VALORANT’s upcoming skin line: the Ion skin line

Forged at the edge of darkness and revered for its power, humanity’s last hope is in your hands with Ion.


Developer Question and Answer

What were your goals when designing the Ion?

Ion is meant for the classic future science fiction skin line with a clean white plastic exterior, high quality glass, blue light spheres and laser sound. The ion is a fictional weapon full of light and hope — rather than a dark post-apocalyptic weapon — and thus has a compelling aesthetic and cutting-edge technology. With Ion, we wanted to show off the weapon transformation through a visual change. We especially wanted to show a gun skin that went from "prototype technology" to something more sophisticated, but in reverse. When viewing a prototype, there is usually an open section which will then be closed as it is developed. But with this skini, the cool part is showing the inside of the weapon, like on a high-end gaming PC designed to show off the essential components inside. In order to achieve the same impression, we ended up using a physical camouflage material that showed the mechanism of the complex energy ball, which is the source of the power of this weapon. - Sean Marino, Art Lead

Where did you get inspiration / what is the important concept you want to show with Ion?

We are inspired by many sources, but if we have to choose, we are inspired by designers of industrial style, such as Syd Mead and Daniel Simon, who have been an inspiration to artists of different generations. We stick strongly to the concepts of fine lines, smooth edges and neo-futurism. If Reaver is purely a dark fantasy skin, Ion is the opposite: a completely white sci-fi skin. In my opinion, if VALORANT were a traditional science fiction space game, this is the style we will try to use for our basic concept of weapons. - Sean Marino, Art Lead

Are there any unexpected challenges or interesting stories that you would like to tell when designing Ion?

One of my memories in the office before the quarantine was when our VFX artist shared a muzzle flash that he designed for the Ion Phantom. I just came back from a meeting and Sean Marino (Art Lead) asked me to see the latest video post. I was carrying a large water bottle filled with hot green tea while watching the video and so amazed by the flash of the muzzle I choked and dropped the water bottle on the table and spilled the tea all over the place. Everyone who saw the video was also stunned, but my reaction was probably the worst. It's also funny to think that muzzle flashes can trigger such reactions, but they are actually really cool flashes that match this line of skins. Likewise, when the team designed a rotating energy turbine that used a model similar to a muzzle flash, I was totally blown away when the ball came on and off when it was refilled. The same blue hexagonal shape was also finally applied to the End, which neatly blends the entire fantasy around a spinning blue energy core. The final touch is the sound of the gunshot, which makes the fantasy feel even more real. Unfortunately, we eliminated this incredible "starter roar" during consecutive shots because our adept designer test team (who tested all parts of the game, including new characters, maps, and skins) felt that this sound was too different from the basic gunshot sound ( especially since the Phantom is a silenced weapon). Taking competitive integrity seriously, we decided to eliminate the noise even though we felt the sound was a perfect match for the Ion rotary turbine mechanism. The game is always the main consideration. - Preeti Khanolkar, Producer

Any other interesting facts?

We made an initial release for the first weapon in this skin line, Phantom, on November 11, 2019. Exactly one year from the launch date of the skin! Ion is definitely my favorite skin and I've been eagerly waiting for us to launch it since finishing Phantom. But it turns out I'm not that patient. Even though I ended up buying several Phantom skins over time, my heart will forever belong to Ion. - Preeti Khanolkar, Producer

Thematic Goals​

Futuristic Sci-fi, Sleek, Utopian, Hopeful

Key Features​

Model Upgrades, Animated Mechanisms, Visual Effects, Audio


  • Phantom
  • Sheriff
  • Operator
  • Bucky
  • Melee

Price Tier:​

PE tier
  • Phantom - 1,775 VP
  • Sheriff - 1,775 VP
  • Operator - 1,775 VP
  • Bucky - 1,775 VP
  • Melee - 3.550 VP
  • Bundle - 7,100 VP

Bundle Info:​

Price: 7,100 VP
Includes the Ion Phantom, Sheriff, Bucky, and Operator as well as the Ion Player Card, Spray, Gun Buddy and Melee.

  • Level 1: Model change and custom reticle during ADS
  • Level 2: Custom muzzle flash and tracer; custom firing sound
  • Level 3: New transparent panels on the guns revealing their energy cores, custom reload animation/VFX/audio; custom equip animation/vfx/audio; custom inspect audio
  • Level 4: Finisher and kill banner
  • Level 5 - Variant with VFX
  • Level 6 - Variant with VFX
  • Level 7 - Variant with VFX
Developer/Publisher: Riot Games
Release Date: November 11, 2020

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