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Is Valorant coming to Switch and Steam Deck? There’s hope

valorant steam deck and switch

A purported of Valorant uncovered details on the game’s future crossplay plans and uncovered the possibility of ports that could see the game arrive on the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck.

Although League of Legends used to be Riot’s sole cash cow franchise, Valorant is quickly catching up. Blending the tactical teamplay of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and a quirky cast of heroes, Valorant made itself a household name in only a few years. This came despite the fact that the game has thus far been PC-exclusive.

Valorant’s success in the esports scene also warrants attention. The 2024 VCT Americas Kickoffs Valorant league saw hundreds of thousands more viewers than LoL’s top North American circuit, the LCS, with the preferential treatment that came with that frustrating League esports teams. With all this success, growth was inevitable, and new platforms are already a confirmed step in that growth. What’s surprising is how many platforms the game may actually come out on.

Will Valorant be on Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck?

Riot has not confirmed Valorant releases for the Switch or compatibility with the Steam Deck, but a data miner unearthed evidence regarding crossplay that also seemingly confirms a list of platforms that could see ports of the game. XKLaboratories on Twitter reports they found strings in Valorant’s code that hinted at ports to several platforms, including what might be the Nintendo Switch and Linux.

If Valorant becomes playable on Linux PCs, it may finally be functional on the Steam Deck. Valorant and other popular multiplayer games such as PUBG: Battlegrounds have been unable to run on Valve’s portable PC due to their proprietary anti-cheat engines being incompatible with Linux. The Steam Deck runs on SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system.

Meanwhile, Valorant coming to consoles has been known for some time thanks to job listings at Riot Games but developers and publishers have traditionally not bothered with the under-powered Nintendo Switch. However, the purported code makes reference to a platform entitled “Switch.”

If this proves true, it would be Riot Games’ first release on the Nintendo Switch. While the Riot Forge label licensed out League of Legends characters for single-player titles Ruined King and Song of Nunu for the Nintendo Switch, a Valorant port would be the first actual Riot-made game to jump to the console. That said, even if these data mines are true, it’s not guaranteed that a Switch port will be finished or that this isn’t actually related to Nintendo’s next-gen console.

chamber valorant

But given the enormous user base of the Nintendo Switch and Valorant’s ability to run on outdated PC hardware, it’s possible Riot Games could make it work on the 2017 console. With the Steam Deck and other handheld PCs becoming more commonplace, multiplayer FPSs like Valorant are better-served by offering controller support than many players would like to accept. While a console release for Valorant is all but guaranteed, it’s unclear what that might look like, when it might come out, or whether the established user base will be able to play with newcomers on other platforms.

Fans worry about the state of crossplay for Valorant once it moves to other platforms. Games like Fortnite prove crossplay between mobile, PC, and console is possible and can be a solid experience, but it would be a first for Riot Games.

League of Legends: Wild Rift is a modified version of League, and thus, doesn’t have overlap. Whether the mobile or console versions of Valorant will be like Wild Rift remains to be seen.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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