With Riot games’ recent release of Valorant, has CSGO been dethroned? CSGO has been the epitome of tactical shooters for over 20 years. Valorant vs CSGO has been a big topic since the release of Riot’s FPS, because of all the similarities to the well established genre of Counter Strike. However, Valorant has brought a new take on the classic 5 vs 5 bomb defuse mode, bringing new abilities and characters that change the landscape of this genre.
Which game will become most popular?
Valorant vs CSGO Comparison – Weapons
Who copied who?
When diving into the topic, it’s important to analyze the games’ weapon models which are extremely similar. The most iconic guns in CSGO are the AK-47, AWP and silenced M4A1-S which is swappable for the unsilenced M4A4.
Both games have extremely similar weapons which come with a similar buy menu where you can purchase weapons, armor and utility. First of all the AK-47, the most popular weapon in Counter strike because of its cheap cost, first bullet accuracy for 1 taps and its cheap price. The Vandal in Valorant is the mirror of the AK-47, with 1 tap capability and first bullet accuracy. However, there have been some tweaks such as a price of $2800 compared to $2700 in CSGO and 25 bullets instead of 30. There are a lot of weapon similarities in the two games.
Next one of the most impactful guns in the game, the AWP. The AWPs counterpart in Valorant is called the Operator and nicknamed the Op. In the early stages of Valorant the Op was similar to the AWP in CS:GO. It came with a cheap price of $4500 compared to $4750, short time to accuracy when counter strafing, fast bolting after each shot and a deadly fire rate. If you’re a sniper in either game,when it comes to Valorant vs CSGO, most likely you will be on CSGO’s side. However Riot shipped new patch 1.09 which brought a nerf to the Operator after community backlash for how powerful the weapon was. Here is another article that explains the contrasting factors between the two games.
VALORANT Price $ CSGO Price $
Vandal $2800 AK-47 $2700
OP $5000 AWP $4750
The nerf made the Operator a lot worse than it’s AWP counterpart and it’s only use is to be defensive and positional. In Counter strike the AWP can be used to get aggressive early man advantages for your team, agile clutches and fast flurries of kills on bombsite defense. Patch 1.09 increased the price of the op from $4500 to $5000, slower fire rate, longer time to equip, less scoped movement speed and a few more nerfs. A lot of people have looked at the Valorant CSGO comparison in terms of guns. Personally I am in favor of CSGO, because of things like this.
Since this update the so called AWP in valorant is now a more defensive weapon compared to a versatile one in CSGO. Finally the M4A4 or the M4A1S has been merged into one gun called a “phantom” in valorant. The gun is similar to the M4A1S being silenced and has 30 bullets. However the phantom has 1 shot potential to the head at close to medium ranges while the M4A1S or M4A4 do not. The similarity between these games allow players to switch between the two games easily.
Valorant vs CSGO – Movement
The first thing any CSGO player switching to Valorant for the first time will notice is how different the movement is. The movement in Valorant is extremely slow compared to CSGO, the running speed in Valorant is almost walking speed in CSGO. The movement speed in Valorant is always mentioned. This slow movement forces players to hold angles where they are at an advantage.
Player velocity and playstyle is very different in either game. In CSGO the advantage goes to the player who peeks the angle because of their movement velocity being much faster and ping being a factor. Tracking is much more prominent in CSGO, here is an article about improving tracking aim easily. The ability to counter strafe by moving in one direction then tapping the opposite key to stop and shoot is the same across both games. When talking about Valorant vs CSGO, peekers advantage is key.
Valorant vs CSGO Maps
Valorant currently has 5 maps as of October 2020. They are named haven, split, bind, ascent and icebox. The map design has a close resemblance to CSGO with it’s focus on chokepoints and bombsite layouts to allow for more strategy compared to an open deathmatch. There are a lot of map design similarities.
The similarity in map design is mostly because one of CSGOs map creators “Volcano” who made Nuke and other maps also designed the ones you see currently in Valorant. All counter strike maps have only an A and B bombsite. However, Valorant’s “Haven” map has A, B and C.
Another big difference between the two games and their map design is the color pallet. Valorant is a vibrant and colorful game to entice young players from various games such as Fortnite to play this new FPS game. On the other hand CS:GO is more bland and grittier. It focuses on the realism of the environment in a warzone.
Abilities vs Grenades
There is a big comparison in terms of utility options. Utility in counter strike is used to manipulate the other team in a way to get more kills or block them off from certain areas of the map for short periods of time. Smokes are used to stall the T side advancing map control or entering bombsites. It is also used to lock out CTs from the bombsite to buy time for the bomb to explode. Its tough to say between Valorant vs CSGO, which one has the best utility system for competitive play.
Flashbangs are used to blind opponents for a teammate to peek and get a kill or enter a bombsite safely without checking 50 angles. Molotovs are used to prevent bombsite rushes or flush out opponents from strong positions behind cover. Valorant has a new take on utility which are abilities.
Which utility system do you like between Valorant vs CSGO?
These abilities take the form of magic but are designed in a way that they are very similar to smokes, flashes and molotovs. For example flashes can be in the form of a floating purple eye or a shrouded ball of light that flies forward through walls and blinds when it makes contact with an opponent. Ultimates and grenades, both are very unique and bring their own style into the game. In addition to Valorant’s similar utility they also have “ultimate abilities” which is one extremely powerful piece of utility that can only be gained from getting a certain amount of kills or obtaining more orbs spread around the map in contested locations.
Some of these ultimates are a rocket launcher, ability to revive a teammate, a second life or an orbital strike. These ultimates take multiple rounds to obtain and once used for a round it has to be gained again.
These ultimates are a big discussion point because it makes the game less hardcore but it also makes the game fun and tactical in some situations. In counter strike these aspects of the game don’t exist and maybe for the better.
Any counter strike player that switches to Valorant may have a hard time adjusting to this unfair advantage that an opponent can have in a certain round. Also armor in CSGO acts as a cushioning system to reduce the damage of the opponent. But Valorant has shields which just act as more hp. So after every round you survive in Valorant, if you have taken damage you will need to replenish your shields. However, in CSGO you could survive 7 rounds taking damage and still have enough armor that you only purchased for $1000. The Valorant and CSGO discussion becomes a lot harder when a core fundamental of each game is quite unique.
The Skin Economy
Perhaps the reason CSGO is still living is because of it’s skin market. Players can purchase, sell or trade skins for every weapon or character in the game. These skins were such a hit that the most expensive skin goes beyond $15,000 USD. Skins are a big deal, the skin economy in CSGO is huge and surpasses anything of any other game.
Players are more willing to purchase such expensive skins because of the fact they can always cash out on 3rd party websites for real money with a small transaction fee. Each skin comes from a collection and a case. Comparing Valorant to CSGO, both games have skins, but they also have totally different systems around them.
Every so often Valve will release a new case that randomly drops to a player in a match after it finishes and requires a key roughly $2.50 USD to open. Once opened the player will have a chance to get 1 out of 15 or so skins ranging anywhere from 10 cents to over one 1000 dollars.
Not only that but there is a fraction of a percent chance to get an extremely rare item in the form of a random knife or pair of gloves. Who do you think has a better skin system? Valorant has its own take on weapon skins which is similar to the Fortnite item shop. The shop consists of a new skin package that lasts a certain amount of days with different singular items sold separately that change daily.
Note that these skins cannot be sold or traded like CSGO. A normal skin bundle is about $100 USD. There has been a lot of criticism from the community that the skin prices in Valorant are far too expensive for a virtual item that cannot be sold or traded once purchased.
There is a lot of visual difference between the skins in Valorant and CSGO. Some skins in Valorant are animated, come with different sound effects or have special visuals like glowing trims. Skins in CSGO are completely painted on and there are only a few skins that have a holographic effect while inspecting. Each game also have their own accessories that can be put on these weapon skins. CSGO has regular, foil or holographic stickers with various designs including esport team logos. On the other hand Valorant has keychains that have their own movement physics similar to Rainbow Six Siege.
Lets look at the money system between the two games. The money system is what gives depth to tactical shooters. Money can be accumulated from things such as round wins or kills and it can be lost by being killed by another player. The more money a team has, the better weapons and utility they have. I look forward to seeing how the Valorant vs CSGO race will improve features like the economy in both games.
Both games have players start the first round with $800. The current CSGO economy has a loss bonus that gives players more money after each consecutive round loss starting at $1900 then $2400, $2900, $3400. If the team wins a round it will go back one loss bonus. In Valorant the max loss bonus is $2900. For a round win in CSGO it can be $3250 for 5 eliminations or $3500 for blowing the objective. In Valorant both scenarios are $3000.
The price of an AK is $2700, full armor is $1000 and full utility is $1100. In Valorant the price of a Vandal is $2900, full armor $1000 and full utility around $800. So both games have a similar purchase price, however utility in valorant is a little cheaper.
Economy in bomb defuse modes have a system that gives the game a storyline. Think about this, a team has no money left in the reserves and they are about to attempt to retake a bombsite. If they attempt the retake they are burning their boats and fully committing themselves to the fight and if they lose, they lose everything and are reset the next round to only light pistols with no utility. The Valorant CSGO comparison is narrowing closer and closer, with features like economy being so similar.
There are many key similarities and differences between Valorant vs CSGO. Each game is unique in it’s own way and caters to a different audience. Even though they both are the leading tactical shooters in the esports space. Hopefully we will see more growth as these 2 games compete with eachother and bring forth new and better content. I look forward to seeing which game comes out on top in a couple years, or if the true one just waiting to be released.
Who will win this race?