Valorant players mad as footstep audio gives defenders advantage

Olivia R. August 16, 2020

Valorant players are once again asking Riot to fix the game's footstep audio. 

Since Valorant's release, developers have been improving the FPS game's sound visualization. This includes changing weapon sound effects and the agents' sound cues. One thing that still needs some audio improvement are enemy footsteps.

This has been a complaint since the game's beta. Former Valorant streamer Daniel "Dafran" Francesca showed his followers how noisy opponents are when they approach in an audio experiment he did in May. 

So what are people concerned about this time around? 

Valorant players have noticed that the enemy footsteps are two-dimensional, meaning there's no drop-off that helps the other team distinguish where the footsteps are coming from. Whether an enemy is eight meters away or in the same room, the footsteps will sound the same. A wall in between players won't make a difference.

The fact that the footstep audio never changes no matter the distance, players are arguing that it creates an advantage for defenders. 

“This provides a Defender advantage that shouldn’t exist to the extent it does. It is one thing to hold for retakes on A-Site, it is another to not have to always hold A-Sewer on Haven because footsteps can be completely identified from the opposite side of B-Site," they explained on Reddit

Valorant players suggested that developers should add an additional layer to the sound cues, letting players get a better sense of the opponent's direction and distance. This would include a distance drop-off and a dampening effect when there's an obstacle or wall between players. In theory, this would help neutralize the advantage that defenders have and would make the game a bit more even for the two sides.

Riot has yet to respond to the ongoing complaints about footstep audio but developers have been open to fixing in-game issues in the past.