Many players think that Valorant might be pay-to-win due to its overpriced skin bundles. But do extravagant skins really improve gameplay in Valorant?
Riot Games has rolled out over 25 bundles so far. About 28 of them include skins for primary weapons Phantom and Vandal, the two most-used skins in the game. Despite having multiple collections, some dedicated players still stick to one skin they bought months ago. Most players think that these particular Vandals or Phantom “have an aimbot-like feel.”
Valorant has some of the most over-priced in-game cosmetics, yet players buy them liberally. Those who don’t usually shop for virtual items can’t help but wonder if skins help with aim. We might have an explanation.
Is Valorant pay to win?
There’s no straightforward answer to this question. Skins don’t have aimbots in them, but they might help you land headshots due to their slick feel and lightweight.
The impact of Valorant skins could be explained through the “placebo effect.” It’s a phenomenon that tricks the brain into believing that something tangible boosts performance when it’s just an artificial stimulus. Research also suggests that placebos work in video games where players might show more interest because a random update has been introduced. This effect might be what’s causing players to believe they’re suddenly ace aimers after shopping for a 2,675 VP gun.
In Valorant, overpriced skins come with headshot audio, inspect sound elements, and unique visual designs. Investing money into an extravagant weapon and then being rewarded with a headshot audio cue heavily helps with confidence. Pricey skins also have thicker tracers for bullets, which might trick players into believing their shot is more accurate, explaining the “aimbot feel.”
Lightweight weapons are always best no matter what shooter game you’re playing. Skins like Prime Vandal, Ion Phantom, and Champions Vandal have a minimal, sleek design that adds a lightweight feel. Shooting feels easier when players have expensive skins equipped, which might explain why most players refuse to give up on the Prime collection.
Audio elements in Valorant skins help
Spectrum Phantom is another skin dubbed the “aimbot Phantom” by the community. The stark white Phantom has a custom bullet sound created by popular DJ ZEDD, making shooting feel like butter. The skin is currently the most expensive Phantom in the game, likely because of the heavily-furnished sound element.
The audio effect was also explained in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory video. Two teams were equipped with identical weapons that had different sound effects. In the end, one of the guns had to be nerfed due to a stronger audio element that helped a player shoot better.
Do Valorant skins have aimbot?
In conclusion, skins don’t directly impact gameplay, but they sure trick your mind into believing that you have an “aimbot.”
Most Valorant skins share the same audio cues, so you don’t have to buy every new skin to get a booster. Singularity and Ion Phantom are pretty similar, and so are Champions and Sentinels of Light Vandal. If you have two skins for each primary rifle, you might already have the aim boost you’re looking for.
Best Valorant skin for each gun in the game
The best skin for Valorant’s Classic pistol is the Gravitational Uranium Neuroblaster. It turns it into a Ray Gun of sorts that even shoots and sound like one to the user. The red and blue variant makes it look extra cool.
The Hivemind Shorty is the best for this shotgun sidearm. The silver and purple combination that run across the weapon is just beautiful. Hivemind is a series earned throughout the Act II Battle Pass.
The Sensation skin is the best skin currently available in Valorant for the Frenzy. The artwork on it is simply breathtaking. The mix of colors makes it look smooth and exciting in the player’s hand.
The Prism Ghost may be Valorant’s best sidearm skin overall. The sleek combination of purple and blue as it blends across the silenced pistol is very pleasing to look at.
The black variant to the Reaver Sheriff is down right intimidating. The Sheriff is already a scary weapon with the damage it can deal. Adding this skin style to it makes it look like something a demon cowboy from hell would keep in his holster.
The Sovereign Stiner is a pristine Valorant skin. The Stinger has seen a lot more action recently, being one of the best eco round buys a player could ask for. The gold and white colors of the Sovereign skin gives off a feeling of royalty.
The BlastX series is pretty new to Valorant. It turns the weapons in the collection into toys essentially. The Spectre version, in the base color, looks so fun to wield. Nothing is more exciting than putting down enemies with a gun like this. It can be very embarrassing to fall victim to a toy.
The blue and red Glitchpop variant skin for the Bulldog is awesome. It brings a techy feel to the assault rifle and the finisher for round ending kills is just plain cool. The entire Glitchpop set is one of the best in the game, but the Bulldog sports it as its coolest skin entirely.
The Nebula skin collection in Valorant is another beautiful set. The way the space themed weapon skin runs across the long frame of the Guardian is its best showing, no doubt. It is like having the galaxy at your fingertips.
Recently added to Valorant is the Winterwunderland collection. It turns the weapons into a winter village that actually lights up and changes to night time when the player and gun are in a shadowy area. The shape of the Phantom is the perfect use of this skin. Players can see the full beauty of the skin across this gun.
The Prime Vandal is one of the hottest skins available in Valorant. It is extremely popular and boasts multiple variant styles. The red and blue version has the Prime Vandal looking its best.
The Bucky does not have nearly as many skins in Valorant as some of the other guns. That made its best skin an easy choice. The Oni Bucky, original version, is great. It takes the weapon and turns it into a beautiful example of classic Japanese artwork.
The Judge has some amazing skins to choose from, but based on its shape, Serenity takes the lead here. The way the aqua and gold colors wrap around the shotgun is truly something else. It is in competition for one of the best skins across the entirety of Valorant.
The orange and navy blue variant for the Singularity Ares is downright frightening. The cracks make it looks like this heavy weapon is about to burst with lava from the inside out. The way it sits across the length of the Ares makes it look like a weapon the God of War it is named after would use.
BlastX makes another appearance here. The Odin is a monster of a weapon, capable of taking multiple enemies down quickly and shooting through walls with ease. Imagine doing that with the yellow and blue option for the Odin. It really does look like a giant Nerf weapon that would send an onslaught of those little orange darts at someone’s younger sibling. It’s just plain fun.
The Marshal is a very underrated eco weapon in Valorant. If a player can land headshots, this sniper is useful in any round. The Wasteland skin for the Marshal turns it into a makeshift mechanical mess. It becomes a weapon that appears simply taped together in the apocalypse. The concept and overall execution of this skin is great.
Lastly, the most powerful weapon in Valorant, the Operator, has a lot of skins to choose from. Making its first appearance on this list, however, is the Elderflame skin.