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10 Things to know about the Valorant Escalation Mode

Riot Games has just released the new Valorant Escalation Mode and today we take a look at the top 10 things to know about the new Valorant Escalation Mode.

And before we jump to the hard facts, remember that Escalation Mode is available starting today!

10. The goal was to create a mode that has a quick, low stress Team Deathmatch mode with high uptime

According to Kyle Leach, Engineer/Designer on Modes, their goal was to have a mode that has a high uptime that still sticks to the principles of “Team Deathmatch” games from other FPS shooters past and present. “In designing Escalation, we wanted to create a quick, low stress Team Deathmatch mode with high uptime that’s fun to play socially with friends. We’re hoping to provide players with an opportunity to practice gunplay across the entire arsenal and experience some abilities in novel ways, while providing a shared objective that benefits from some coordination but doesn’t require it for a team to succeed.”

9.  It’s a mode that encourages practicing the use of new weapons.

According to the Escalation Mode fact sheet, players are given powerful guns at the start of the match… but as they get more kills, their powerful weapons are periodically replaced with progressively more challenging and less lethal ones. In VALORANT’s take on this popular ‘gun game’ style FPS mode, players progress through this gauntlet as a team and will encounter both guns and iconic abilities from the core game.

8. There was a point in development where the game became a “horror game” involving Boom Bots. 

Kyle Leach recounts trying out the game and discovering that it suddenly became a horror game. He quotes

“The first time we played a loadout with the Boom Bot was pretty hilarious. We were playing on Split and I remember being in sewer and coming around the corner and seeing like 10 Boom Bots rushing down the hall at me. For me in that moment the game transformed into a horror game where I was trying to fight off a horde of Boom Bots with an Operator, and the chaos and struggle of deciding if I should shoot the bots or shoot an enemy was a situation that we didn’t foresee creating in this mode. It was a ton of fun. Obviously I died, those Boom Bots don’t mess around.”

7. The game works for both solo or cooperative game seamlessly

Sebastian Dalby, Quality Owner on Modes shares this story during the development of this new Valorant mode:

“As we were iterating on the Mode, the QA team set aside a playtesting block where we played the Mode on every map back to back to back. One team was on full comms, the other was simulating the solo experience. By the third or fourth game, the coordinated team was developing strategies based on where they were on the weapon track. My team was the solo experience team and we ended up hitting the final level (knife round for this playtest) four or five tiers before the coordinated team did. Once they got the final level announcement, they huddled in defender spawn on Icebox and had their epic grand stand until they ultimately caught up to the final level and ended up winning the game in what would become the biggest upset I’ve seen yet in the mode.”


6. Expect a warmup round for this new mode

There is a 15-90s warmup in which players are given random weapons from the weapon set on spawn, it functions as a simple team deathmatch while waiting for players to load in.

5. New feature forces players to cycle through the least lethal to the most lethal weapons and abilities

When the match starts, there is one randomly-generated set of 12 weapons/abilities which both teams must cycle through, roughly in order of ‘most lethal’ to ‘least lethal’.

4. A team must collectively get X number of kills/points in each of the 12 stages before they progress to the next one.

3. Members of the team who have already gotten a kill on a given level when it’s completed get a 5 second timer to press B (or their shop hotkey) to get the next weapon, after which they’ll get it automatically.

2. Members of the team who have not gotten a kill with that weapon will stay on the previous level until they get a kill, after which they’ll auto-upgrade to the next level.

1. If there is significant skill disparity, it is possible for “worse” players to be more than one stage behind. When they get their next kill, they progress to the next stage, not the latest team stage (ie they don’t skip any weapons).

Check out the trailer for Valorant’s Escalation Mode below:

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