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Valorant Players Think Agents Take Too Long to Unlock for New Players

Valorant Astra and Harbor from Agent Pool
Image Credit: Riot via Twinfinite

Valorant Players Think Agents Take Too Long to Unlock for New Players

The Agent Pool in Valorant has grown, but is it big enough to warrant changes yet?

The Valorant community is split over a new topic following Gekko’s release. Instead of wondering about the state of broken Agents on release, people are debating over another topic: Agents take too long to unlock for newcomers.

On the r/VALORANT subreddit, user u/Wolfelle opened the discussion up with a post about how long it takes to unlock agents. They explained that while the contracts worked at the beginning of the game with only 11 Agents (4 of which needed to be unlocked with regular contracts), the 15-Agent pool makes things too difficult for new players.

They also broke down the experience needed to unlock the full roster. When Valorant was first released, it cost 800,000 EXP to unlock everyone. Now, it’s at 3,000,000 EXP. While they gave potential solutions, such as rotating free-to-play characters or giving out more free characters at the start of the game, not everyone agreed.

The Argument Against Agent Pool Changes

Sage Agent Pool character art Valorant
Image Credit: Riot via Twinfinite

Many Redditors pointed out that, while the EXP number sounds huge, the game gives you massive amounts of EXP through missions. 

Some even thought that it was not an issue to begin with because players that enjoy the game will stick around and unlock Agents rather quickly. There were comparisons to other similar live-service games that were tossed around, like Rainbow Six: Siege and Apex Legends. Both of these games take significantly longer to unlock playable characters. 

Plus, things like the Xbox Game Pass and additional Battlepass EXP make it much easier and quicker to unlock additional Agents. Despite the fact that many people are perfectly happy with the current system, others had valid concerns about the length of time to unlock Agents. 

The Argument For Changing the Agent Pool Unlocking System

Gekko in Agent Pool Valorant
Image Credit: Riot via Twinfinite

Many new players chimed in to explain that, while the system isn’t exactly hard, it’s difficult to know who to unlock first. Every Agent has a different playstyle, and while there are some general things that can help narrow the choice down, it’s annoying to unlock an Agent only to hate playing them.

There was also the argument that it doesn’t help people stick around – if new players hate the initial seven characters, then they’re not going to continue playing the game. It’s also hard for casual players to unlock these characters, making it hard for them to follow updates and meta changes. 

One Major Problem: Smurfs

Yoru character card in Agent Pool Valorant
Image Credit: Riot via Twinfinite

Valorant has had an ongoing issue with smurf accounts. There have been changes to at least once a year to the game in order to specifically combat players from creating new accounts. 

Smurfs generally want to play at lower ELOs than they belong in order to do better, but it ruins other players’ experiences. Between matchmaking changes and smurf detection systems, Riot has done a lot to try and solve the problem without resorting to problematic systems like a phone number requirement (looking at you, Overwatch 2).

The Agent Pool is a contributing factor to this. While it doesn’t completely stop the problem, it does stop people from creating Smurf accounts and using their best or the newest, most-busted Agent to obliterate enemies. 

It’s also hard to compare the time it takes to unlock Agents in Valorant to other, similar games because of the number of characters playable. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular ones that were discussed:

  • League of Legends: 162
  • Rainbow 6 Siege: 65
  • Apex Legends: 23 

The current state of Valorant makes it hard to justify an easier way to unlock Agents. With the Xbox Game Pass and nearly half of the Agents free/quick to unlock, Valorant shapes up as one of the best unlocking systems for players compared to other free-to-play titles. 

What do you think about Valorant’s Agent Pool? Let us know in the comments below.

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