 people to materialize simultaneously out of nowhere and shoot your head off.

  1. Competitive

Competitive, or Comp for short, is the most played game mode in “Valorant,” and also the most stressful. There are squeaking kids who are way too immature for the game, who play disturbing and obnoxious noises played through their mic.  Also teammates who are away from keyboard(AFK), and toxicity ruin the fun of the game. 

  1. Replication

In this game mode, a vote is taken before the game starts, and one random agent is picked for the whole team. The whole team has to play as this random agent, and each round they are provided a specific amount of credits (currency to buy weapons). This game mode is way more relaxed and fun because there are some abilities your team can abuse in order to put the opposing team in a tight spot.

For example, an agent called Sage in the game has a wall ability and a resurrection ultimate ability. My friends and I have made Great Walls of China with these walls, as well as kept reviving each other through the resurrection ultimate.

  1. Spike Rush

A lot of times, I don’t have much time to play a full unranked game because of how long they take (45 minutes or more). So, I would play a fifteen minute long game of Spike Rush. In this game mode, the first team to win 4 rounds wins. Each round consists of both teams limited to only one gun. Once a round starts, power orbs will be placed at random around the map. Each power orb gives the team that acquired it certain buffs, or debuffs to the enemy team. While it may not be the same as an unranked game, it still helps satisfy my crippling “Valorant” addiction when I’m on a time crunch.

  1. Unranked

Technically almost the same as Competitive, Unranked is my favorite game mode by far. Most of the people I play against on Unranked are pretty nice, except for the occasional sweaty 9 year old borrowing his brother’s computer. The majority of my hours spent on “Valorant” is on Unranked, mainly because of how you can troll and pull funny stunts instead of focusing entirely on winning. Chucking grenades at friends, duck walking across the map, and knife fights are all common things my friends and I do.

A mix of two popular first person shooter games, “Valorant” deserves a try. It’s definitely a nice break from all the popular battle royale based games.