Valorant Mobile will bring Riot Games’ hero shooter to smartphones

(Image credit: Riot Games)

One year after Valorant’s public release, Riot Games has announced that it’s developing a mobile version of the hero shooter – and while there’s no release date yet, the game’s team hopes to release it in the next year.

In fact, we know very little about Valorant Mobile (or whatever it ends up being called) – the news trailed Riot’s triumphant announcement that, one year in, Valorant has reached 14 million monthly PC players (per PC Gamer). There’s no console version yet, meaning we could theoretically see a mobile version before it comes to PS5 and Xbox Series X

In fact, it seems like the Valorant team is prioritizing mobile over console versions, as Valorant executive producer Anna Donlon told Polygon:

“Console’s obvious for FPS, right?” Donlan said. “But this type of game, a tactical shooter, on console is not easy. It’s not easy to have that level of competitive integrity on a platform where the controller is fighting you for that. And we just didn’t want it. [...] So we found it took to mobile quicker and it took to mobile easier.”

Donlan didn’t confirm a release date, but did mention that the mobile version is “hopefully that’s something we’ll be able to see in year two.”

Valorant? In MY smartphone??


(Image credit: Riot Games)

While versions of PUBG and Fortnite have been playable on smartphones for years, games have been transitioning to mobile more and more as 2021 rolls on – from League of Legends: Wild Rift to Magic: The Gathering Arena to Divinity: Original Sin 2 to Diablo Immortal. There’s even an Apex Legends Mobile in the works. 

The mobile versions of those games have been adjusted to fit on a smaller screen and be playable with touch controls, compromising some complexity of the original games. That’s concerning for Valorant, which relies on incredible precision and timing for its fast-paced shooter combat. 

Donlan admitted to Polygon that transitioning Valorant to mobile would mean the latter would end up being a different experience than the one on PC, but didn’t elaborate on what changes might be made: “For us, whatever you get out of playing on PC, you should get out of playing Valorant on mobile. But we have to recognize that the mobile player need is different.”

One thing we do know: Valorant mobile will not have cross-play with Valorant PC, siloing smartphone players from those on mouse and keyboard. For the record, Apex Legends Mobile also plans to keep mobile and PC players separated. 

And another thing we could have predicted: players and brands can’t wait to see Valorant Mobile:

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David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.