Two years after the game’s release, Valorant still doesn’t have tactical timeouts for ranked games, and it’s a problem.
Valorant was released in June 2020 as a heavily competitive first-person shooter. While it successfully dethroned plenty of strong contenders, Valorant still lacks crucial features available in rival titles. From a replay system to timeouts, a lot is missing that would improve the player experience. Patch 2.09 made it a tad easier for professional players as it marked the addition of tactical breaks in custom modes. But ranked players are still going AFK mid-game to tend to emergency chores.
Ranked mode is Valorant’s most serious and competitive queue, but players are still leaving mid-match to fetch a glass of water. Riot Games is strictly against AFK behavior, but power cuts, internet troubles, and other tasks often cause players to move away from their desks. Lack of timeouts is costing players their ELO and ban time, and it’s generally painful for teammates.
The ranked mode of Valorant currently doesn’t have a tactical timeout feature, likely due to an extended buy period which is considered enough time to devise a sound plan for the next round. Riot earlier introduced a timeout for tournament mode custom games, which helps professional teams take a breather in the middle of an intense match.
However, casual players in Valorant ranked don’t enjoy the luxury of catching a breath. While the buy phase is surely enough for strategizing, the game doesn’t have a system in place for technical mishaps. Players have long been requesting Riot to add the timeout feature but to no avail. The exact reason behind the lack of breaks is unknown, but it might be that Riot is preventing trolls from wasting time.
It’s quite easy to exploit a timeout feature just to flame the enemy. However, with certain rules and limitations, mid-game breaks can be possible. For example, in tournament mode, only two tactical timeouts can be called per team in each game, with each timeout lasting up to 60 seconds. Limiting timeouts may prevent players from misusing them in the game.
A timeout feature would positively impact the game and may even reduce cases of players going AFK in spawn. Besides toilet and water emergencies, many have sudden internet mishaps that lead to unfair penalties. All of this could be prevented with a strict timeout system in Valorant.