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Valorant will have a battle pass and sell cosmetics, but it won't have loot boxes

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Valorant might look quite a bit like Overwatch, but it's going a different route with it's business model. It's free-to-play, of course, and while it is fuelled by microtransactions, it's at least doing away with loot boxes. 

Sprays and weapon skins, the confirmed cosmetics so far, will be available to purchase directly from the in-game store or through the battle pass, so while you'll still need to drop some cash or do a bit of grinding, you'll at least know what you're investing your time and money in. 

Valorant executive producer Anna Donlon also told Polygon that the weapon skins would be upgradable, and that the game boasts a "couple of different progression systems." For now, though, they'll have to remain a mystery. 

You'll be able to give your weapons a makeover, but Valorant isn't launching with additional character skins. Riot's worried about skins making characters harder to recognise, giving players a potential edge just because of some cosmetics. 

"I think [character skins] would have to be in a way that there’s absolutely nothing to impact the gameplay,” Donlon said. "It’ll be narrow. I think there’s a way to do that. And those are things that we’re interested in exploring."

The absence of loot boxes isn't a big surprise. Their popularity is dwindling, with only 8 percent of developers in a recent GDC survey reporting that they're making a game with loot box mechanics. They're even getting removed from games—Rocket League recently changed its whole economy to get rid of them.  

Valorant is due out this summer. 

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.