If you've been playing Valorant but find its matches to be a little too long, then Riot Games has the update for you.
Tomorrow, February 17th, will see a new mode added to the popular hero shooter – Escalation.
Designed for social play and practising all of the game's diverse arsenal of weapons, here's everything you need to know.
Valorant Adds Escalation Mode In Latest Update
The new mode pits two teams of five against each other, with semi-randomised weapons and abilities.
The kicker is that players get progressively tougher-to-handle weapons as they rack up kills, with matches lasting around 8 minutes – a far cry from the longer Spike-planting main mode.
“In designing Escalation, we wanted to create a quick, low-stress Team Deathmatch mode with high uptime that's fun to play socially with friends", Kyle Leach, Engineer/Designer on modes explained.
"We're hoping to provide players with an opportunity to practice gunplay across the entire arsenal and experience some abilities in novel ways, while providing a shared objective that benefits from some coordination but doesn't require it for a team to succeed.”
When the match starts, there is one randomly-generated set of 12 weapons/abilities which both teams must cycle through, roughly in order of ‘most lethal’ to ‘least lethal’.
As per Riot's explanation:
- Upon progressing to the next stage, the player who got that latest kill to push the team over - automatically progresses to the next gun/ability in the cycle.
- Members of the team who have already gotten a kill on a given level when it’s completed get a 5-second timer to press B (or their shop hotkey) to get the next weapon, after which they’ll get it automatically.
- Members of the team who have not gotten a kill with that weapon will stay on the previous level until they get a kill, after which they’ll auto-upgrade to the next level.
- If there is significant skill disparity, it is possible for “worse” players to be more than one stage behind. When they get their next kill, they progress to the next stage, not the latest team stage (ie they don’t skip any weapons).
- One exception: for the final stage only, the whole team gets the final weapon/ability as soon as that stage is reached.
There's a hard-cap on the timer, too, with the leading team winning if no one has won by the time it hits ten minutes.
“When players see or play this mode, they’ll immediately see our inspiration: Gun Game," Leach reveals.
"Growing up, I played Gun Game in CS: Source like crazy and had a ton of fun with it. The satisfaction of getting several kills in quick succession with fun arcade-y sound effects and clean auto-equips, along with the thrill of racing opponents to a spectacular finish with a crazy weapon - these are feelings that Gun Game has always delivered fantastically that we're hoping to capture in this mode."
"The challenge has been crafting a team-based version of the mode: every version we've seen has been basically a free for all where one player wins and the goal is to place as close to first as possible."
"We wanted to take the fun and excitement of progressing through weapons and make it feel truly team-based. We ended up with this mode where players progress individually through a loadout and need to get a kill on each level, but they also contribute to their team's level and the match "Escalates" to a final fight where the entire team gets pulled onto the same level and has to work together to complete it with a weaker weapon.”
Escalation will land for all players on February 17.