Valorant release date, characters and everything else to know

(Image credit: Riot Games via

Valorant, practically the hottest nightclub in gaming today, is finally opening up to the rest of us. We just found out when Riot Games will release the highly anticipated shooter for those of us not lucky enough to get beta codes.

Riot made its name as one of the biggest players in online gaming with the success seen in League of Legends. And for its next trick, the studio rolled out a first-person-shooter that you had to get an invite to play.

This led to rabid demand for the team-based shooter, because not everyone could get a code. In the process, it even pulled in esports players from the horde of Overwatch gamers. 

And now, we know when regular plebs like you and I will be able to get in on the fun. Here's everything you need to know about Valorant, from its release date to characters to what its gameplay is actually like. Plus, we've got the destination for where to watch streams of the game, to get ready for its release.

Valorant release date

Valorant releases on Windows PCs starting June 2, 2020. It's been in a closed beta since April 7. Those in the closed beta will have to take a break, as Valorant will go offline between May 28 and the release. 

The news was announced in this video:

To prepare for Valorant's impending release, Riot is adding additional servers, in Atlanta, Dallas, London, Madrid and Warsaw. Their aim, naturally, is to cut down on latency and prevent added stress on their networks from hampering the fun.

Valorant gameplay

Valorant is a 5v5 team-based shooter that looks a lot like Overwatch, but has its own pace and requires its own particular set of skills. Don't worry about anyone having a head start, though, as game accounts will reset with the major launch. 

Those teams of Valorant players are assigned to one of two sides: one, five-person team of attackers and one five-person team of defenders.

The attacking team has a bomb called the Spike that they need to plant on a specific site during a round. If they do so, and defend it until it explodes, the team wins the round. If the defending team can stop the attackers from planting the bomb or detonating it before time runs out, they win. It's like "capture the flag" turned into "plant the boom. "

Similar to games like Overwatch, Valorant offers a choice of unique characters with distinct abilities that can be combined in a variety of tactical ways. 

A video published online by Riot Games shows each person with one life per round. So, if you die mid-round, you're out until the next round.

Valorant characters

Valorant has 10 characters: Breach, Brimstone, Cypher, Jett, Omen, Phoenix, Raze, Sage, Sova and Viper. 

Phoenix uses fire-based pyrotechnics to attack and defend, and fittingly has a respawn feature for his ultimate. 

Raze is a detonations expert, who has grenades and a robot that that can be sent out to blow up enemies in its way — with a rocket launcher ultimate move.

Valorant gameplay

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Jett, as you could guess from her name, flies around a lot and has a feature set meant for players skilled at avoidance and knowing when to go in to bring the pain.

Viper is a poisonous agent, with projectile and smoke attacks. Viper's ultimate covers a large-spread poison cloud for her to do damage. 

Sova, whose name isn't a big clue (at least to me) is the archer. Owl Drone helps you find and attack enemies, while Hunter's Fury ultimate sends wall-piercing blasts that do major damage.

Cypher is the espionage character, a hunter who lays traps and can even steal enemy team intel from dead bodies, using the Neural Thief ultimate. 

Brimstone hails punishment down with aerial weapons to attack opponents with damage of vision obfuscating smoke. The Orbital Strike finisher calls in a fury from the skies.

Sage is the team's medic, skilled at healing and protecting. She's got a Slow Orb ability to reduce the speed of anyone on the field, and a Resurrection ability to revive an ally from a dead state. 

Omen is another stealthy character, like Cypher, who jumps around the map with teleportation. 

Does Valorant have a story?

Valorant doesn't have a traditional story with a start and end point that gamers can parse through easily. Instead, much like Overwatch, Valorant will roll out its story and mythology over time.

Valorant price

Valorant aerial assault

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Valorant won't cost a thing, other than your time. Yes, Valorant is free-to-play, which has proven a winning strategy in the past.

Valorant loot and battle pass

Fitting in recent trends, Valorant is saying no to loot boxes. The free-to-play game will make money with microtransactions — including sprays and weapon skins that will be sold either in the in-game store or via a battle pass.

Character skins won't be a thing in Valorant, but you'll get the option to makeover your weaponry.

Valorant system requirements: What PC specs do I need?

Valorant was made to run on all kinds of systems, with the following minimum system specs (via to Riot itself):

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 or better
  • Graphics: Intel HD 4000 or better
  • RAM: At least 4GB
  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit or later

Valorant shootout

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Steelseries published Valorant's requirements for 30 frames per second smoothness: an Intel i3-370M processor with an Intel HD 3000 GPU. 

Its recommended 60fps setup starts at an Intel i3-4150 CPU with a GeForce GT 730 GPU. And for 144 fps and over? Intel Core i5 4460 CPU with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card.

This all stacks up to a widely supported game that should run on our picks for the best gaming PCs and our best gaming laptops.

Valorant on PS4, Xbox One or Switch?

Riot has only announced a PC version of Valorant. It has not ruled out a possible release for PS4, Xbox One or Switch.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.