I Hate How Agonizingly Effective Valorant Handles Its Skins
The new Valorant Skin Bundle “Magepunk” is out at a whopping 7,100 Valorant Points, and some would say that Valorant has an expensive skin problem. But aside from ludicrous prices, I also absolutely detest Valorant’s cosmetic store for a number of other reasons. From the lack of options per 24-hour rotations, to the ridiculous and expensive skin-tiers, there is a lot to complain about Valorant’s cosmetic store. That being said, Valorant is doing a great job handling their skins.
The Ridiculously Expensive Tiers
Valorant skins can be sorted according to tiers. They can range anywhere between 875 VP (~35 ringgit) to 2,450 VP (~85 ringgit). The lower end ones are usually flat colored with simple designs, while the slightly more expensive ones come with more complex patterns, ending with the most expensive tiers being upgradable with Radianite.
Valorant skins can vary in price, and they are generally separated into five distinct tiers. Each tier is distinguished with an icon above the weapon when you browse it in the store. Each also has set unique traits that establish an obvious difference between them.
What’s Different in Each Valorant Skin Tier
875 VP skins are the least bombastic of skins. They typically have the same model of the base gun but with unique flat colors. Luxe is the only one of the 875 VP skins to have slightly altered barrels.
1,275 VP skins are a slight step up; the gun models either have slight alterations or a much wider color palette on their designs.
1,775 VP skins are where things start getting expensive. In addition to having unique gun models, these skins also have variants. You can purchase additional variants, which usually feature different color palettes, of the skins with Radianite. There are some exceptions. For example, the Nebula collection doesn’t have any upgradeable skin variants, however the skin itself has very trippy and unique VFX.
2,175 VP skins are the BALLER category. They usually have the most unique designs in terms of models and aesthetics. Additionally, they also have unique reload and firing animations. For 10 Radianite a tier, you can also add additional VFX to your guns, and once fully upgraded, purchase extra variants for 15 Radianite.
So far, there is only one series of skins that cost 2,450 VP a pop and ~$100 a bundle: Elderflame. This set features it all; the most unique gun models, funky reload animations, and a badass dragon for the finisher. If you’ve ever seen it in action, you can tell why Riot would charge you this price.
The Limited Store Rotation Options
What agitates me about the Valorant Cosmetic Store is that is severely limited. There are only an option of four skins that you can choose from per 24 hours. It becomes even more frustrating when these four options take up only 40% of the screen.
How do I get a specific skin in Valorant? Let me give you a scenario with some nerd math to clarify. Everyday, I log in to Valorant to check if the Sakura Vandal is available for purchase. As the store features only four skins per day, there is a very slim chance that the Sakura Vandal appears in my rotation. There are currently ~100 purchasable skins (five Skins per 20 released bundles), with only four of them appearing per 24 hours. The chances that the Sakura Vandal appears in the store rotation is 4%, or 4/100. Bear in mind that this number is outdated by the time you’re reading this, as there are around 115 skins in the rotation now (in the formula, divide by 115).
There will never be a guarantee that the Sakura Vandal will appear in the store unless you reduce the number of skins that chance appearing in the rotation pool. Let’s say I will only EVER want to buy the Sakura Vandal. New skins are expected to appear in the store every two weeks. Therefore, let’s calculate the probability of the Valorant skin appearing within a two-week timeframe. Refer to the equation below:
The chance of a specific skin appearing in a cluster of four skins out of a hundred per 14 days -> (4/100)¹⁴ = 0.0000000000000000000268435456.
To put it into words because I hate numbers
Simply put, the odds increase by less than 1% before the 100 skin rotation pool becomes larger. A specific skin will always have a 4% chance of appearing on your store every day, and those odds only decrease as Riot adds new bundles into the game. This increases the overall number of skins in the game, making the denominator in the formula increase every 14 days leading to a lower percentage. The only way to significantly increase the chances of your desired skin appearing is to clear out the four daily skins in your store everyday, preventing them from reappearing in the future and lowering the number of skins that may appear in rotation.
Kinda confusing innit? Guess I’ll be buying those Prime 2.0 skins after all.
(I cry for not buying the entire Sakura bundle when presented the opportunity.)
Do you see the game Riot is playing? Having the player just know how difficult it will be to obtain specific skins will only push them to make impulse purchases when given the opportunity!
Cruel, but Effective!
As you can see, Riot is playing a very cruel yet effective game with their consumers. If you’re targeting a specific skin, you’ll have to log in and browse the store everyday to scout for it’s availability. You’ll likely be checking everyday, and everyday the temptation of the pricey, featured bundle is thrown into your face.
But why? Why would you put up with the frustration and blatant forced advertising? The answer is simple: Valorant is a great game. In addition to being a fun game with continuous and frequent updates to ensure player satisfaction, Valorant also has Daily Missions that encourage players to play on a daily basis.
Doing Dailies and and Weeklies grant the player huge amounts of XP that they wouldn’t normally get from just playing. Gaining XP contributes to unlocking agents and Battlepass rewards.
If You Buy Premium Skins, You’re Also Getting the Battlepass
So, remember how we mentioned Radianite, the material required to upgrade high-tier skins? Well, they come at a very costly price. Costing over $10 for a handful, buying Radianite isn’t really a pro-value option. You’re better off buying a Battlepass for a flat $10, and grind your way to earn over 100 Radianite upon maxing out the pass. Should it not be enough, you’ll have to resort to purchasing the costly extras. It’s all very clever; Should you purchase any upgradeable skin, it’s only efficient that you also purchase a Battlepass for the Radianite.
Valorant Skins are costly, but the main damage comes from the endless temptations and how well the game teases them. Valorant will get you into a sinkhole of VP purchases to get a hold of its skins. First, you’ll buy a few thousand just to get maybe one or two skins that have your attention. Then, you’ll realize that you have a few extra VP from your awkwardly priced XX75 VP purchases. Inclined not to let your leftover VP go to waste you might try to look up another intriguing skin that requires just bit more funding. You then realize you don’t have enough Radianite to fully upgrade the skins you have, so you purchase a Battlepass and grind daily to make the most of it. You end up unlocking more skins via the Battlepass, and slowly fill up your collection.
As you can see, once you start spending, Valorant can easily drag you into a sinkhole of VP hell.