Valorant’s “Escalation” Mode is CS:GO’s Arms Race / Gun Game on Drugs

Valorant’s new 12-stage game mode “Escalation” is out. It bears similarity to “Arms Race” from CS:GO and “Gun Game” from the Call of Duty franchise. The aim of this game mode is for players to familiarize themselves with the variety of weapons in Valorant. This not only accounts for all of the guns, but also offensive abilities. Raze’s exploding roomba, Sova’s Shak Datt and the likes will also be part of the weapon rotation.

valorant arms race gun game

To quote Valorant mode designer, Kyle Leech:

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.”

In Riot’s media release, Riot describes Escalation as such:

“Escalation is a casual, fast-paced mode designed for fun social play and perfect for encouraging players to practice with new weapons. In this mode, 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.”

“Escalation” Gun Game Mode Mechanics:

  • Similar to a respawning team deathmatch. 
  • When the match starts, there is one random loadout of 12 weapons/abilities which both teams must cycle through. They are roughly in order of ‘most lethal’ to ‘least lethal’. 
  • A team must collectively get X number of kills in each of the 12 stages before they progress to the next one. 

Upon progressing to the next stage, the player who got that latest kill to push the team over – automatically progresses to the next gun/ability in the cycle.

  • 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 their shop key to get the next weapon.
  • Members of the team who fail to kill with that weapon will stay on the previous level. This is until they get a kill.
  • 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.
  • For the final stage, the whole team gets the final weapon/ability as soon as that stage starts. 
  • If no team has won after 10 minutes, the team in the lead wins and the match ends.
  • There is a 15-90s warmup in which players are given random weapons from the weapon set on spawn. This functions as a simple team deathmatch while waiting for players to load in.

A Load of Other Changes

In addition to this hectic new game mode, Valorant is also implementing a buttload of new changes. Weapon changes in significantly the Stinger, Marshal and Frenzy. Aside from that, Reyna also has received a much requested ability nerf.

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