The Valorant store needs a rework, otherwise skins feel pointless

The Valorant microtransaction system and store are in dire need of an overhaul to justify the hefty price tags on all virtual items.

The Valorant store needs a rework, otherwise skins feel pointless: An Asian woman with a white and black rifle aims down the sights

Valorant‘s animated skins are a cut above the rest. With their vibrant designs and immersive sound elements, it’s tough to keep your wallet in check. But, truth be told, Valorant skins are worth every penny, as they pack quite a punch with snazzy headshot animations and sounds. However, the Valorant store and the FPS game‘s microtransactions are deeply flawed and in dire need of an overhaul.

Say, you spend a total of $1.000 on your Valorant account that you can’t sell or trade. What would you possibly gain from buying more skins when you already own ten? Nothing.

Valorant’s microtransactions are flawed

With the pace Riot rolls out skins, it’s a tragedy that Valorant restricts players from equipping multiple skins at once. Get this: you’re a skin collector with 15 Phantom skins in your account, each costing 1,775 VP, but you can only use one skin at a time. Even if you go back and equip a different skin for each game, it’d still be months until you get bored with all 20 skins. Simply put, your dormant skins have zero use.

The Valorant store needs a rework, otherwise skins feel pointless: The Valorant store showing the Magepunk 2.0 weapon bundle, as well as four other gun skins

To squeeze full juice out of each skin, players should be able to do more with their purchase. For example, in Valorant patch 6.10 Riot recently rolled out a spray wheel that allows players to switch out their sprays mid-game. A similar feature or a skin randomizer would provide a solid reason to invest in new bundles since you get more usage out of your purchase.

CSGO has a similar feature where players can equip a different skin on each side. Even something like this would help players feel less terrible about spending big bucks on virtual items.

Some players have purchased all of the Valorant skins in existence. It’s hilarious that these splurging players aren’t different from anyone who’s spent $10 on a battle pass. If you own 50 skins, Riot should at least allow you to flex as many items as possible in a single game. Otherwise, it just feels like senseless expenditure.

A collection of Valorant kill signs on a black city background

The potential of Valorant skins is being wasted

Account trading is wrong, but Valorant players are still trading skins under Riot’s nose, leading to unfair ranked games and a litany of other problems just because they wanted a specific skin that’s now unavailable. Trading happens because the chances of an older skin returning to the shop are one in a million due to the awfully small store size. Four slots for more than 355 skins? Yes, you’re never getting that Magepunk 2.0 Operator.

Riot can solve this issue while maintaining artificial scarcity by allowing in-game gifts. Gifting is standard in most multiplayer games, but Valorant still lacks this essential feature. If Riot wants to ban account trading, it should at least allow players to gift skins. This way, friends can request rare skins from each other and gift them as well. It may not completely remove account traders, but those who do it purely for skins would have a legal primary option.

Allowing skin gifting comes with many risks. For example, it could facilitate illicit trading and black market activities, but Riot already has a healthy gifting system in Valorant’s sister, League of Legends. The system allows players to purchase skins as gifts for other players directly through the in-game store, which mitigates the chances of scams or trading. So, there’s no reason Valorant couldn’t have a similar system.

A collection of brass-coloured guns with blue electricity sparking from then on a marbled grey background

In its current form, Valorant’s microtransactions barely benefit the buyer, but Riot can change it by revising how in-game virtual items work. Until Riot makes those changes, I am not buying more skins. I’ve already snagged all the skins with the sickest headshot animations, from Prime to Ion, so there’s no way I’m throwing away more cash.

If you haven’t picked up many skins due to the cost involved, make sure you keep an eye out for the next Valorant Night Market to pick up some cheap cosmetics. Skins don’t equal skill, though, so make sure you load up one of the best Valorant crosshairs, too.