Valorant

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Valorant Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Fast-paced shooter packs fun, repetition into online play.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 38 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Although there are some underlying plot points if players want to dig into the expanded lore of the characters outside of the game, the main premise is to either plant a device (the "Spike") in the opposing team's territory when on offense, to disarm the device when on defense, or just lay waste to the opposing team. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game has a diverse cast of Agents with a wide range of abilities, but there's not much room for character development outside of short bios. Basically, each Agent is designed to fill a specific role and that's as far as it goes.

Ease of Play

The basic mechanics of the game should feel familiar to first-person shooter fans. There are other nuances though, such as the variety of Agent abilities and the use of in-game resources to fuel those abilities and to select weapons.

Violence

The game's focus is player versus player combat, so violence is constant. Players use a range of weapons and abilities against each other, including guns, blades, arrows, explosives, and more. Some blood spray shows onscreen whenever characters take damage or are killed.

Sex
Language

Some profanity, such as "s--t," can occasionally be heard in the characters' dialogue. Parents should also be aware that the game's online chat, both text and voice, could potentially expose younger players to other offensive language and content.

Consumerism

The game is free-to-play, with a rotating limited selection of freely available playable Agents. Players can unlock Agents and earn extra content and cosmetics via gameplay or by purchasing items with in-game currency bought with real world money.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Valorant is a free-to-play, competitive, online first-person shooter, available for download on Windows-based PCs. Two teams of five players each compete in fast-paced combat, attempting to either eliminate the opposing team or to plant/disarm a device at the key map locations. Players choose from a selection of diverse Agents and fight against each other using a variety of weapon and abilities. Violence is constant, with some blood spray shown onscreen when players are injured or killed, but there isn't any extremely graphic violence or gore. The free-to-play game model offers a fair amount of content to players, but encourages them to spend real world money on items like cosmetic skins, permanent character unlocks, and "Season Pass" content. Parents should be aware that there's some mild profanity in the dialogue and the in-game chat feature could also expose younger players to other offensive language from others.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byZanetapos November 26, 2020

Your biggest worry is the online chat.

25 years old here:

This game is very mild in its violence. Character's catch phrases aren't anything extreme or offensive. You only play versus other... Continue reading
Adult Written bylavatreum September 21, 2020

The game is pretty good

It has in game economy so kids can learn how to manage money. It does have blood but that can be easily turned off. Some characters curse like Jett who says... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bygamerr December 14, 2020
This is by far one of my favourite shooters and is fun and easy to play. This game in terms of visual content is honestly fine for kids age 10+ If they’re matur... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old December 15, 2020

Valorant is fun and great for kids

Valorant is fine for ages 10+ but you need to turn off some things. First of all you can turn off blood by going into settings and unchecking mature content. Se... Continue reading

What's it about?

VALORANT is a fast-paced, action-packed battle for power and control over caches of the rare element, Radianite. This futuristic gold rush has brought together a diverse group of "Agents," guns for hire specially equipped to handle the dangers of this new frontier. Players battle it out in epic 5-on-5 team matches, using a device known as a "Spike" to attempt claim the opposition's Radianite stores as their own. Of course, that only works if the opponents don't disarm the Spike first. Then again, when all else fail, players can simply wipe out the other team, leaving the spoils of war to the last team standing.

Is it any good?

The field of online competitive shooters is more than a little crowded these days, so to stand out, new titles need to find a balance somewhere between familiarity and innovation. Valorant, Riot Games' entry in the team-based shooter genre, manages to deftly walk that tightrope by borrowing elements from other games, yet piecing them together in new ways that feel fresh and new. The game's diverse cast of Agents, each with their own unique and distinct special abilities, all fulfill specific roles in matches. But there's enough flexibility to allow players to bring a little of their own strategy to the gameplay and keep Agents from being locked into a specific style. Abilities, Ultimates, and weapon loadouts borrow from Riot's multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game background, with players not having immediate access to most skills, but earning resources on the fly to purchase new equipment and to charge up powers. Since these resources are earned for nearly every action in the game, it adds an extra layer of strategy and balance to matches, with players forced to decide exactly when and where to spend their points.

There are currently only two game modes to play in Valorant, both involving planting or disarming a Spike device or eliminating the opposing team altogether before time runs out. The major difference between the main game mode and Spike Rush is the number of rounds teams play. Unfortunately, this means that as much fun as Valorant is to play, it can get repetitive relatively quickly. This is especially true in the main game mode, with the winner being the first team to win thirteen out of twenty-four rounds. Although rounds tend to be quick, thanks to smaller maps and a 100-second time limit, that's still a lot time spent running through the same streets, hallways, and rooms. The Spike Rush mode is a much shorter, best of seven matchup, but also gives players random loadouts, taking some of the strategic elements away. Still, Riot has put together a strong foundation for a new franchise, and it's more than fun enough to keep players coming back.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Valorant affected by the competitive nature of the online gameplay? Would the game be as engaging or entertaining if there wasn't any blood shown? How can parents help to keep the violence in an online, competitive atmosphere from carrying over outside of the game environment?

  • What are some of the ways to practice being a good sport in an online environment? What are some things kids can do when faced with toxic online behavior in a game?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate