Games

The 'Valorant' Closed Beta Key System Doubles as a Crowdsourced Tutorial

Looking to get a key for the closed beta? You'll need to watch a lot of streams, but maybe you'll learn something along the way.
April 21, 2020, 8:23pm
Key art for Valorant, Jett, an asian women with white hair in a ponytail, holds a hand out, above which a dagger floats, against a stark red background with a stylized V
Image courtesy of Riot Games

Competitive multiplayer games can have a tough time of onboarding new players, especially games with a lot of complexity like MOBAs. Games like DOTA 2 and League of Legends launched without in game tutorials, but the community picked up the torch of making tutorial videos and trying to help new players join their favorite pastime. Eventually, these games did get in game tutorials and onboarding, but even so they only broke the surface of their game's full mechanics. Learning while playing is like a tutorial unto itself, but when a game is highly competitive, it can be difficult to understand what went wrong when you're starting out.

Riot, the dev behind League of Legends, has started a closed beta for their counter-strike-with-powers multiplayer FPS Valorant. In order to get a key into the beta you need to watch a several hours of Valorant streams on Twitch. This key system ends up having a funny effect of being an tutorial of sorts for people looking to get into the beta. We discuss watching Valorant, how Gears Tactics shows that the Gears franchise and XCOM have more in common than you think, and spreading religions in Civilization VI on this week's Waypoint Radio. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.

Austin: How did I get a key for Valorant? Do you so Cado tell me everything you know about getting keys for Valorant?

Cado: You don't.

[Laughter]

Austin: That's not true!

Cado: You watch Twitch right? Or now at least.

Austin: Yeah. Now the way to get a key for Valorant, which is Riot's, um, It's Riot's Counter-Strike.

Cado: Yeah.

Austin: That's what it is

Cado: I mean. It's so, there's so many one to ones.

Austin: You have to watch one, two hours of Valorant play, and then keep watching! You need a minimum of two hours and then you gotta keep watching. And eventually, you'll get a drop, you have to watch a drop enabled twitch channel playing Valorant and then you'll get a code

Cado: Right

Austin: And what happened was, what had happened was my friends said they wanted to play Valorant and I said, okay, cool. Let me look into getting a code. And then I said, I guess I'm gonna watch a bunch of Valorant. Actually what I said was, "I'll just keep it on in the background.

Cado: Uh huh

Austin: And then I watched a bunch of Valorant, which is prepping me for the mind-kill

[laughter]

Austin: They had to absolutely indoctrinate me with the methods of Valorant so by the time I played it, it's as if I had watched a tutorial composed for me by watching professional valorous players who are in tournament's already, this game isn't out yet.


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