Riot addresses left-hand mode, skin updates, and gameplay balancing in VALORANT

The latest Ask VALORANT blog post, released today, shed some light on the possibility of a left-hand view model, updating existing skins, map rotation changes in Patch 1.08, and gameplay consistency. 

Senior producer Steven Eldredge explained that many players have asked for a left-hand view model and said Riot is exploring options on how to implement it into VALORANT. 

“We’re currently in the process of validating how this would work from not just a technical side but from a competitive and artistic front as well,” Eldredge said. “While this may seem like a small technical challenge, we want to make sure this is done right for players.”

Riot needs to ensure that the art quality of character models, weapons, and abilities is consistent with a new view model since these assets are generally not seen from a different point of view. The team also needs to make sure a left-hand view model doesn’t impact competitive integrity by making it the new meta or putting players who prefer this option at a disadvantage. Riot is working on implementing the new view model, but players won’t likely see it in-game for awhile. 

Related: VALORANT’s latest skin line, G.U.N., is inspired by 1960s science fiction

Many players have also asked about the possibility of updating existing skins, such as new effects or variants. Art lead Sean Marino explained that Riot is open to adding variants on certain cosmetics, but adding effects is challenging.

“We’ve stated before that we’re potentially open to adding Variants to melees, so it’s not out of the question for us to update an existing skin line… But going back to add effects to a skin line like Spline is definitely not fast or easy,” Marino said.

The team also explained that it doesn’t have plans of adding feature-based upgrades such as VFX, new animations, or audio to existing skins. Instead, Riot is focused on implementing changes or updates that players want to see. Riot said working on previously released content prevents it from creating something new. If Riot does decide to update older skins and cosmetics, it won’t be any time soon. 

Patch 1.08 updated the matchmaking queue to consider your recently played maps to ensure a better chance of playing a map you haven’t played recently. This also lowers the chance of playing the same map several times in a row. Many players were excited about this change but also worried about it increasing queue times. Riot confirmed the update won’t impact queue times since players aren’t hard restricted from playing certain maps. Instead, players just have a lower chance of the same one appearing repeatedly. 

Riot also ensured players that it’s constantly monitoring gameplay consistency and feedback from players through game analytics, surveys, and social media. There’s been a dip in players believing their bullets are hitting targets reliably and Riot has a team focused on resolving hit registration. 

Riot communicated with players and identified three areas that need improvement to ensure reliability in combat: increasing hitbox clarity, improving readability and predictability of states of movement inaccuracy, and minimizing the difference in gameplay feel across different ping conditions. The developers are now looking into each of these areas and trying to resolve issues that disrupt the consistency of VALORANT gameplay. 

Riot has assured fans that it will continue to work on improving VALORANT and said it has no intention of stopping any time soon.