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VALORANT - detailed game review

by John Grehhem about a year ago in product review

We will examine in detail the main aspects of the game and compare it with the main competitor, but we will start with a digression


After a week of playing VALORANT, it's time to do a full review and share first impressions. At the moment, the game is in beta, but it feels like a full-fledged finished product. The developers plan to release the full version in the summer.

We will examine in detail the main aspects of the game and compare it with the main competitor, but we will start with a digression. Go!


E-sports is more than a dozen disciplines, but only three of them are projects with mass popularity, tested over decades and not subject to gradual fading, as is the case with most computer games. Two of them, Dota 2 and CS: GO, are owned by Valve, one of the most popular is the League of Legends owned by Riot. On a global scale, the VALORANT output compares the score in the confrontation of these titans. Now each company has its own game in the main areas of eSports - FPS and MOBA.

A quick glance at VALORANT is enough to understand what the developers were doing a direct competitor to CS: GO. And they don’t hide it, because the developers of CS: GO were involved in creating the game.

From CS: GO everything was taken the best, but they tried to add new modern mechanics to this. The main difference between VALORANT and its competitor is that they tried to make it as convenient as possible for competitions. For this, Riot did a lot, which we will discuss below.


About 20 years ago, games became eSports not because of, but in spite of. The developers did not think about the fact that their games can be competed, they just made games for entertainment and at some point added the ability to play on the network.

Esportsmen invented the gamers who quickly realized that playing against a person is much more interesting than with AI. From the first online battles to the first tournaments, you had to take only one step.

At the same time, there was such a thing as optimization of the game for competitions. It's one thing to play with beautiful graphics and default settings, it is another thing to make an effective tool out of the game that will allow you to gain an advantage over the opponent. Owners of properly configured configs simply tore their colleagues playing on default. In addition to the game settings, video card drivers and twisting monitor settings were also used.

Even today, in most new games, you need to configure a lot for a comfortable game, because developers always strive to make a game not for players, but for beauty, and in this regard VALORANT is the first game that is made for players. There is also Valorant Stats for this game where you can analyze your fights.

VALORANT is made in such a way that you do not need to configure anything in it except the sensitivity of the mouse, sight and, possibly, some control buttons.

The game has no dynamic shadows, highlights and elements that may interfere. The lighting is made so that the opponent is visible in any of the darkest places and the player does not have a desire to get into the graphics settings or monitor settings. At the same time, the graphics are very nice, drawn to the smallest detail, although not realistic, as in CS.

Really important settings, on the contrary, are very flexible, you do not need knowledge of console commands and writing a config, everything can be configured through the menu, and there are a lot of options.


Many professional players who have already tried VALORANT including s1mple claim that the physics and shooting in the game are very similar to those in CS: GO. This is true, it can be seen that the developers did not even try to make a new unique game, they rather wanted to rethink CS: GO, take all the best from it, but make it even more suited for e-sports.

Like in CS: GO, we have two sides, but there are no terrorists in VALORANT. There is a defense side and an attack side.

Like in CS: GO you need to put a bomb (here it is called a spike) or defuse it. The game, as in the cop, is 5x5.

If you have a spike in your hands, the place of its possible installation is highlighted with bright lines and a prompt appears.

Of the differences - in VALORANT the weapons are the same on both sides. Here they play up to 12 rounds in total per side and there are no special stages. The team that wins the 13th round wins on the map.


Like CS: GO, it all starts with a pistol round. An integral part of the economy are eco-rounds and force bail. There are bonuses for killing, an established spike, for a series of defeats, etc. Like with the older brother, you can share weapons here, but it is implemented much better than in CS: GO.

In the menu on the left, you can tell your teammates whether you plan to play a round - buy or eco, the central button allows you to inform that you have extra money and you can buy something for someone. If you don’t have enough money for the purchase, you can right-click on the weapon in the purchase menu and your teammates will be asked to buy it. They don’t need to buy and drop anything by themselves, just press the confirmation button and the weapon in your hands. Assistance in the purchase does not apply to skills and armor.

An important point! You can buy and sell weapons as you like before the start of the round - this eliminates random purchases that can affect the outcome of the entire game. You will never accidentally buy a second AWP that is not needed in a given situation.

An even number of rounds per side is very important. In fact, it solves the problem of strengths and weaknesses. Starting for a strong side still remains more profitable from a psychological point of view, but you do not get an advantage in one odd round.

Surely the economy will still undergo changes, so we will not discuss it in detail - this is the topic of a separate article.


The game begins with a selection of characters and this is another difference from CS: GO. Characters in your team cannot be repeated, but opponents at the moment can choose the same ones as you. There are no systems of character ban-pokas in the game yet.

Currently, 10 heroes are available, which are divided into four types: Sentinel, Duelist, Pitcher and Specialist. It is important that all characters have the same hitboxes, move at the same speed and have the same health indicators. The difference between them is only in their skills.

At the beginning of each match, you choose the character to play. Now 10 heroes are available. OMEN can set great smoke and move behind opponents or on high ground to suddenly attack from there.


Guards have mostly defensive skills, for example, SAGE can put an ice wall and completely close one of the passages to the base. The barrier can be destroyed, but you need to shoot a couple of clips and time. Another of her skills is a slowing grenade. It freezes the ground and reduces the speed by half, in addition to anyone that goes along the affected area, you can hear it even if it goes under the shift.


These characters are typical sapporti - they put great smokes that block the view of the wall, throw analogs of molotovs. Their skills differ in properties, but the essence is about the same as that of smoke and incendiary grenades in CS: GO.


These characters are more focused on attack. They have mostly blinding and damaging skills. Their business is to quickly break in and make basic frags.


These are highly initiated characters. They can scout or deal damage with their skills.

In general, the boundaries between the types of characters are very blurred. For example, OMEN is positioned as a defender, but its ability to teleport can, on the contrary, initiate an attack on an opponent. Even without the use of skills, any player who puts their heads can dominate any character, and skills and their correct application are more important for strategy in a team game.

If we draw analogies with CS: GO, then the skills are the same grenades, but only now their choice is much more diverse and they depend on the character. However, some skills are frankly duplicated. A good half of the characters have an analogue of a smoke grenade, it looks differently, but it performs the same function. The same thing with molotov.

Nevertheless, some skills, like the ice wall, bring completely unique mechanics to the game, which have never been in CS: GO. You can block entire passages and win a lot of time for your teammates. In some situations, you can deprive the enemy of the chance to pick up or deliver a spike (bomb) on time with the right wall. Such mechanics make the game even more varied and exciting.

PHOENIX can set up a wall of fire that limits visibility and causes damage to those passing through it. In addition, in his arsenal there is one incendiary and two blinding grenades.

Another similarity of skills with grenades is that they, like weapons, must be bought! Only the skill on the E key is replenished by one point each round. When planning a purchase, you should consider what skills you need and whether you should spend money on them - everything is like with grenades in CS: GO.

If you didn’t use something, the skills move on to the next round, unlike weapons that are lost if you die.

We should also mention the ultimate abilities. To get them you need to accumulate 7 points. You get points for killing and if you pick them up in special places, there are several on the map. This can only be done until the spike is installed.

Points can be obtained by collecting spheres on the map, but they are all in open spaces and at this time it is quite easy to catch you by surprise and kill.

Ultimate is what sets VALORANT apart from CS: GO. Usually you manage to accumulate the ultimate only once or twice on one side - it depends on your effectiveness. The correct use of the ultimate can often completely reverse a round, for example, an BRIMSTONE orbital strike may prevent a spike from being set up or cleared of mine, and a 1in1 situation can turn a 1in1 situation into a 2in1 situation.

Such mechanics also add the economy of ultimatum abilities to the game, sometimes it is advantageous to give a frag to a certain player so that he gets an ult, faster, and sometimes it is advantageous not to use the accumulated ultimate, but to wait for a really important situation when you need to get a trump card from the sleeve and break the game.


The interface during the game looks very ascetic, does not interfere with the review and is extremely informative.

On the minimap you can see all the places of killings, icons of the team’s surviving players, and even the line of sight and their sector of vision at the moment. A bomb is visible if it is in sight. Also under the map is the name of the point where the player is located.

Above you can see the surviving players and the amount of their lives, as well as rivals and information about the installed bomb or the time until the end of the round.

On the right is shown who has killed whom and from what recently.

You can enable the FPS schedule

Here is detailed information about your killings and how they killed you. You can see from which weapon, how many hits and in which part of the body was inflicted.

The bottom menu shows your life, ammo and skills that are in stock, as well as the ultimate charge of skill.

The minimap is so informative that during movements without a shift on it around your icon you can see a zone in which opponents can hear your steps!

The area in which your opponents can hear you can be seen on the minimap. It is displayed only when you walk without holding the Shift key.

Your teammates can be seen through the walls, and by the icons above their heads, without pressing a tab, you can understand what weapons they have with them and what skills they have. In the lower right corner you can see how much money and for what you received after the previous round.

After a short getting used to it, I can safely say that VALORANT is simply a great interface. This interface is a new level for e-sports, including for broadcasting the game.


The developers have tried to make entering the game as simple as possible. For this, the TRAINING section has been created, in which there are four modes.

You can immediately get any hero with full skills and test them at an open training ground. This applies even to characters that are currently closed to you.

A shooting range where you can train shooting and scatter all types of weapons.

Spike installation training (analogue of a bomb in CS). In this mode, you need to break into the bots defended by the bots and plant a bomb.

Spike clearance training is the same as in the previous paragraph, but vice versa.

In a special shooting range, you can train the spray and shooting at the opponent’s model at different distances from 5 to 50 meters. The distance can be adjusted. You can also test how a particular weapon behaves. It is amazingly informative and convenient. There’s even an enlarged target to understand how you hit at a great distance. Above the bot, it knocks out the number of hits and the damage done to it in turn.

In the dash, you can select and test any weapon. Here you can get all the information about him. Some types of weapons with the same hits cause different damage at different distances and this is of great importance. Right in the dash, all this can be tested on bots.

You can very finely adjust the sensitivity of the mouse right in the dash by shooting in special zones. It’s convenient that right there you can test the result on bots and decide on the optimal sensitivity.

Here you will find many settings for shooting training. You can set up static or moving bots, you can adjust the speed of their appearance and disappearance, they will be with or without armor. All this is already built into the game and allows you to train shooting without searching and downloading additional maps or mods.

In general, we can say that already in beta the training module was made just great. Even if you are a complete beginner in the FPS genre, you can very quickly understand how a particular weapon shoots and you can effectively train your shooting on bots so as not to become embarrassed in matchmaking. Shooting training is an indispensable part of the training of professional cybersportsmen and in VALORANT they are perfectly integrated into the game.


So far, only three cards are present in the game, and if two of them are similar to the classic ones in CS in that they have patches A and B, then on the HAVEN card there are as many as three places for installing the bomb. At first glance, this might seem like a stupid decision, but in practice this card really hit me. Due to the compactness, you can be pulled very quickly, and three captives make the game very variable for both sides.

In general, cards can be said to be interesting. It’s too early to speak on balance, but there is a feeling that playing for defense is a little easier. In any case, at this stage in the development of the game, there is no wild imbalance of the parties, but it should be noted that while the tactical component of the games in matchmaking leaves much to be desired, most of the tricks and chips have not yet been studied and the balance can easily be upset when the main defaults in the game.

On each map, all locations are already signed, there is no need to invent anything, the developers have already come up with everything for you. It can be seen that here focused on CS: GO. Moreover, the name where you are currently located is displayed under the minimap. Even if you forgot it, you can quickly find your way and give info to teammates.

Bind Map

Haven Map

Split Card

For some reason, the locations of the Split map have not yet been translated into Russian, apparently it was completed last.

An important element of the game is the preparation for the round. There is no free time in VALORANT, and players on both sides can advance to take positions on the entire map, but up to certain places indicated in blue on the map above. Due to this, both sides can control the entire map at once, and the actions begin at the same moment when the countdown starts, because pulling themselves under the edge of their positions the rivals are separated by a very small distance, literally by turning or by a room.


Statistics are an important part of a match. In VALORANT you can get a lot of information about how the game went.

The brief information provides information on how many times you did the entri frag, how many times you installed and defused the spike and so on. The game has the concept of an economic account - this is your efficiency for money spent on weapons and skills.

In the table of results you can see the extended information.

For each round, you can get detailed information about how you, your teammates and rivals moved, when and whom you killed and even from what distance. All positions are highlighted on the minimap. It’s just a fun tool for analyzing the game.

You can even see your personal statistics against each of the opponents in the game. This guy was very unlucky in sniper duels against a 40-year-old man =)


The gameplay in the game is just awesome. For a week in VALORANT I received just a sea of ​​emotions, including negative ones, but only from insulting defeats, and not from the game itself.

The game has a very low entry threshold and is addictive, like a swamp; stopping is very difficult. Everything is as in CS, but there are even more options, and one player can turn over a seemingly lost round.

I am sure that most of the attacks on the game will be only in terms of graphics, but graphics are a matter of taste. I like her. Moreover, Valorant has a huge plus - his graphics fly even on not the newest hardware, which is not typical for "fresh" games, which are always done for the sake of video card manufacturers.

However, I have a fairly powerful computer that easily pulls out the maximum settings at 240 fps. I have not yet been able to test the game on weaker hardware.

product review
John Grehhem
John Grehhem
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