Valorant on Controller Could Feel As Good As Mouse and Keyboard

Valorant on Controller Could Feel As Good As Mouse and Keyboard

Riot Games is poised to bring its highly competitive tactical shooter, Valorant, to consoles, promising to deliver an experience as strong as the PC version. The challenge was maintaining the same feel that Valorant has on PC, ensuring that regardless of the platform, players get what Riot considers the definitive Valorant experience.

A Balancing Act: Adapting Controls

Riot faced a significant challenge in adapting Valorant for consoles. The primary hurdle was the fundamental differences between PC and console inputs. Playing a shooter with a mouse and keyboard is vastly different from using a controller, requiring separate skill sets. To address this, Riot had to adjust the console experience to make the two feel as similar as possible.

"There were so many ways, where if it wouldn't have worked out, we would have had to say that we can't make this game for console if we can solve this problem," said production director Arnar Gylfason in an interview with GameSpot.

Ahead of the official announcement at Summer Game Fest 2024, Riot invited journalists and influencers to its studio in Los Angeles to play the new console version of Valorant. The aim was to gather feedback and ensure that the console controls felt as tight and precise as they do on PC.

Innovations in Control: The Focus Mode

To bridge the gap between the precise aiming of a mouse and the broader movements of a controller, Riot introduced an additional aiming mode called Focus mode. This mode acts as a middle ground between firing from the hip and aiming down sights. When the left trigger is pulled, players slip into Focus mode, which tightens their view slightly and switches to a more precise aiming sensitivity.

"The idea here is that you can set one sensitivity for looking around, one sensitivity for Focus, and one sensitivity for ADS, allowing you to get the precision you need," Gylfason explained.

In practice, Focus mode balances the need to quickly assess the environment and hit precise shots, making the console experience feel intuitive and responsive. This mode ensures that players can maintain situational awareness while achieving the precision necessary for competitive play.

Ensuring a Competitive Experience

Valorant is known for its high-skill, competitive gameplay, where quick and deadly gunplay is mixed with hero shooter elements. Each character has special abilities that must be anticipated and countered. This complexity posed a challenge for adapting the controls to ensure they remained reliable on a controller.

"The biggest challenge is how do you solve for this problem in Valorant that you have to be able to be really fast at looking around and assessing a scenario," said Gylfason.

Riot's approach involved more than just porting the game. They tuned various small elements to ensure that console and PC versions felt the same. For example, the time it takes to deal with abilities like Reyna's Leer or Sova's dart was adjusted so that the disruption feels the same across platforms, even if the specific tuning varies.

Performance and Cross-Platform Features

Riot is targeting a stable 120 FPS across all consoles to ensure a smooth and responsive experience. Importantly, there will be no cross-play between PC and consoles, but Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 players will share lobbies. Riot's anti-cheat software will prevent mouse and keyboard players from entering console lobbies, ensuring a level playing field.

"Once you log into Valorant, you're in Valorant--you're playing on the same infrastructure, the same net code, the same servers as PC players are playing on," Gylfason said.

Valorant will feature cross-progression, allowing players to carry over their skins and cosmetic items between platforms. This ensures that player investment in the game is respected, regardless of the platform they choose to play on.

Beta Testing and Future Updates

Riot is running a limited beta test for Valorant on consoles starting June 14 in the US, Canada, Europe, the UK, and Japan, with potential global rollout afterward. This beta aims to fine-tune the experience based on player feedback before the full release.

Players interested in the beta can sign up on Riot's website at


Bringing Valorant to consoles is a significant step for Riot Games, one that required thoughtful adjustments to ensure the competitive integrity of the game remains intact. With innovative solutions like Focus mode and a commitment to performance and fairness, Riot aims to make Valorant on consoles feel as good as on PC. As the beta testing begins, players can look forward to experiencing the tactical depth and fast-paced action of Valorant in a whole new way.

"It was important for us that we honored the player investment in the game," Gylfason emphasized. "No matter what platform they're playing on, whether that investment is time spent or money invested, that needs to be honored and respected, no matter where you're coming from."


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