How to change VALORANT’s installation folder or move it to another drive

The easiest way to switch drives.

Image via Riot Games

VALORANT is a free-to-play first-person shooter game developed and published by Riot Games. After a closed beta period in April 2020, the game finally fully launched in June 2020. The game takes inspiration from the Counter-Strike series to the point where it is starting to become an actual competitor to the game. 

Further accentuating its Counter-Strike influence is the fact that VALORANT borrows several mechanics such as the buy menu, spray patterns, and inaccuracy while moving. The game has taken these basic concepts and further enhanced them to the point that it has become a viable alternative to the Counter-Strike series.

All of these factors made VALORANT shoot up in popularity to the point where it gets an average of 1.5 million players playing per day. For players looking to get into the game, it has quite a hefty file size, occupying over 7GB through its initial file download while it unpacks further after installing. If your drive is close to being full, you might need to change the game’s installation path.

To do that, first, we will need to know where the game is installed.

VALORANT installation path

By default, VALORANT is downloaded wherever the Riot Games folder is located. Generally, the default location for that would be the C: drive. Although this can be changed by accessing the advanced settings while installing the game, in most cases, you would preferably install the game on the C: drive, unless you have issues with disk drive space.

If you have multiple drives, maybe a Solid State Drive (SSD) and a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), you might want to install VALORANT in whatever drive denotes the location of your SSD. This is done because the game loading and boot-up times will be shorter on the SSD because of faster read/write speeds compared to the HDD.

As mentioned earlier, the default install size for the game is over 7GB. As of today, it is about 7.3GB initial size before unpacking and installing. To install and run the game, you will first need to download it.

VALORANT download

Image via Riot Games

To download VALORANT, you will first need to head to the Riot Games website. Then follow these steps and you should be able to install the game:

  • Head to the Riot Games website and log in. If you do not have an account, create one by signing up.
  • After creating or logging in to your account, you will be given access to Riot Games’ library. Explore the library and look around for VALORANT.
  • Once you find it, you will need to first download the Riot Games client onto your system. Download and install the client.
  • After the client installation is complete, log in to it with your Riot Games account. Then search for VALORANT and access the game from there.
  • Click “Download” under VALORANT and wait for the game to download and install. The Riot Games client will handle this entire process by itself.
  • After the game downloads, launch it and log in to the game with your Riot Games ID. You are now free to play the game.

So now you can play the game on your PC. But if you are having issues running the game on the drive it is downloaded on, either due to disk space or if you just acquired a new SSD to run the game on, you might want to shift the game to the new drive. There are a few ways to make this possible.

How to change VALORANT’s installation folder

In most cases, you would want to do this to save on disk space. But in other cases, the game might not be running optimally if it is located on an older HDD, so you want to shift it to a different, ideally new, drive. One way to get this done is by uninstalling the game and reinstalling it to the optimal drive of your choosing. This can be a little time-consuming if your bandwidth is a little on the slower end because the entire game will have to be downloaded from scratch once again.

If you are not a fan of reinstalling the game for whatever reason, there is another method that can work. The game itself can be relocated to a different drive without needing to be reinstalled. This can be done by following these steps:

  • First off, navigate to the folder where you have previously installed VALORANT. Check the file size and the amount of disk space it occupies on your current drive before proceeding further. Keep an eye on the current location and eventual destination location of the folder for later.
  • Now make sure you have more than the required amount of disk space on the destination drive that you want to move VALORANT to. If you do not have the required space, it would be recommended to clear some unnecessary files from the drive first. If you do, then proceed to the next step.
  • Once confirmed, select the entire VALORANT folder as well as the Riot Games client folder and cut both of them. Then paste them into the destination of your choosing on the other drive or on the same drive, if you so choose to do that.
  • From this point, the bulk of your work is done. The next few steps will outline some simple commands that you will need to input to make the game run smoothly.
  • Go to the C: drive and navigate to the Program Data folder. Inside this folder, look for the Riot Games folder, open it and search for the “RiotClientInstalls.json” file. You will need to edit some commands in this file.
  • To edit it, right-click the file and click “Open with” then open it with Notepad. Here you will see that the file still displays the old installation path of the game before you transferred. Simply change the installation path from the original to the current location that the game is on now, then save the file. The installation paths should look something like this: “C:\Program Files\Riot Games\Valorant”.
  • In the same Riot Games folder, open the Metadata folder, then open the folder named “valorant.live”. In this folder, find the “valorant.live.product_settings.yaml” file and similarly open it with Notepad. This will be the final bit of editing required.
  • In this file, change the “product_install_full_path” and the “product_install_root” lines to reflect the current destination location of the game, just like before. Once this is done, you’re all set to go!

After this, simply run the game and play. If at some point, there are issues with the game’s launch or it does not run as expected, then there might be an error with the code. You might have to fix that or if reinstalling is simpler, we recommend you go down that route. Regardless of the way you choose, this is how you get from one drive to another.