PinoyGamer Exclusive: Interview With The Team Behind The Newest FPS In Town, Valorant PC 

Riot Game's newest brainchild, Valorant, the anticipated and promising challenger in the grueling FPS game arena was launched recently on June 2. The said 5v5 game created tons of hype ever since with its new take to usual FPS with added elements of skill-based mechanics like fireballs along with the big, bad, weapons at your disposal. Since its early game test, many can't help but compare it to the granddaddy of FPS, Counter-Strike, and also to the new breed like Overwatch.

But what really makes Valorant unique among all of the FPS games in the market? Can it make its way in the ranks of top tier shooting games and prove that it is not just a mere hype that eventually fades out in the face of the earth?

Pinoygamer manages to have an exclusive interview with the focal individuals namely Joe Ziegler, Game Director of VALORANT at Riot Games, Trevor Romleski, Game Design Lead on VALORANT, and Anna Donlon, Executive Producer of VALORANT at Riot Games who are responsible for making this next generation FPS possible. Here they give us a quick yet succulent bit of information on Valorant's inspiration, its overall appeal, the never-ending comparison to CS:GO, and their future plan for Valorant.

What is the inspiration behind the character designs of the agent in Valorant?

Ziegler: It’s always interesting making a game with characters with guns and not going military as a core source of inspiration. For us, it became clear as we developed our core gameplay that the characters and abilities were going to push out of that standard and we needed a creative space that would unlock the types of designs that could support that. The art style of VALORANT was ultimately a very important piece that married a lot of the goals we wanted to achieve with and alongside the gameplay. It resolved creatively eclectic elements, such as fireballs and guns, while ensuring visual clarity and the ability to identify your opponents, supporting performance on a wide variety of hardware, and enhancing exciting moments that naturally occurred in matches.

What separates Valorant from other tactical team-based shooters in the market other than the inclusion of pre-made characters (agents)?

Romleski: When setting out to build a tactical shooter, we wanted to address some of the common issues that plague the genre. Poor hit registration, peekers advantage, lack of updates and support, etc. Additionally, we saw the opportunity to inject abilities into space. Abilities increase variability in gameplay, with new creative scenarios to navigate and problem solve in real-time. Traditionally, ability mechanics in the FPS space provide little counterplay. For VALORANT we set out to combine tactical gameplay fundamentals with Agents, allowing for these creative moments without compromising on gunplay.

In an article written by Michael Quiquerez from, he stated that Valorant "shares 90% of its DNA to CS:GO". Can you give us your thoughts about it?

Ziegler: For the small team of us that began prototyping this game years ago, a lot of our influences came from old tactical games like CS 1.6, or R6 Rogue Spear where tense tactical scenarios and pixel-precise gunplay blended to create this rich sense of high stakes gameplay. Simultaneously, we were inspired by games with strong creative ability usage like LoL or Wow, where the mechanics led to creative and strategic outplays. We felt taking the former and bringing in the latter could create a game that could challenge, evolve, and grow with the more sophisticated players of today... and also be an exciting and fun game we ourselves would want to play.

What are the concrete measures that you had done or still planning regarding major problems in multiplayer games like lag and cheating that might affect VALORANT?

To address the problem of lag, we’re providing dedicated, 128-tick servers, for free, for everyone. With the setup of the Riot Direct network, we can expect less than 35-millisecond ping for at least 70% of players globally. Additionally, VALORANT servers upsample all player movement to 128 FPS, so even if your opponent is lagging due to a poor internet connection, VALORANT servers will automatically upscale their movement to be 128 FPS smooth.

VALORANT uses the League of Legends anti-tamper system in addition to a new anti-cheat platform, Vanguard, a Riot Games owned and developed cheat detection tool that allows for consistently evolving detection methods and the ability to instantly ban cheaters. Any game with a cheater detected will be ended immediately and forgiven for all other players.

Through the closed beta and since launch, we’ve been effective at tracking these cheats, but now at launch, we’ve implemented our auto-banning systems, which not only ban user IDs but hardware as well. We cannot guarantee that VALORANT will be cheat free, but we are committed to upholding competitive integrity in your games.

Do you feel pressured when gamers compare VALORANT to other games who have already made their name in the shooting/FPS genre like CS:GO and Overwatch?

Ziegler: I think it’s definitely an honor that players compare us to other games they enjoy. There are definitely inspirations we’ve taken from a variety of games, but at its heart, VALORANT is our love letter to tactical shooters. It’s a callback to tense, the team focused games where so many of your decisions meant success or failure. On top of that, we’ve added a layer of creative mechanics to bring that to life in a modern way, one that embraces the creativity of modern players and gives them the tools to innovate and invent new strategies and tactics.

How does character customization work on Valorant? Will it be limited from the agents that you will use?

Players can continue to express themselves through cosmetics for guns, sprays, and gun buddies. All customization is strictly cosmetic, and players will not experience a pay-to-win scenario.

How can the skills and abilities of the agents affect the chance of winning in every match? Will the players need to be conscious more in using and upgrading them rather than focusing on choosing the right guns/weapons?

The characters have been designed to allow players to defy the limits of a tactical shooter. The Agents’ abilities are designed to complement, and not overpower gunplay, through providing tactical information and strategic support.

At the end of the day, gunplay remains our key focus, as all Agents have the same access to all the guns. All guns have their own strategic value and depth of mastery in both recoil control and situational deployment. A player with a steady aim with a pistol will always beat an unsteady sniper.

Is there a plan for a cross-platform feature in the future(PC to Mobile)? Is there a plan for Valorant to be released on mobile?

Donlon: While we are exploring other platforms like console and mobile, right now the team is working hard to deliver a top-notch experience on PC.