Shroud initially had some reservations about Riot’s upcoming tactical shooter, VALORANT. He still isn’t sure if it’ll ever surpass Counter-Strike, but he’s optimistic and even a little excited about some of the systems Riot has cooked up for the game.
One of the most consistent problems in first-person shooters is the so-called “peeker’s advantage.” In games like CS:GO, Call of Duty, and Rainbow 6, the player that takes the first move and peeks around a corner has a split-second advantage. In some cases, they can even see an enemy player before the player can see them.
“[Riot] also have this tech that is supposed to counter peeker’s advantage,” Shroud said. “Every shooter suffers from peeker’s advantage, right? Because of all the latency issues. They actually have a system that counterbalances that, so the defender is in favor, instead of the attacker.”
Limiting peeker’s advantage was one of Riot’s main goals in VALORANT. “We measured with a bunch of pro players and experienced folks here in the studio,” Straily said in an interview with Polygon. “And we deemed that less than 80 milliseconds is fair for peeking with our weapons and tuning. Not good, not great, but fair.”
The combination of high player latency and low tick rate servers makes peeker’s advantage a problem.
“Usually, when you peek, you have the advantage, right?” Shroud said. “I’m excited to see how that works because usually, defenders aren’t in the advantage unless it’s on LAN. And even on LAN sometimes the peeker’s advantage still exists.”
VALORANT has 128 tick servers, which is significantly higher than other games in the FPS genre. Most players (around 70 percent), will have a stable 35 ms latency when the game launches this summer, according to Riot. This should help negative peeker’s advantage and make it much less of an issue.