Valorant is getting a brand new game mode and it’s a twist on an FPS classic. The new mode is called Escalation, and it’s Riot’s own take on Gun Game, which many players will recognize from shooters like Call of Duty: Black Ops or Counter-Strike.
Just like other versions of Gun Game, players will start the match with Valorant’s most powerful weapons and as they get kills, the weapons will get progressively worse. In other words, the closer you get to winning the match, the harder the match becomes. Each Escalation match picks a random selection of 12 weapons for players to move through and they’ll need to gain a certain number of kills with each weapon to advance to the next.
Show your skill with every weapon in the new Escalation game mode, playable tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Odv6PA6rNQ— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) February 16, 2021
Valorant’s first big twist on the mode is that it’s team-based. Each match will be five-on-five rather than the more traditional free-for-all versions. This means that teams will be able to advance their allies’ weapons as well as their own, but you can’t just coast to victory on the skills of your teammates.
While players share progress as a team, only players who contribute kills to their team’s total with a weapon will get to advance. If your team unlocks a new weapon, and you don’t have a kill with the previous one, you won’t be able to swap to the new weapon and contribute to your team’s progress until you get a kill. The one exception to that is the final round, when everyone on the team gets the weapon as soon as it’s unlocked.
The game’s other major addition to the Gun Game-formula is the addition of Agent abilities, which can also get mixed in with the progression of regular guns. This means that one weapon-level might be Sova’s Ultimate ability or Raze’s paint grenades, rather than a traditional gun.
Escalation matches will end when one team gets the required number of points on the final weapon. If neither team makes it that far, the match will be rewarded to whichever team is further along after the 10-minute timer expires.
Escalation is set to release on Feb. 17 for free for all Valorant players.