Fans have been debating for a while which game Riot Games’ Valorant is most similar to, but now that the Valorant showcase on Twitch has finally allowed fans to witness and enjoy unfiltered gameplay, the opinions are starting to solidify. A large number of professionals, such as Jaryd “summit1g” Lazar, expressed the game is more similar to Counter-Strike 1.6 than Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) or Overwatch. In particular, summit stated on stream that the game is similar to CS1.6 in regards to movement and shooting.
CS-inspired gunplay and mechanics
The gunplay draws significant inspiration from Counter-Strike, as each weapon has a unique spray pattern. Furthermore, recoil stabilization, such as crouching, is also a prominent mechanic in the game. Crosshairs placement matters too because of players clearing and holding angles the same way players would in CS.
Unlike CS titles, most Valorant weapons feature “aiming down sight” (ADS). In games like Call of Duty, ADS is an integral part of the game. However, ADSing may present a disadvantage in Valorant as players are granted a more straightforward spray pattern but suffer a decreased damage output.
Summit stated Valorant‘s movement was reminiscent of that in CS. He says players experience a massive movement decrease when taking damage. While taking damage does affect the player’s speed in CSGO, it’s less severe than in its predecessor. Furthermore, both run boosting and boosting aren’t possible in the game. Any players slide off the back of their teammate if they attempt to raise on top.
During his stream, summit confirmed Valorant developers had implemented air strafing into the game. Despite this, it’s unclear whether players experience an increased movement speed due to air strafing. Additionally, there’s slight disagreement concerning whether or not Riot’s game has counter-strafing. Summit shared he felt the game does have counter-strafing to stop the movement immediately, but ex-professional CSGO player Eric “fl0m” Flom says Valorant does not have counter-strafing. If this is true, that would mean there’s no movement acceleration or deceleration like in CS games. According to a source from a private Valorant Discord, there is a maximum of 10% movement speed increase when “bhopping.”
Valorant is no Overwatch
The weekend’s Valorant event has clearly shown the game’s gameplay and mechanics have taken significant influence from legendary CS titles. The only significant similarity between Overwatch and Valorant at this point is that both games have abilities.
When asked whether he thought Valorant would hurt CS, summit stated on stream, “I don’t know if it’ll hurt it. It’ll take some people.” While Riot developers have taken apparent influence from Valve’s FPS, CS‘s pure gunplay and perfectly designed mechanics are something unique to the franchise. Currently, Valorant‘s design is more similar to CS, but we’ll have to wait and see how the game develops over its lifetime.