We examine the evidence for and against the addition of a Battle Royale mode in Valorant

20:00, 19 Nov 2020

Riot Games’ FPS game VALORANT has the gaming world on the edge of their seats, and hungry for any information regarding new characters and potential additions to the game-modes.

One of these prospective additions is a Battle Royale mode. While VALORANT is a 5v5 tactical hero-based shooter, there may be room for a BR in the future of the game.

The evidence for and against this sentiment is speculative but does bring up some very interesting points to consider.

VALORANT Battle Royale

For: The Popularity of Battle Royale Games

The first of these considerations is the popularity of Battle Royale games. Fortnite is the dominating force of the BR world, boasting 250 million registered players (with 78.3 million active players in one month recorded) and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Apex Legends is another Battle Royale that sprang onto the scene in February 2019 and experienced a meteoric rise. As of October 2019, Apex Legends had reported 70 million players. It would be crazy of Riot Games to miss out on such a large demographic with VALORANT, especially if the game does push to console, and not just PC.

Michael Pachter, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, said the game was just as aimed at taking on “Fortnite” as any other game, despite not being in the Battle Royale genre, as it’s free-to-play.

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“Fortnite is probably the biggest loser, but there is room for the overall audience to grow,” Pachter told CNBC.

Against: Valorant’s High-Performing Spec  

The biggest threat to a Battle Royale mode being added to VALORANT is its high performing spec. VALORANT has 128 tick servers to guarantee accuracy and smooth performance, which optimises the games to a smaller number of players. For servers that must accommodate for many players (such as 100 players per game in Fortnite), a lower tick rate is implemented. Fortnite typically runs at 20 ticks, which explains some instances where hitting an enemy player doesn’t appear to register. Higher tick rates mean more precise hit markers, which can cause immense stress to a server that is trying to handle that on top of a large number of players per match. Sacrificing the tick rate for the player base may not be at the top of the VALORANT's developers’ to-do list.

As more and more new content is added to VALORANT, we may get the answer to this burning question sooner than we think.

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Images via Riot Games and Epic Games

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