Riot Games has been actively working on enhancing various aspects of Valorant ever since the game's closed beta release in April 2020. Since Valorant's official launch in June 2020, Riot Games have made seven maps accessible to the game's player base.
Valorant's developer team is dedicated to providing players with the best possible gaming experience. Providing a variety of maps, players have choices that range from the frost-bound tundras of Icebox to the warm and blissful shores of Breeze.
Valorant doesn't allow players to select a map of their liking, and all the seven maps in the game are alloted on a random rotation. Listed below are five of the best maps Valorant players enjoyed in 2021.
Best maps that Valorant players enjoyed in 2021
Fracture, introduced in patch 3.05, is the latest addition to Valorant's map pool. Set in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Fracture is a peculiar map known for its various unique features. Fracture contains parallel two-way ziplines in the middle, which connect players across two ends of the map. The A-Hall includes an automatic door that gives off a sound cue and opens instantly if players enter its range.
Defenders spawn in the middle of the map, while attackers spawn at the top of the map. The ziplines provide attackers with more options for site executions, allowing them to attack sites from two pivotal entry points at once or to call for quick rotations on short notice. Due to this, the map generally favours players on the attackers' side. Fracture has four ultimate orbs instead of the two seen in every other map.
Since Fracture is still a relatively new map, it's taking its time with the game's audience. At the recent Valorant Champions 2021 event, Fracture witnessed a few exhilarating matches. With Riot Games not planning to release a new map anytime soon, Fracture is expected to emerge as a frequent pick at future tournaments.
Bind is one of four maps introduced in the game during its closed beta. Rabat, Morocco, inspired the map's setting. Unlike other Valorant maps, Bind lacks a middle area. Instead, players have access to two one-way teleporters that connect A-short to B-short and B-long to A-lobby.
The absence of a mid-region forces either long rotations through the narrow halls and links that connect sites or use the teleporter that notifies the rotation with a sound cue. This makes Bind distinctive when compared to its counterparts and encourages players to take a different approach to the map.
There are several narrow routes and chokepoints within the map, making it easy for the defending side to use their utilities to their advantage. This tilts the map in favour of defenders. However, the teleports facilitate last-second rotations, which can benefit the attacking side if the situation permits.
Introduced in patch 1.0, Ascent is the first map Valorant has released since the game's official release in June 2020. The map is set in Venice, Italy. A feature exclusive to Ascent is the presence of irreversible mechanical doors on both bomb sites, namely A-link and B-market.
The vast open mid-region is unique as well. Due to the long corridors and widespread area of the map, Ascent favours long-range combat, with the mid-region turning into a battlefield when players from both teams collide. Due to the size of the map, Valorant agents on the defensive end have the upper hand.
The extensive area that attackers have to cover to switch sites puts them at a disadvantage. Given the exposed nature of the mid, attackers will be vulnerable to attack from 4 sides if they choose to rotate through the area. The key to winning Ascent is to have great mid-control and excellent defensive agents who can lock down the sites.
Set on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean, Breeze is one of the more recent additions to Valorant's map pool. Patch 2.08 brought the map into the game in April 2021. There are various unique features pertaining to the map. An indestructible mechanical door leads to halls from A-site. Unlike in Ascent, the door can be operated from both sides.
Players on both sides have access to a rope that leads to A-halls, namely from A-lobby for the attackers and A-bridge for the defenders. In halls, there exists a one-way chute that players can enter to descend to the mid area. Breeze is a map that strongly favours long-range combat due to the openness of both bomb sites.
Attackers experience a small advantage on Breeze. Due to the size of the map, rotations cost the defending side a lot of time. Additionally, both bomb sites are structured so that retakes are tougher than in other maps. Players are also required to have a strong Controller who can take over the site to achieve the best possible outcome on Breeze.
Based on the Bennet Islands in Russia, Icebox is Valorant's take on the arctic tundras. Icebox has been a popular choice, both among the game's community and within the professional circle. The map was introduced to Valorant in October 2020 through patch 1.10.
The most peculiar feature in Icebox in comparison to other Valorant maps is the presence of horizontal ziplines, connecting A top-site to A-nest. Additionally, vertical ziplines are also present on the map. Icebox is iconic for the verticality and cover it offers through various structures on the map. The map is generally known to favour the attacking side on Valorant.
Icebox is a map in which the pace is dictated by the level of gunplay teams involve in their site executions. A-site is in an enclosed area with the presence of vertical elements. This requires precise aim and adaptability from the teams in order to achieve success. The size of the map caters to fast rotations and can often benefit the attacking side.