Communication in competitive shooters is vital to coordination and despite Valorant focusing heavily on teamwork, its voice chat is barely used. TSM Myth recently criticized the game's community and compared it to Fortnite recently. He jokingly talked about how 6-year-olds in Fortnite who wear diapers communicate more via their microphones than grown men playing Valorant. He is no the only one sharing his frustrations on Twitter with other content creators and players on social media voicing their concern about a lack of communication.
How Can Valorant Solve Its Communication Problem?
One of the games that got communication right was Overwatch when it launched in 2016. It has a communications wheel that allows you to ping teammates, enemies, request healing and more. Apex Legends improved on it greatly and is often praised for its communications menu. You can play the game without using voice chat and you will still be able to communication everything you need to with your teammates.
But Valorant’s communication system is archaic and requires a major overhaul. There is a communication menu and the game makes use of voicelines but it is clearly not enough with a lot of players including professionals and content creators being upset with the game. A number of people responding to TSM Myth talked about how the only times people would get on voice chat would be to trash talk their teammates. Social anxiety and toxicity are seen as two of the biggest factors when it comes to keeping people away from voice chat. Riot Games is aware of this and they want to work towards a less-toxic environment for Valorant.
How Does Riot Games Seek to Combat Toxicity in Valorant
Riot’s Brighteyz revealed that the game would be preventing players who have been penalized with communications restrictions from played ranked. The change will come in the next two or three patches, so players will have to be patient until the change is ready to be implemented in the live version of the game.
The team is still working on the tech, and it is taking longer than expected. Once the patch goes live, having an account restriction will prevent you from queuing into ranked games. The team does not want to make voice comms mandatory for playing ranked as players might have different reasons to stay out of voice chat, they do not want players with a history of disruptive behaviour to be able to join ranked matches.
The changes to ranked might reduce the amount of toxicity in-game and encourage more people to get on voice chat. An update to the communications menu can also go a long way to offset the downsides of running into a team where no one wants to talk.