VALORANT: Why Riot’s competitive FPS may or may not come to consoles

VALORANT. Riot Games.
VALORANT. Riot Games. /

The competitive nature of VALORANT’s core design and gameplay philosophy could mean the tactical FPS may not come to consoles.

After a lengthy closed beta period, VALORANT officially launched on PC earlier this month. The 5v5 character-based tactical shooter from Riot Games is currently only available on PC but naturally, there have been questions about whether or not the game could come to consoles.

Not only is Riot Games apparently open to the idea of bringing it to consoles, but they are currently prototyping it. Executive Producer Anna Donlon told GameSpot that the team is currently prototyping VALORANT for consoles but that hardly means it’s a sure thing.

"We are definitely prototyping that right now but there’s a way to play this game and there’s a way to experience this game that we’re not entirely sure translates completely to console play."

Since VALORANT was first announced, it has been pitched primarily as a super competitive first-person shooter with an esports-first approach. Even Riot’s approach to the game’s development screamed competitive play as they went big on things like infrastructure, designing a brand new netcode from the ground up to combat poor bullet registration and minimize peeker’s advantage. It’s this sort of attention to detail that might prevent VALORANT from ever coming to consoles. As Donlon explained:

"We really believe that the way this game is meant to be played is this hyper, strong-level of competitive integrity. We worry about players feeling like someone they’re playing against has a competitive advantage because of the system they’re playing on. No matter how much that we do, I don’t know that we can ever break that perception, so we need to be really cautious about moving forward on those platforms."

That said, there’s still hope. Donlon said there are developers at Riot that are “excited” to crack the experience on cnsole platforms. If they can successfully do so, great, VALORANT will come to Xbox and PlayStation. She continued:

"But I do think there’s something to crack there that our team is really excited to crack. If we feel like we can deliver this experience on those platforms, we absolutely will. If we feel like we have to compromise on the experience so much that it doesn’t really feel like the same game anymore, then we’ll just go make that game and put it on consoles and we’ll have that be something else that we do. But we really want VALORANT to stand for a certain type of gameplay and a certain type of experience and we want that experience to be felt across any platform that it’s played on."

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So to be clear, there’s no confirmation as to when, or even if, VALORANT will ever come to Xbox or PlayStation. “It’s not a no, for sure,” she said, but it doesn’t sound like it’s anywhere close to happening in the near future right now.

Riot Games has traditionally been a PC-centric publisher. The company’s defining game has long been League of Legends which helped revolutionize competitive esports. Recently though, Riot has expanded its portfolio and branched out to new genres and platforms.

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