It's the first holiday season for Riot Games' first-person shooter, Valorant. As the game continues to find its footing and establish its user base, Riot Games is ready to give those players something to celebrate the season. Starting next week, players will trade in their bullets for snowballs as part of a new Snowball Fight mode.
Eagle-eyed Valorant players may have noticed the Snowball Fight mode's reveal buried in the 1.14 patch notes. Yes, this will be a 5v5 Team Deathmatch mode with a few twists. First off, all players will be equipped with a snowball launcher with infinite ammo. Snowballs fly slowly and at an arc, so attackers will need to compensate for this before going in guns blazing. To help move the game along, players will find special gifts spawning across the map, each containing a power-up. If you die, you'll drop your power-up and it'll be up for grabs, so be careful if you get a particularly strong one and don't drop it!
Here are what the power-ups look like, according to the patch notes:
- Rapid Fire: fire even faster
- Growball: grows over time while traveling in the air
- Ricochet: for all those snowball trick shots off the ground and walls
- Skates: skate around quickly and in style. Jump higher!
Snowball Fight's design comes out of a desire from Riot to make their shooter a little bit of a friendlier place.
"Valorant can be a stressful game," Senior Game Designer Bobby Prochnow said via press release. "Please excuse the pun, but Valorant has very little chill. We've been exploring several modes and prototypes that players can use to escape long stressful Valorant sessions, preferably with their friends. We had the idea of trying to come up with a mode that felt appropriate to celebrate the holidays and the release of Icebox. The prototype was an instant hit with the team, and we’ve been working to get it to players."
Snowball Fight's first week will take place on a holiday version of the Icebox map. The second week will see the game mode open up to all of Valorant's current maps. The first team to 50 kills takes the win and respawns are enabled. Best of luck to all competitors!
Those looking for more casual game modes like this may be pleased by what's coming to Valorant in the months ahead, according to Senior Producer Jared Berbach.
"We've been designing and prototyping a lot of potential lower stress, lower focus modes to accompany our awesome standard mode experience," Berbach added. "We want to provide places where players can wind down after a long session, or simply hang out with their friends of all skill levels to have some casual fun. To that effect, we'll be focusing on these types of modes in the first half of the upcoming year. More to share soon!"
Snowball Fight will be a free addition to Valorant for two weeks, running from December 15-29. If you're looking for something to spend some Christmas cash on, Riot unveiled some new holiday-themed premium items earlier today. Valorant is free-to-play on PC.