How will Valorant’s cosmetics and microtransactions work?
With the studio’s new shooter, Valorant, Riot is looking to replicate the success of its hit League of Legends, with its pricing, cosmetics and microtransactions.
During a recent visit to Riot’s headquarters in Los Angeles, Polygon spent time with a few members of the development team. We wanted to hear more about what players can expect if they want to buy skins in Valorant.
Valorant: Everything we know about Riot Games’ new shooter
Much like League of Legends, Valorant will be a free-to-play game. Riot will offer players skins and other cosmetic items in the form of microtransactions. None of these items will change how the game plays, just how it looks. At the moment, the cosmetics in the game include weapon skins and sprays, which can be graffitied onto the map at any time.
Each of these items can be purchased from the in-game store, or earned through the game’s battle pass. According to Valorant executive producer Anna Donlon, the game will feature ways to get cosmetic items that are either bought directly, or earned by playing the game. But there won’t be loot boxes in Valorant and all for-pay skins will be direct purchase.
Donlon also mentions that the team plans to make weapon skins in Valorant upgradeable. While she didn’t go into detail, she did mention that, at launch, Valorant will have a “couple of different progression systems.”
One thing that won’t be in Valorant at launch is character skins. Donlon explains that the primary emphasis of the game is on competitive integrity, and that character skins would make it harder to maintain that integrity. The characters themselves are all designed to have the same hitbox, and to be instantly recognizable from across the map. This means that when you start changing things like the clothing they’re wearing or their color schemes, it could completely change how easy it is to identify certain characters. But that doesn’t mean that Valorant’s characters will never get skins.
“I think [character skins] would have to be in a way that there’s absolutely nothing to impact the gameplay,” Donlon says. “It’ll be narrow. I think there’s a way to do that. And those are things that we’re interested in exploring.”
For all the details on exactly how Valorant will handle its microtransactions, and what kind of skins will be available to buy, or in the battle pass, we’ll likely have to wait for the game’s beta, or even its full release later this summer.
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