Valorant is a game that requires sheer skill, one of the best gaming PCs, and a stable ping. Good luck staying in Silver for months if you don’t have at least one of the three. But determined fans of Riot’s FPS game hit Immortal daily with high ping, poor setups, and unexpected delays. As if playing Valorant on 200ms wasn’t already a pain, Riot is now sidelining an underrepresented region for something they have no control over.
On February 7, Riot revealed that players with ping over 140ms would experience hit registration inaccuracy. Valorant is a game for all, but the new server rewind limit excludes a large chunk of passionate players who were already at a disadvantage. The recent Valorant patch 6.02 insinuates that low ping players suffer because of high ping players, enraging some of the playerbase – not entirely unjustifiably.
Africa, a populous continent, does not have a dedicated or closed server in Valorant. You’d often see them in Bahrain servers rocking a >200ms, and even more if they live farther. Who’d think they could possibly have an advantage? Well, fortunate players with low-ping and dedicated servers do. The hit-reg accuracy was already a plight when the limit was at 200ms. Players would still whiff easy shots when they were under 200ms, but tweaking it to 140 will make Valorant unplayable for South African players.
Valorant wasn’t ready for the new server rewind limit
Riot has combined some of the largest regions into a single umbrella of EMEA, all squeezed into EU servers. As a result, there are many disadvantaged parties, but South African players bear the brunt.
South Africa has a solid player base and incredible talent in FPS; the numerous professional players in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are proof. So when Valorant was released in 2020, South African players quickly jumped on the bandwagon, requesting dedicated servers. At that time, there was hope, as a Riot developer had directly responded to the community threads.
“I am having conversations with the right folks internally to see what we can do. I can’t promise, announce or commit to anything, but I can tell you that I’ve seen this and will advocate for a solution,” Network Engineer ‘Korensky’ said in 2022.
Instead, things have only gotten worse. Rather than moving forward and competing at a higher level, patch 6.02 will take away a regular ranked experience from a whole region. Valorant doesn’t have enough tools to accommodate thousands of players who still don’t know where to queue.
A 140ms lag compensation is just not enough when most are stuck in outsider servers. Implementing a change like this would be fruitful if it came with numerous other new features and servers. Right now, it only excludes a whole region and players from many other countries.
Do players with high-ping actually have a ‘game-changing’ advantage?
But let’s get one thing clear: Peeker’s advantage exists, and it’s terrible. However, in South African players’ case, they are either forced to play at high ping or not play at all. It’s also worth noting that the minor advantage is packaged with numerous other drawbacks like poor hit registration, delay, and jittery gameplay. If you have high-ping in Valorant, your only advantage is if you’re daring enough to swing. In any other case, low ping scores.
In Riot’s own words: “Low latency is nearly always superior, as your player actions get to the game server faster than your opponents’ actions. The only tricky bit with a high ping player is that it does cause worse peeker’s advantage for everyone. But you, as a low-ping player, have just as much peek advantage on your high-ping opponent as they have against you.”
Here’s a visual example proving how both cancel out each other, and any advantage ceases to exist, leaving high-ping players ten steps behind those with low ping.
Point being even 0.5ms of difference can make or break the game at a higher level, which is why Riot’s decision to tweak the network isn’t precisely wrong, it’s just that Valorant wasn’t yet ready for it. And to make such a drastic change based on high-ping “advantage” is just not right. There’s no advantage.
Let’s take the example of CSGO. Valve’s labour of love has numerous servers for each region, including Africa. CSGO allows in-game ping tweaking to change regions so players can have a smooth gaming experience. Echoing this, if CSGO introduced a 140ms server rewind, it might have made more sense since you could argue that malicious players casually hop into other regions to exploit high ping. Conversely, Valorant requires solid commitment in account opening, thanks to locked regions. Once you’re in, you’re in.
This means that, if someone has high ping in Valorant, it’s likely not out of spite or ulterior motive; they’re just queuing in the closest server possible.
Unfortunately, no Silver Bullet would instantly satisfy both high and low-ping players. If Riot plans to establish servers in Africa and add more in Asia and the Middle East, the problem may be mitigated. But until then, underrepresented countries will find themselves on the sidelines.
Despite all of this, you can still make use of some of the best Valorant crosshair codes stay on top of your game!