Riot’s monetization plans may not include loot boxes, but the developer has found a safer way to entice players into buying Valorant’s cosmetic weapon bundles.
Valorant’s high-end weapon skin bundles are only available in a collection format for a limited time before the cosmetics leave the store forever. While players may get the opportunity to purchase the game’s flashy skins, like those found in its Elderflame Collection, they will only be able to purchase a single weapon at a time.
Even then, players won’t have the opportunity to get their hands on an entire collection once the bundle rotates out of the store according to veteran Riot employee and Valorant designer Preeti Khanolkar.
Valorant’s limited-time skin bundles are just a different kind of loot box
The game’s store currently has two sections that users can choose from when they want to spend money on Valorant’s cosmetics. First up is the Featured Collection, a bundle of skins with a common theme that rotates in and of the store. Buying a bundle of skins is always cheaper than buying each one individually. But there’s a catch.
And as noted above, once a bundle leaves the store, Riot has no intention of bringing it back as a featured collection. That means that once a bundle rotates out, there won’t be any way for players to get an entire skin line at one time. Instead, they’re forced to wait for Valorant’s second store section to give them a lucky role.
“Offers” are Valorant’s daily deals, where four random skins appear on four random weapons, available to buy for 24 hours before the next random set replaces them. There’s no way for players to know when a skin they like will appear on a weapon they use under the “Offers” section, so not purchasing the combination they want while it’s included in a featured bundle is a big risk. But that’s the point. The fear of missing out drives players who want certain skins to purchase as soon as they’re released in a bundle.
Individual Valorant purchases are more expensive, pushing players to get more “value”
While players can purchase weapons from a bundle without buying the entire set, Riot has made sure that even uninspired skin collections are scooped up by Valorant’s player base by offering both discounts and “free” items when a player purchases the bundle itself. While Riot has given players the option to buy individual weapons out of its rotating featured collections, they’ll pay a premium price.
The game’s current Smite bundle includes skins for the Phantom, Odin, Judge, and the Valorant’s starting pistol. Ech costs a player 875 Valorant Points, or around $8.75 apiece if bought individually. The Smite collection also has a knife that will set players back around $17.50 if bought by itself.
But if a player purchases the entire bundle using Valorant points, it would only cost them $35.00 compared to around $52 with individual purchases. It’s a clever technique that’s made to look like it offers a choice while nudging the shooter’s fans into spending more money.
A skin line’s rarity is also an issue, as Valorant’s highly-priced collections like the Elderflame will likely appear less often than other, less impressive ones. In the end, it’s up to each individual player to decide how much money they want to spend on Valorant’s shooter. And there’s a reason why Riot has players purchase points to use instead of offering the skins at a dollar amount.
With more screens to jump through, players are less likely to make the connection between the value of a Valorant Point and their own currency and more likely to take the plunge instead of missing out.