VALORANT, Riot Games’ upcoming free-to-play tactical shooter, might have the cartoony looks of Overwatch. But in terms of gameplay, its more comparable to Counter-Strike and Rainbow Six.
For free-to-play games especially, skins, whether they’re for characters or weapon-based, are essential. They help drive in revenue, funding both the casual and competitive sides of a game. But in VALORANT, rather than taking the League of Legends champion or Overwatch hero approach to skins, Riot is sticking with gun skins only.
There are no character skins in the game right now and there aren’t any specific plans to add them in the future, according to an article by Polygon. The reason for this is unclear, but similar to Counter-Strike, it could be to maintain a fair balance in the game. Flashy character skins are fun to collect, but the unnecessary clutter they add can harm pro play.
It’s difficult to know exactly what’s going on in a game of Overwatch at the best times. The hundreds of hero skins make it a nightmare to navigate. Hanzo, Zarya, Tracer? Who knows when they’re flying around the screen, each wearing one of their many possible skins.
Instead, just like Counter-Strike, VALORANT will reportedly only have gun skins. There reportedly won’t be any loot boxes, so players will have to directly purchase the skins they want from the store.
There will also reportedly be a battle pass-like system when the game is released, which gives players new cosmetic rewards the more they play. The specific details are unclear at this early stage, however.
VALORANT is set to launch this summer, but a beta is expected to become available within a few weeks.