Valorant characters (opens in new tab): All the hero abilities
Valorant ranks (opens in new tab): How you'll be progressing
Valorant system requirements (opens in new tab): Can you run it?
Valorant error codes (opens in new tab): How to solve them
Valorant tips (opens in new tab): Get more wins
Valorant guns (opens in new tab): Damage, recoil patterns, and more
Valorant Reyna (opens in new tab): Abilities and tips
Remember back in the long-ago days of yore, when everyone got angry because Bethesda was charging a couple of bucks for a suit of armor for your horse? The outrage was real, but as Tom pointed out last year, horse armor won (opens in new tab)—and in case there was any doubt, you'll soon be able to pay $100 for a pretend dragon you can shoot people with in Valorant (opens in new tab).
The dragon in question is actually part of Elderflame, Valorant's first-ever Ultra skin set, and simply put it turns your guns (and knife, apparently) into a cute, but also slightly cranky-looking, dragon. And no, I'm not kidding about the price. There are five tiers of skins (opens in new tab) available for purchase in Valorant—Select, Deluxe, Premium, Ultra, and Exclusive—with Ultra Edition skins topping the heap at 2,475 Valorant Points. (Exclusive Edition skin prices vary, so they don't count.)
VP are sold in bundles ranging from $5, for 475 VP, to $100 for 11,000 VP. A single Ultra skin ends up costing $25—$5 for 475 VP, plus $20 for 2050 VP—and, as Riot revenue lead Joe Lee noted on Twitter, this is a bundle of four, and thus we end up at $100 for the full set.
Price tiers reminder: https://t.co/MgWQFSc78cSo the bundle is 2475 x 4 = 9900 VPJuly 8, 2020
But wait! There's more! Skins also have "levels" that can be upgraded with Radianite (opens in new tab), a different currency that can be earned through the battle pass (opens in new tab) (with more to grab if you have the premium pass) or purchased directly with VP through the in-game store. Upgrading weapon skin levels unlocks things like new effects, animations, and finishers—like, possibly, the little snort the dragon does on reloads. The $100 gets you in the door, in other words, but if you want all the bells and whistles you could end up having to pay even more.
It's pretty wild that a set of weapon skins costs as much as two videogames, especially one that to my eye looks like a knock-off of the Tibetan War Cannon (opens in new tab) from Clive Barker's Undying. But Valorant is free-to-play and skins don't offer any advantage, and I won't be at all surprised if a lot of players go for it: The cost of some CS:GO skins make the Elderflame price tag look positively restrained. (We haven't done a roundup for awhile, but here's a list (opens in new tab) from 2017 that'll make your eyes pop.)
The Elderflame skin set is set to go live in Valorant on July 10.