It’s only a matter of time before we get Valorant in consoles.
Since Valorant was released for PC in June 2020, it has gained many fans worldwide. Competitive first-person shooters are a dime a dozen these days, but what made Valorant special compared to others is that it could blend different gameplay styles. Besides being able to buy weapons, Valorant skins, and strategically aim down your sights like in Counter Strike, characters could also use different abilities and ultimates that are exclusive to them, like in Overwatch.
PC players have been enjoying the game for a while now, but what about gamers using a console? Could they hope Valorant will eventually have a release date for platforms such as the PlayStation 5/4, Xbox One/Series X/S, and the Nintendo Switch? Furthermore, will it result in a resounding success?
Riot Games Confirms Valorant for Console is In the Works
When the executive producer of Valorant, Anna Donlon, was interviewed in a segment for GameSpot’s Play For All, she stated that they were indeed plans to bring Valorant to more platforms. The developer commented about the current state of consoles in general and revealed news coinciding with it. Donlon revealed that Riot Games is already working on tests to bring the experience of playing the free-to-play online shooter to consoles.
However, she told fans to avoid getting too excited about the announcement. Although the team dedicated to testing the potential of Valorant on consoles is as hyped as they are, Donlon clarified that it’s not what Riot is entirely focusing on. Valorant is the type of game that focuses on a lot of competitive gaming, and many—including Riot Games—doubt that it can replicate that aspect on consoles. Copying the same conditions that the PC players with Valorant accounts experience has for the game is a tall order in itself, especially if you don’t have the precision of what a mouse and keyboard can offer as opposed to a controller.
A More Casual Experience
There are a ton of first-person shooters out there on consoles. You have the likes of Destiny 2, Overwatch 2, Warzone 2, and more. Heck, we even got a Counter Strike port at one point during the PS3 and Xbox 360 era. The ports were often seen as inferior compared to their PC counterparts; truth be told, it’s hard to deny the difference. It’s nice to just kick back on your couch while you play your game on a 4k 80-inch TV, but the sense of seriousness that the PC version of those games has been “deleted.” This is why players of those games tend to prefer playing on PC. More so if the game that you’re playing has cross-play capabilities. Imagine using a controller while the rest of the players use a mouse and a keyboard; you would get owned immediately.
Riot Games has stated that if they feel like they can deliver that kind of experience (when playing on a PC) on console platforms, they absolutely will. They want Valorant to stand for a particular type of gameplay and maintain a particular type of experience. According to Anna Donlon, if the objective experience appears to be compromised, they won’t continue to carry out the adaptation.
Xbox and Riot’s Partnership: A Coincidence?
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced during the Xbox showcase that the Xbox Game Pass would partner with Riot Games to enable players on both ecosystems to unlock special perks. This includes gaining access to all champions in League of Legends, different card parks in Legends and Runeterra, and, surprise, surprise—every agent in Valorant. If you ask us, the partnership between the two juggernauts is too much of a coincidence. This has seemingly been planned for a long time, and both parties only decided to announce their partnership when Riot Games was secretly working on the console ports for Valorant.
Besides the partnership between the two, a leak on Twitter surfaced (VALORANT Leaks) that revealed Riot adding two new icons to the game for Xbox and PlayStation. These were allegedly found in the game files of the Patch 5.03 update.
What About the Nintendo Switch?
Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch is highly likely to be left out of the party. You can’t deny that the Switch is showing its age. Sure first-party games such as Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild run fantastic on them, but as for the other games that came after that, you can’t say the same. However, there is still a sliver of a chance of Valorant coming to the hybrid console.
So far, we have the likes of Warframe, Fortnite, and the recently released Overwatch 2 available to download for free on Nintendo’s proprietary digital store. Warframe and Fortnite run fine for the most part but playing Overwatch 2 on it isn’t exactly the best. You have the advantage of using gyro controls, but when the textures are muddy, and the framerates stagger along, you will not have a great time playing it for longer durations.
Then again, Valorant isn’t the most taxing game out there, and it doesn’t require much on PC to keep it running at a consistent 60 FPS. But Riot Games did say that they don’t want the experience of playing Valorant to be compromised, so it’s best not to hope for a Nintendo Switch port too much.
A Success or A Flop?
We’ve seen Riot Games delve into other platforms for the past year or two now. The prime example of them dipping their toes is the release of Legends of Runeterra and LoL: Wild Rift on mobile. There are even a couple of spin-off titles available on the Nintendo Switch, such as Ruined King and Hextech Mayhem. If Valorant were to come to consoles, there’s no doubt in our minds that it would receive a similar success to that of Overwatch—perhaps even a bigger one. The Valorant Shop is definitely coming to consoles, and when it does, it’s going to draw in a lot of new players in droves.