What makes Valorant different from CS:GO?
Ever since its release in June 2020, Valorant has taken the world by storm. It became a sensation that boomed on social media and on various streaming platforms like Twitch. Since then, many people have been making comparisons regarding Valorant vs CS GO. While they have some similarities, they have far more differences.
At its core, Valorant fits in the same genre as CS:GO. It’s a first-person shooter game that is more strategic than mindless shooting. It puts a premium on good micromechanics such as a steady aim and recoil control. The gameplay also follows the same formula of search and destroy, where two teams face each other alternating defending and attacking certain sites.
For both Valorant and CS:GO, the objective of the game depends on your role for the half. If your team is on the ‘Defending’ role, your job is to protect your sites, usually A and B (for other maps there might even be a third, called C). On the other hand, if your team is ‘Attacking’, your job is to attack these sites and successfully detonate a bomb in it. For both roles, eliminating all the players on the opposing team in a round gains you a point.
However, this is where the similarities end. CS:GO fans love it’s simple, yet exciting gameplay, however, Valorant takes it to another level by adding several extra features and interactions that you can’t find anywhere else. These features are the following:
Agents and abilities
Perhaps the biggest difference between Valorant and CS:GO is the existence of various Agents with different abilities in Valorant.
Valorant agents pick screen
Unlike CS:GO, which is primarily focused on good gunplay and team coordination, Valorant creates the opportunity for new and unique strategies through its Agents.
CS:GO’s buy screen
Simply put, Agents are the characters you choose to play before each match. Each one has different abilities used for specific purposes and situations. While Agents do provide a flair to the game, as well as a myriad of other strategies and ways to play, it does cause the issue of balance changes, which is also one of the big differences between the two games.
Each Agent has a set of abilities that also act as their utilities. In the case of CS:GO, utilities come in the form of molotovs, flashbangs, and smoke grenades. In Valorant, they are called Agent abilities and function the same way as smoke grenades and flashbangs. Valorant takes it a step further though by adding Ultimates, which are essentially supercharged abilities that impact the game dramatically.
A constantly evolving meta
CS:GO is all about knowing the optimal strategies and anti-strategies for each map and refining them to perfection. Basically, there’s a single, optimized approach to the game that works almost every time you execute it. However, in Valorant, it’s a lot more chaotic, but in a good way.
Since there are many Agents in Valorant, you can’t spam one way to approach the game. Here’s an example: suppose you were camping in a certain spot of the map where you can pick off all the enemies that pass by your line of sight. If this was in CS:GO, even if your enemies know you’re there, they have no way to counter you unless they beat you in a straight up gunfight. You can stay in that spot for the entire game and go untouched.
In Valorant, however, your opponents have access to a variety of ways which they can use to flush you out. Unlike in CS:GO where players are limited to the same items and weapons every round, Valorant Agents have special abilities that can deal damage in unorthodox ways. In this example, a single Raze ultimate can take you out with one explosion, regardless of how good your aim is.
Since this interaction between Agents exists, the game has to constantly be balanced as more content is added. In cases where a new Agent is released, it might have unbalanced synergies with other Agents that need to be addressed. This constant tinkering with the stats and abilities of these characters continually shifts the power balance in the game, making some Agents more relevant than others during certain metas.
Faster-paced and more interactive maps
Valorant’s Haven map on Cypher’s cam
CS:GO’s Engage map
Valorant maps are smaller than CS:GO maps but this doesn’t take anything away from the game. In fact, smaller maps make for tighter contested sites, tense confrontations, and exhilarating moments. In addition, it’s also easier for beginner players to study the nuances of each map, such as lineups and the ideal strategies to use.
On top of that, Valorant maps are also more interactive. For example, in certain maps like Ascent, there are doors that you can close to limit the passage of your opponents and secure blind spots. In Fractured, there are ziplines you can use to get to the opposite end of the map faster. Either way, this makes the gameplay more dynamic and always exciting since there’s always another approach you can take to win.
Valorant managed to take all the essentials of what made CS:GO an amazing game and took it a step further to make it unique and more fun. However, it is important to note that CS:GO has a cult following where CS:GO skins trading and CS:GO betting add an extra layer of excitement to the game.
If you’re choosing between Valorant vs CS GO, you really can’t go wrong with either. If you want a fresh experience, however, Valorant is the better option. Once you play it, you can even try out esports betting at Bitcasino to get the chance to win money.
Words by: Jack Adriatico