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5 Things Only VALORANT Beta Players Will Remember

Take a trip down memory lane and examine nostalgic highlights from the 2020 VALORANT Closed Beta.

Millions of players have flocked to VALORANT since its release in June 2020 for its active esports scene, high-intensity competitive gameplay and social environment. The game has changed significantly – and no one knows this better than Beta players. The VALORANT closed beta ran from April 7th, 2020 to its final release. Though far more chaotic than modern VALORANT, it had a unique charm – let’s examine all the fun memories that make VALORANT’s closed beta special.

Beta Player Cards

One of the things Beta VALORANT players miss most is the array of Beta player cards. These cards were removed from the game after the official release, much to the dismay of players who generally thought positively of them. Riot Games revived some cards with improved designs in the official VALORANT release, but the originals are still sorely missed. The older cards include an image of Omen confidently striding towards the viewer, Viper in her ultimate with an eerie alien-like mask and Sage peacefully meditating on her wall. Some of these player cards are incredibly detailed, and it’s easy to understand why players miss them.

Glitches Galore

As in any beta, VALORANT’s beta was full of glitches. The most infamous is the Cypher Camera/Gun glitch, in which Cypher’s cam somehow picks up a gun and can shoot it straight at the enemies – Cypher took “it’s on sight” a little too literally!

Viper could also use her wall to boost an ally and propel them rapidly alongside its fire. Imagine the terror of a Jett speeding through the sky in a cloud of green smoke and landing right behind you – we’re glad the devs patched this one. Luckily, players quickly figured out they could counter Viper’s tricks with a carefully placed Cypher trip that would comically slingshot exploiting players in the opposite direction.

Original Graphics

valorant beta graphics

VALORANT’s agent icons used to look very different. Instead of the uniform side-profile images displayed now, each agent had unique headshot photos with a bit more personality. Sage looked calm and collected, while Viper’s haughty head tilt reflected her character’s confidence. The character models looked more plastic and minimalist in the beta, but the style added to VALORANT’s charm and helped attract millions of players. The original minimap also looked extremely simplified and did not reflect ability use like Omen’s teleport and Viper’s wall. VALORANT’s menu UI only had five tabs: “Latest”, “Collection”, “Play”, “Career” and “Store”.

Utility Imbalance

VALORANT veterans remember the days when Raze had TWO incredibly powerful grenades and could pop her ultimate with almost no cooldown. Sage’s wall was near-indestructible with 1,000 health, and her slow orb would make noise even when players tried to shift-walk on it. Sage could also massively heal players or herself with 100 health points. Phoenix’s wall did a terrifying 15 damage every 0.25 seconds and significantly more healing.

Meanwhile, Jett was commonly considered the worst agent – she could not break Cypher’s trips with her dash and her smokes only lasted 4 seconds. Omen was another agent who struggled – his beta version did not have precise Phased smoke placement, and he could not cancel his ultimate once cast.

Original Skins

Omen Agent original Valorant art

Beta players still had the opportunity to buy skins before VALORANT’s official release. Available Beta skin sets included Reaver, Ronin (the inspiration for the later Oni set) and Luxe. Some of these skins, such as Prism, were reintroduced later, but Riot Games edited almost all to improve graphics and concepts.

For example, the beta Reaver skins had different variants and animations. One Reaver variant combined its familiar purple shade with gold instead of its current silver. Riot Games refunded any skins that Beta players bought upon the game’s full release, along with a 20% bonus of VP for future purchases.

Though the original VALORANT beta had its issues, it captured the hearts of its player base and began VALORANT’s impressive legacy. We look forward to the future of VALORANT as VALORANT Mobile’s beta approaches – hopefully with just as many laughs and fond memories in store.