The main thing that has put me off of playing more Valorant over the last couple of years is the length of matches. Riot Games is looking to do something about that with a shorter casual mode that it’s starting to test in the game’s public build.
Matches in the core competitive and unrated (or unranked) modes typically last around 30-50 minutes. Each round can last up to two minutes or so. As such, it can take a while for one team to win 13 rounds and become the victor. Competitive matches can last even longer if the score reaches 12-12, since teams need to win by at least two rounds in overtime if they vote to keep playing.
The new Swiftplay mode has a similar ruleset to Unrated. However, the first team to win five rounds will emerge triumphant. Attackers and defenders will swap sides after four rounds and there’s a sudden-death overtime. Riot says Swiftplay matches should run for around 15 minutes.
There are some tweaks to the economy and how players earn ultimate points to make sure they can still access all the fun stuff in the shorter format. For instance, at the start of each half of a Swiftplay match, you’ll get two ultimate points for free. As such, you might be able to use the game’s most powerful abilities a bit more often.
Although Valorant has other casual modes that don’t last as long as competitive or unrated matches (such as Spike Rush and Deathmatch), Swiftplay brings the ruleset of the core modes into a more condensed format. Riot says it’s a frequently requested mode that should make it easier for folks who don’t have a ton of free time to play more Valorant. It should help other players to get more reps in too.
The Swiftstep beta is going live with today’s 5.12 patch, which also brings in a host of balance changes and tweaks how various abilities interact with each other. Swiftstep will be available on all maps used for the unrated mode and the beta will run until January 10th.