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Everything to know about the HRTF directional audio update in Valorant Patch 2.06

A new HRTF directional audio update has arrived in Valorant (Image via Riot Games)
A new HRTF directional audio update has arrived in Valorant (Image via Riot Games)
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Modified 31 Mar 2021
Feature

Valorant’s patch 2.06 update brought a significant number of changes that sought to make some of the more underwhelming Agents in the game more viable.

Viper and Yoru had some of the worst pick rates in both pro play and standard matchmaking. With patch 2.06, the Valorant devs will be looking to help them make their way into the existing Agent meta.

However, the Agent updates were not the only changes that the new update brought to the server. 2.06 also brought with it the head Related Transfer Function or the HRTF directional audio update.

The patch notes reveal that the following changes will be made to sound in Valorant:

  • Added an audio toggle located in the Audio settings panel to enable HRTF.
  • HRTF allows players wearing headphones to play audio in a simulated surround
  • sound audio space.
  • Currently, only footsteps, reloads, and Deathmatch respawns will be rendered in 3D with HRTF enabled.
  • It’s recommended that players please turn off any other “3D Audio” processing while using this feature.

RTF has been a quality-of-life upgrade that many Valorant fans and professional players have been asking for. Fortunately, the Riot devs listened, and the much anticipated audio upgrade is here with patch 2.06.

What is HRTF directional audio update in Valorant?

The HRTF directional audio update has been used extensively in other competitive esports titles like PUBG and CS: GO.

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So, it is a tried-and-tested formula in the field, which allows headphone users to toggle the HRTF input and enjoy a more dynamic version of directional audio.

Sound vibrations are longitudinal waves that travel through space in every direction while expanding out as they move and bounce off objects.

HRTF now uses this very principle to provide headphones with audio in simulated surround sound and create 3D audio spaces which significantly impact how players receive and interpret the sound.

HRTF is particularly useful for those who suffer from hearing loss issues, such as one-sided deafness or hearing impairment. Hence, enabling the feature will provide the user with a spatialization of 3D sounds. When it comes to Valorant, it will help them understand the precise angle from where the sound is being generated from.

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The HRTF setting studies the average head size and approximates the direction from where the sound should reach the ear.

Though the introduction of the setting in CS: GO met with a lot of controversy as the update did not work as effectively as the developers intended it to, it might be a more successful endeavor in Valorant.

When it comes to competitive tactical shooters, accurately deciphering enemy footstep distance and giving callouts to the rest of the team is of utmost importance. Valorant receiving this new audio upgrade is sure to benefit both pro play and standard matchmaking.

Published 31 Mar 2021, 11:27 IST
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