‘Valorant’ is taking steps to stop players from encountering only Icebox

No player saw the same map five times or more in a row as of this week, says Riot Games

Riot Games has released a new article discussing Valorant‘s map diversity and explaining how it has made improvements to tune it for competitive play.

In the new game health article, a member of the competitive team on Valorant, Brian Chang, acknowledged players’ frustration with encountering the same map multiple games in a row, explaining that as a result, “we wanted to make sure that we could improve the diversity of maps played without compromising the health of matchmaking (by influencing things like queue times or match balance).”

Chang said that when the game launched, map selection was “truly as random as it could be” and all maps had an identical chance – 25 per cent – of being chosen regardless of what the players played recently.

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Valorant
Credit: Riot Games

However, according to new Riot stats, over the course of five games, 26 per cent of players saw the same map three times or more.

Fast forward to 2022, Valorant now has seven maps, and feedback from North American players informed Riot Games around March of this year that 67 per cent felt like they were encountering the same map multiple times in a row.

With patch 4.04, the developer implemented a more diverse map selection change, so instead of making it a random process, it opted to create a deterministic choice that selects the map that minimizes streaks. According to the developer, as of the first week of April, no player saw the same map five times in a row in competitive play.

“The percentage of players experiencing the same map three times in a row has now dropped to 0.06 per cent (one in every 1700 or so players).” Additionally, this week, Riot looked at the Valorant competitive queue statistics and found that exactly eight of the several million players saw the same map four times in a row, and two out of the eight players were serial queue dodgers that avoided specific maps.

Valorant Agent Astra
Valorant. Credit: Riot Games

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“No player saw the same map five times or more in a row,” and this was down with zero negative impact on queue times or match balance.

In other news, My Time at Sandrock has already beat My Time at Portia‘s all-time concurrent player record on Steam.

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