Riot Games developers are opening up about what new VALORANT game modes we could see and what's planned for the future of the shooter series.
It's the battle of the hero shooters as Apex Legends and VALORANT continue to duke it out at the top of the first-person scene. Respawn Entertainment might've got the jump on Riot Games in terms of development, but that hasn't stopped VALORANT quickly playing catch up. As the game prepares to enter its second year, the development team are excitingly talking about what's next. Considering Riot Games is still making a large fortune off League of Legends some 12 years after it first launched, it's easy to imagine where VALORANT could head.
Since its closed beta first launched last April, VALORANT has made waves by introducing modes to give us some respite from traditional play. Alongside the Winter Snowball Fight mode winning over critics, the latest introduction of Escalation (alongside patch 2.03) has been almost universally loved. Sadly, Riot is known for teasing us with carrots for an all-too-short period of time before yanking them away. Players are rightly asking what other modes could be coming as a more permanent addition to VALORANT.
What new VALORANT game modes could we see?
As it stands, Spike Rush and Deathmatch are the only permanent modes, meaning we're warned not to get too attached. In a Reddit AMA, Riot answered questions about future modes and what we could expect. If you want shorter matches that you can rattle through, Riot dev Jared "Darkhorse4Life" Berbach said, "This is definitely something we’ve considered. There’s definitely a desire for a shorter form of the standard game mode. Nothing concrete to announce here as of yet, but stay tuned!"
Berbach was joined by Lisa "Pwneride" Ohanian, who added, “We see there’s a desire for an authentic, core Valorant experience that is shorter than our main game mode, and we’re actively having a lot of convos about the best way to achieve this in a way that feels good". Returning to the specifics of what modes we could see on the roster, Kyle "tehleach" Leach teased the potential of 3v3 and even 7v7 - Snow White had better gather her dwarves.
Giving hope to a VALORANT overhaul, Leach confessed, "We did some testing of 7v7 and it definitely upped the pace on the game. Some people really liked it, some people thought it made an already chaotic mode too chaotic. I felt pretty neutral either way, but the reason we ended up shipping 5v5 was mainly due to party sizes".
Before you start jumping for joy that squad sizes will boom to serve, Leach rounded off with a bit of practical news. "A 7v7 would present one social problem: you queue up with your 5 stack between games, and now you get 2 randos attached to your team and no longer have full agency of the result of the game", he explained. "If we wanted to allow people to queue as 7 there would be a ton of client work to do and it would have caused us to delay this mode longer than we wanted to".
When could we see new VALORANT game modes?
As pointed out by the devs, there are current "limitations" when it comes to new VALORANT game modes. Even if the team isn't completely ruling out the idea of 7v7, don't expect it to suddenly drop in as part of the next update. Sending 14 players onto the map at the same time is just out of reach (for now), but with VALORANT already handling 10 with relative ease, we aren't that far off.
In all likelihood, game modes like 3v3 and 7v7 would almost definitely be released as limited-time modes to iron out the kinks and decide whether they're worthy of full-time inclusion. It's a bit of a bummer that 7v7 was tried with Escalation but didn't make the final cut. Then again, the whole point of squads is playing with your nearest and dearest, not having two randoms thrown in just to make up the numbers. Just like the devs said, there's nothing concrete to reveal today, but that doesn't mean we can't keep a hopeful eye on Act 2, Episode 2. Well, you never know!
Images via Respawn Entertainment