Did Riot Games copy CSGO’s weapon spray patterns for Valorant?

By Nick Johnson


Apr 4, 2020

Reading time: 3 min

Riot’s new first-person shooter might have borrowed more than just its general concept from the granddaddy of competitive shooters.

Valorant, the developing FPS from League of Legends developer Riot Games, got its live reveal during a Twitch Rivals event as esports pros and personalities took part in some friendly competition.

During the reveal, there was a consistent theme by the casters. “Like in Counter-Strike” was a phrase anyone watching Rivals would have heard several times. From its emphasis on information, sound, and communication, Valorant does resemble CS:GO in some form. The shooter’s economic system, bomb-based competitive game mode, bunnyhopping, and cosmetic knives do as well. 

But according to a Twitter post by 100 Thieves, Valorant borrowed one more thing from Valve’s competitive shooter. 

Valorant weapon spray patterns very similar to Counter-Strike

Esports team 100 Theives took the opportunity during Valorant’s Twitch Rivals event to video the game’s recoil mechanic and compare it with those in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Specific recoil profiles for weapons were introduced in the original Counter-Strike mod back in 1999, forcing players to learn a “spray pattern” for each weapon to compensate.

In CS:GO, things aren’t much different than they were in 1999. Each weapon still has its unique pattern, and players have to learn how to control and offset that recoil so their bullets hit where they want them to, as shown below.

100 Thieves tweeted the results during the event, posting a video of a side-by-side comparison between the two games. The video revealed that Valorant’s weapons have very similar spray patterns when compared to their counterparts in CSGO.

In the graphic below, the left side shows a mockup of the Spectre Assault Rifle’s recoil pattern we created from slowing down 100 Thieves’ twitter video and marking where each bullet landed. To the right is the well-known spray pattern of Counter-Strike’s famous AK-47.

The video contained several more examples of spray patterns from Riot’s new game along with what 100 Thieves deemed were its CSGO counterparts. They look similar, possibly in an attempt to make the transition between the two games easier on Counter-Strike players.

While the recoil in the Twitter video looks easy to control, that’s because 100 Theives recorded the spray while standing close to the wall. In reality, it’s a difficult skill to master. In Counter-Strike, the spray pattern scales the farther away from the target a player is, meaning that players sometimes have to aim at the ground so they can hit an enemy in the chest.

CSGO pros thriving in Valorant Twitch Rivals event

Contrary to former Overwatch player Félix “xqc” Lengyel’s comments, it looks like Counter-Strike pros are doing just fine in Valorant’s preview. Coby “dizzy” Meadows had an impressive ace during the event, killing every opponent in a single round.

While most know him as an Apex Legends pro, dizzy cut his teeth in professional CSGO before he moved to Respawn’s battle royale.

Until we get our hands on Valorant during its open beta phase, we won’t know how close its patterns are to Counter-Strike’s. Valorant’s closed beta starts on April 7, with keys coming from Twitch’s Drop program.

Streams that have drops enabled have a chance to award a key to a random viewer that have linked their Twitch and Riot accounts. According to Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert, Riot is only giving out 25,000 keys for the upcoming beta test.