Valorant is arguably the most popular multiplayer game out right now. The first-person tactical shooter from Riot Games has taken the world by storm. Consistently taking the top spot on Twitch, Valorant has proven to be a solid alternative to CS:GO for those wanting a bit more depth from their multiplayer shooters.
One of the main reasons for Valorant’s success is how polished the game feels already. With its recognizable heroes and solid gameplay mechanics, the shooter has gotten rave reviews from critics all-round. Additionally, Valorant also feels a lot more accessible to casual players since the movement and shooting is not quite as complicated as Counter-Strike.
However, it is the inclusion of agents and their unique abilities that seals the deal for Valorant. All of the Valorant agents pack tons of personality within themselves and have distinctive abilities, most of which are super useful in combat. If you wish to learn more about the game itself, you can check out our full Valorant Review.
The greatest flaw with Valorant
Despite everything being great with Valorant though, the game still has a massive flaw. While not being directly linked to the gameplay, it is something that can make or break Valorant for you. What is it? Region-locking.
You see, Riot Games, for some reason, has locked Valorant players into different regions. This is not something new to the games developed by Riot though as League of Legends suffers from the same issue.
Essentially, when you download Valorant for the very first time, you have to sign in to your Riot account. However, the account can only exist within one region at a time. You select this region while creating your account after which, you’re stuck with it. Riot Games gives you the option to choose the one closest to you from the dozen or so predetermined regions.
Doesn’t seem too bad, right? Well, yes but the issue is that you cannot simply change the region if you accidentally choose the wrong one or have moved away from it. For example, if you’re in the middle of Europe, you have a few options to choose from. However, you’d have to switch to another account every time you try to test your options.
Yes, you can get your region changed officially. However, you have to send out an application to Riot to transfer your account over, which can take ages. Furthermore, creating a new account to bypass that would result in a loss of progress.
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Another rather bizarre thing about this region system is the fact that they don’t exactly cover the entire globe. For instance, if you’re living in India, which is a massive country, you’d either have to choose between South East Asia or Europe. However, depending on your location, you probably won’t get a decent latency on either, making the game unplayable for you.
No cross-region support
The issues mentioned above can still be somewhat forgiven for obvious reasons. However, what cannot be forgiven is the fact that Valorant games are locked to one region at all times. What this means is that all the players in a single match have to be from one region and there is no cross-region play.
So, if you have a friend who lives across the ocean and wants to play Valorant with you, there is no possible way for you to do that without another account. Such limiting factors were common practice over a decade ago, especially for MMOs. However, for a game like Valorant, a restriction like this doesn’t even begin to make any sense.
It is rather bizarre to see a lack of cross-region play in a first-person shooter, especially in 2020 when the industry is heading towards a more lax approach to such things. While it is true that locking regions reduces management complications for Riot, it is something that needs to die already.
For a game like Valorant, having cross-region play is absolutely crucial, especially if it wants to retain its global appeal. Furthermore, every other competitor has been doing it for ages so it really shouldn’t be hard to implement. Apart from that, the game also desperately needs a server browser.
It is a shame that despite being such a solid game, such hurdles prevent Valorant from being a viable experience. A lot of CS:GO players who initially switched over to try out Valorant are now going back thanks to the horrendous restrictions present within the game’s matchmaking system.
So, Riot, would you please let me play Valorant with my friends?
Do you think that regional restrictions are a hurdle for you while playing Valorant? Let us know down in the comments below!