VALORANT is similar to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in many ways. It's clear that VALORANT was inspired by Valve's iconic FPS. The objectives of their standard matches are the same: the attacking team plants the bomb (or "Spike" in VALORANT), and the defensive team's job is to defuse the bomb before it explodes, while of course, trying to kill eveyone in the opposing team. Their shooting mechanics are similar, and many of the weapons are effectively the same. That's why many CS:GO veterans have switched to VALORANT because of these similarities. However, there are key differences.
While some long-time CS:GO fans think that VALORANT is "just a copycat" of their favorite game, and that CS:GO will remain the #1 FPS esports, VALORANT is just getting started, and we here on EpicStream believe it's already surpassing Valve's shooter. Former CS:GO pros have switched to VALORANT, and the esports scene from various regions across the world is getting exciting. While CS:GO has the advantage of being an older title with a solid player base, Riot has a created a better FPS, and here are 11 reasons why VALORANT is a better game than CS:GO.
CS:GO requires strong aiming skills, fast reaction speeds, and sharp movements while keeping gun recoil in mind. Its strategy is based purely on the gun meta and reactions. VALORANT has all of those strategic aspects, and more thanks to its agents with unique abilities. It's one thing to have flashes and smokes in a fight, and another to have a turret you can deploy or an ice wall you can make to hold map territories.
In VALORANT, there are four agent types: Duelist, Controller, Initiator, and Sentinel, and team composition of agents can matter in a given map. Having a Cypher or Killjoy in your team can help make your defense strategies stronger, or having a healer in your team who can also resurrect you or a teammate can also give you a great advantage, depending on the situation. And certain maps like Ascent would also be ideal for agents who have smoke abilities, but you also want to have Duelists who can aggressively frag. These gameplay elements add to the fun and and meta strategy of VALORANT, making it a more exciting game than CS: GO.
The unique agent abilities add depth to the game; it can take players some time to master how to use a particular agent. If you want to play Cypher well, you have to know the best camera and trapwire spots or how to do a one-way cage. If you're a Jett, you need to know when is the best time to use your dash and updraft. The learning curve is not just limited to gunplay. Want to use a bow and arrow like Legolas, you can try to master Sova. Raze can do some crazy Blast Pack combos that can boost you up to unexpected heights fast. Plus, agents have ultimates they can unleash once they have enough ultimate points, making the gameplay feel more rewarding and exciting for players. Having the ability to teleport across the map or activate a huge laser beam that can annhilate whoever is trying to defuse the Spike is super fun. CS:GO lacks these fun elements.
It's also exciting to see different agents combine their abilities in unique ways. I've seen Sage make an ice wall for Killjoy so she can place a turret at a higher level, or use that same wall for Omen to telelport through a high window in Ascent. It's also possible to cover Cypher's trap wires with smoke, or use a Sova drone to find enemies where Raze can shoot her rocket launcher. The possibilities are limitless, and let's not forget the fact that Riot is planning to expand the agent roster, and each new agent can potentially affect the meta significantly, keeping the gameplay fresh and enjoyable.
Each map in VALORANT has unique elements that add to its gameplay. Split has ropes that players can climb on; Bind has unidirectional teleporters, which help teams rotate the map faster; Haven has three bomb sites; Ascent has breakable doors that defenders can activate; Icebox has a zipline across its A site. These unique elements make them distinct from one another, and encourage players to strategize differently in each map. A group of players even made their custom game mode in Icebox using the ziplines, and it's called Zipline Jousting. Here's a video from YouTuber Cocounut Valorant:
Even though many players hate Icebox (I personally love it), all the maps in VALORANT are well-designed and balanced. The developers at Riot also updates the maps if they need balancing, like the changes they made in Split.
Riot plans to add new maps, so I'm wondering what other unique elements they'll add in them.
VALORANT has alt-fire for almost every weapon. If not something like scattershot, guns usually have aim down the sight option, which makes it easier for newer players to get into the shooter. In CS:GO, only the snipers have a 'right-click' feature, which sometimes impacts the rate of fire for particular weapons.
YouTuber Skovos has shared a video explaining every VALORANT weapon alt-fire in detail.
Having alt-fire in the game can make it easier for newer players to get into the game.
The visual design in VALORANT is good enough that players can identify each element easily.Each visual texture and effect is clear and district, movements are crisp, in part, due to the 128 tick servers that Riot employs in contrast to Valve’s 64 tick ones.
VALORANT's visual design allows players to see teammates through the walls, which is a useful feature that CS:GO lacks. It makes it easier for players to strategize around maps.
The buy phase in both VALORANT and CS:GO are very similar, but there are two key differences. In VALORANT, you don't just buy guns and armor, you also buy Agent abilities. The second is how you're able to see how much credits each opponent has at the top of each round. This makes it easier for both teams to determine which guns your opponent will be going for. Just by pressing the Tab button, you can get a full view of your opponent's financial situation. However, in CS:GO, strategizing against an opponent's weapon purchase is much more difficult. You will have to try and accurately predict the guns that you will face each round, so it's really important to pay attention to the enemy's kill score and round streaks than it is in Riot's shooter.
Compared to CS:GO's gritty and realistic visuals, VALORANT's RPG-inspired visual designs and diverse character designs make it more accessible for younger and casual players who just want to have enjoy the game.
A game like CS:GO and VALORANT need a reliable team of developers because of their need to get constant updates, and there is clearly a difference in communication between Riot Games and Valve. While Valve shrouds itself in silence on social media, the developers at Riot Games have been vocal on Twitter. Not only when things go according to plan, but also when they don’t, like when VALORANT game director Joseph Ziegler tweeted this:
Riot has also been vocal on the official VALORANT Youtube channel. Here's Executive Producer Anna Donlon welcoming players from Vietnam:
Every two weeks, VALORANT gets a scheduled update to patch isues, as well as a big update at the beginning of every Episode. Each Episode consists of three Acts (ranked seasons). They've held on to this schedule ever since they launched VALORANT 1.0 in June 2020. CS:GO updates are less frequent and smaller. While it's worth noting that VALORANT has more things to patch due to its young age, the updates in Riot's FPS add more changes other than just bug fixes and technical improvements.
Some of the major updates add new agents and casual game modes, and we expect future updates to include new maps as well. Some VALORANT updates also help balance the game by buffing or nerfing certain agents and weapons, and Riot is doing a fantastic job communicating the changes on social media.
Want cyberpunk-inspired weapons, or guns that don't just have dragon designs but are actually dragons? If you nodded yes, then you'd love VALORANT more than CS:GO. Functionally, weapon skins don't make the guns more powerful or effective, but the fact that VALORANT's visual design is not limited to realism gives the developers more freedom to create unique weapon skins and cosmetics, so there's a wide range of visual styles for weapon skins you can purchase or unlock with the battlepass. Riot even releases reveal trailers for some of their skin bundles:
However, the weapon skins in VALORANT are expensive, and you will need to spend additional Radianite points to upgrade some skins to unlock other color schemes or special animation. However, let's not forget that this is a free-to-play game, and players can unlock the less premium skins by progressing through the game's battlepass track. While the availability of CS:GO skins is better since they are freely availble on the Steam Marketplace instead of creating urgency by having them in the in-game store for a limited time, VALORANT has more to offer in terms of visual styles: whether you like the fantasy-themed designs of the Magepunk and Elderflame skins, or the sci-fi-themed designs of Singularity skins and Glitchpop collection, you'll find something you'd definitely like in Riot's FPS. You can also get anime-inspired skins featuring VALORANT's agents:
In addition to the guns, players can also use various melee weapons with cool animations, like a burning dagger, a fan that you can actually fan, a cool ax, and more. There are also a lot of gun buddies, player cards, and spray paints you can unlock. There are spray paints in CS:GO, but the visual styles of the various cosmetics in VALORANT are just more flavorful.
CS:GO has had 20 years to develop as the top FPS esport, but VALORANT is already on track to surpass it.
In recent months, CS: GO has seen an unpredeeced exodus of pros switching to Riot's FPS competitor, and this trend started early on in VALORANT's esport cycle. The similarities made the transition seamless for CS: GO players. In the early phases of VALORANT, we've seen pro players like James "hazed" Cobb and Spencer "Hiko" Martin who stepped away from the CS: GO scene to become staples in Riot's shooter. In addition, big CS:GO names such as EG's Ethan "Ethan" Arnold, major champion Timothy "Autimatic" Ta, and Nicholas "nitr0 Cannella also made the switch. On top of that, potential and developing CS: GO players, like Rahul "Curry" Nemani began his early career in 2020 on Triumph, but months later, he joined T1's VALORANT roster alongside Autimatic.
Ethan Arnold, who now plays VALORANT for the 100 Thieves, explained why he switched to Riot's FPS while speaking to Dot Esports: "For me, personally, CS was getting really stale," Arnold said. "Nothing has really changed in the last two years. Everything right now in VALORANT seems very fresh and I think that's something I was excited about, learning a whole new game."
More North American esports organizations have also switched their focus on VALORANT since CS:GO's remote play has hurt NA out of any major regions. The scene is largely godforsaken with a dwindling player base, general level of competition, and audience. Because of travel and live event restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NA esports teams had to make extended trips to Europe in order to stay relevant.
It is with a heavy heart we announce that 100 Thieves will be exiting CS:GO. pic.twitter.com/cJqKk5Vvwp— 100 Thieves (@100Thieves) October 12, 2020
Even Dr. Disrespect believes that VALORANT will be the "esports game of the future". In one of his YouTube streams, he said, “It’s gonna continue to get big, People are taking notice, this is where all the hype comes in. There’s just gonna be so much momentum."
Former CS:GO pro Shroud also believes that top-class CS:GO players could potentially make more money than their career earnings in a year or so of playing VALORANT.
Shroud, who believes that top-class CS:GO players could potentially make more money than their career earnings in a year or so of playing Riot's tactical FPS. “I think if he does (s1mple jumping on Valorant) he’s going to make a f**k tonne of money,” Shroud said during his stream. “Valorant is on the climb for these pro players to make more money than they ever made in their whole career in CS, isn’t that crazy?"
Shroud added: “Like, yeah, they’ve made $1 million, $2 million, hundreds of thousands of dollars or whatever, but the reason why people are eyeing it is because it is, quite literally, going to make these people who earned $1 million, $2 million in the five years they played, it could make them that in a year. Like, you could see VALORANT pro players, in the next year or two, making a million or two in a year, that’s just a fact. You could see that, it could happen."
At the time of this writing, international LAN tournaments for VALORANT haven't taken place yet, but the game is already dominating the esports scene all over the world, and when international competitions happen, Riot's esport will surely take the world of esports to the next level.
The esports/competitive scene for VALORANT is not the only think growing for the rising FPS. Since Riot launched the game last year, the community of fans and content creators continues to grow with as fan-made content of amazing gameplay clips, funny montages, and TikTok videos (Check out my TikTok - JakeVyper) spread all over social media like wildfire. And let's not forget about the funny memes that spawned since the game launched in 2020. You can find a lot of VALORANT clips and memes on our Valorant Rocks My World Facebook page.
Popular streamers like Ninja, Pokimane, Shroud, and Dr. Disrespect have been streaming VALORANT, and they clearly have strong passion for the game, and Riot's FPS is a hit on Twitch.
According to Twitchtracker.com, more people are viewing VALORANT over CS:GO. At the time of this writing, VALORANT is ranked 6th while CS:GO is ranked 9th in the April 2021 rankings.
However, Twitch is not the only streaming platform where you can find VALORANT content creators. There's a lot of YouTubers focused on uploading all kinds of VALORANT content such as tutorials on how to master a specific agent, or highlights of unforgettable gameplay moments. Facebook Gaming has also a bunch of VALORANT streamers, including myself (You can watch my streams on my Facebook page). I barely see any CS:GO streamers on Facebook. There are also subreddits dedicated to sharing VALORANT clips and tips.
As more agents and maps are added to the game, it's likely that we will continue to see VALORANT rise to be the #1 FPS esport. It's just a matter of time.