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Valorant: How the RNG in First Shot Accuracy can ruin the competitive integrity of the game

Valorant (Image Credits: Riot Games)
Valorant (Image Credits: Riot Games)
ANALYST
Modified 27 Jul 2020, 07:35 IST
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Let us be one of the first people to tell you that the Phantom and the Vandal in Valorant do not come with absolute first-shot accuracy.

What it means is that both these guns come with a ‘deviation from center’ value that, in some cases, causes the accuracy of the first shot to either miss or hit, depending on RNG.

RNG or ‘Random Number Generator’ is "an algorithm that produces random numbers. In video games, these random numbers are used to determine random events, like your chance at landing a critical hit or picking up a rare item."

Luck will play a big part when you’re using the Vandal or the Phantom in Valorant and are looking to get one-taps on enemies. 

Why do no weapon guides or tier lists talk about the issue?

Both Valorant guns come with a ‘deviation from center’ value (Image Credits: Dexerto)

This little tidbit of information was initially not made available to us by the Riot devs. While there was a bit of information floating around Reddit about the first-shot inaccuracy of the different guns in Valorant, that was at the very start of the closed beta and things have changed a lot since then. 

It was only after Valorant's latest patch 1.04 that we got some interesting insight on some of the statistical data surrounding both the Phantom and the Vandal.

According to the devs, the Phantom has:

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  • A first bullet inaccuracy of 0.20
  • And an Aim-Down-Sight Bullet Inaccuracy of 0.11

The Vandal, on the other hand, has:

  • A first bullet inaccuracy of 0.25
  • And an Aim-Down-Sight Bullet Inaccuracy of 0.157.

Why will this compromise Valorant's competitive integrity?

The first-shot ‘deviation from center’ value is one of the biggest reasons why gun guides and tier lists often put the Phantom over the Vandal in the rifle category.

The first-shot RNG, along with the low recoil spread, works in favour of the Phantom, making it a much more preferable ‘bang for the buck’ weapon in the game.

The Vandal is all about ‘one-tapping’ the enemy, so if you’re going miss some of your shots no matter how accurate you are or how low your ping is, then the Phantom is always going to be the better choice.

Additionally, when it comes to the professional scene, if you’re not hitting those one taps even when your monitor and replay is saying that you have successfully aimed for the head while taking the shot, then the competitive integrity of the game is heavily compromised.

First-shot inaccuracy should really not exist in a game like Valorant, especially when the devs are adamant at upholding the competitive integrity of the game. 

The above video by GameLeap Valorant Pro Guides gives us an example where T1 Brax and TSM Drone are in a 1v1 situation. They go on to create a scenario where Brax is waiting for Drone to fly through a corner, with his aim locked on at head-shot level.

Upon seeing Drone, even when Brax accurately fires at the head, he misses and Drone gets him on the counter.

According to the video (which we agree with), this first-shot RNG heavily compromises the level playing field and hardly has much competitive integrity  

Riot Games’ take on the matter

In a devtracker.gg post 3 months ago, Riot-Classick or Trevor 'Classick' Romleski, who is the Lead Gameplay Designer on Valorant, talked about the first-shot inaccuracy in Valorant and said:

“In VALORANT, each weapon has a base spread (deviation from the center) value. Some weapons have no base spread (Guardian, zoomed Marshal, zoomed Operator) while others have a large amount (Bucky, Judge, Ares). Weapons that are accurate but not quite perfectly accurate (Vandal / Phantom / Bulldog) have some unreliability at very long ranges to balance them against guns more sharply intended for these very long distances."
"While this can incorporate some RNG into the outcome of a long-range engagement with some of these rifles, you have options to remove this RNG for nearly all ranges by utilizing ADS and crouch. ADS provides a flat spread reduction, while crouch provides a percentage reduction. These stack together so if you’re zoomed and crouched, the rifles won’t have any deviation on the first shot at pretty much any range (I’m sure there might be one or two total in the game, and of course you’ll be able to find a distance where that’s the case in the shooting range)."

He added:

"This means that when taking very long angles with these rifles, quickly swinging and taking tap shots from the hip while standing is not reliable like it would be with the Guardian in this scenario. You can still eliminate RNG in those scenarios by utilizing crouch + ads with Vandal/Phantom, but clearly, the Guardian or Operator is going to be quicker and more potent in this example (which helps give them a clearer role in the game).” 
Published 27 Jul 2020, 07:35 IST
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