Riot addresses footstep sound complaints in VALORANT

Fans have long complained of sound inconsistencies.

Image via Riot Games

Many VALORANT fans complain of inconsistencies in the tactical shooter’s footstep sound cues, which makes it difficult to differentiate where your enemies are coming from. And now, Riot has responded.

Audio director Peter Zinda discussed these criticisms in today’s Ask VALORANT blog post, addressing both footstep radius and panning direction.

Zinda acknowledged that players may struggle with determining how far away a footstep is because the attenuation curve is flat. Riot optimized the sound to make sure footsteps are heard clearly, especially under “chaotic conditions.” Rather than prioritizing hearing sounds from far away that may be faint, VALORANT lets you hear footsteps louder and earlier so players have time to react.

This would also benefit fans who might be playing in loud PC Bangs and even future pros competing in a noisy stadium.

The more controversial audio issue is not being able to properly hear the direction your enemy is coming from. And Riot’s response may do little to quell player frustrations.

“We currently mix the game in stereo, meaning there is no difference between a sound 45 degrees to your left in front of you and a sound 45 degrees to your left in back of you,” Zinda said. “Some people expect to be able to hear this difference, but that is not currently possible.”

Zinda added that using a “7.1” mode on various headsets can potentially make determining directional sound cues worse.