Riot Games has had a pretty great opening run for its competitive multiplayer shooter Valorant. After a strong debut last summer with an uber-popular beta period and official launch that landed big with players and streamers alike, Valorant cruised through its first six months with ease. As with any free-to-play game, live content and variety are key to maintaining player interest and engagement. Riot has prepared Valorant's first-ever limited-time mode, Escalation, and will be enabling it on live servers beginning tomorrow, February 17.
The rules for the Escalation limited-time event mode are detailed on the official Valorant website and are as follows:
- 5v5 game mode
- 12 Escalation levels (each level has a specific weapon or ability)
- First team to 12, or furthest along in 10 minutes, wins
- Team together must earn 7 points on a level to advance to the next level
- A kill on the current level earns 1 point
- A kill on a previous level earns .5 points
- Each player has an individual weapon level they’re working to complete
- You’ll have to earn at least 1 kill on a weapon to unlock the next weapon level
- The team can still advance Escalation levels if you’re on an older weapon level
- Example: Your team can be level 4 but you can still be “stuck” with the level 1 weapon (let’s say the Vandal), until you get 1 kill with that weapon. Then you’ll progress to the level 2 weapon, not directly to level 4.
- Games run for about 7–9 minutes
- No Agent-specific abilities based on your character select choice, only the standard abilities that all players will see throughout the match (see Loadout section below)
- Fast respawns (invulnerable for first 5 seconds)
The individual weapon loadouts for Escalation are determined by the level each team is participating in:
- Level 1: Always either Raze’s Showstopper or Vandal/Phantom
- Level 2: Always Vandal or Phantom.
- Levels 3–11: Assorted weapons and abilities
- Level 12: Possible Shorty, Classic, Knife, Shock Dart...or even the Snowball Launcher
- Health: Every death drops a health pack that expires after 10 seconds
Riot has not specified how long the Escalation mode will be available in Valorant, but urges anyone interested to jumbo in as soon as possible because the mode won't be around forever. The team indicated that it could hang around longer than planned based on player feedback.