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In a desperate attempt to justify my ongoing obsession with Riot Games' tactical shooter I took a deep dive into its level design and made a blockout in UE5 for the game using what I'd learned.


In VALORANTS primary gamemode the aim of the attacking team is to plant a bomb on one of the defending teams' bomb sites. The defending team must either keep the attackers from planting the bomb, kill all attackers or defuse the bomb.

Since VALORANT is a highly competitive title, with precise gunplay, instant time-to-kill and no respawns, precision felt crucial when designing the level; every line-of-sight and walkable surface had to be carefully considered.

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Ramps, stairs or ropes.



Ground, the darker the lower.

Crates, scaleable geometry that can be shot through. Darker means lower.


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SPAWN: Spawns are the spaces intended to house the least action, so they are kept simple, with just enough character to differentiate the spaces and create a couple of angles.

BOMB SITE: Spaces that by default belong to the defenders, and the attackers are trying to capture. Houses the most action so they also have some of the most complex geometry.

MID: A neutral space in the center of the level, connected to both team spawns, and both sites.

MAIN: The primary entrance to a bomb site and a neutral space. Is generally expected to house the first contact each round.


The most interesting component of this excersice was the managing of lines-of-sight. Setting up cameras in the respective positions for attackers and defenders, making sure the sightlines are clear, framed properly and intuitive. Mitigating the amount of angles players are exposed to in different positions.

For example, in mid, I wanted both teams to be able to cover the enemy entrances to mid from their own respective counter position. These positions should however not be able to hold both positions, making players step out into much more exposed positions to do so.

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When I say that I wanted the angles to be "clear", I mean that the opposing angle doesn't have further angles behind them, i.e. enemies can only appear in 1 precise spot for the blue angles, and 2 for the red angles. The conditions for these angles would of course change as a round goes on.




  • Look at current VALORANT maps and identify best practices and map structure. E.g.

    • Bomb sites have around 7-9 positions for defenders to hide in.

    • Most non-wall geometry (crates) will be exactly head height – standing behind it means you’re safe, and players learn to place their crosshairs at this height by default. 

    • Sprinting from one site to the other takes around 15-20 seconds. 

  • Establish scales and make wall and floor segments. 

  • Quick paper sketches mapping out level structure and bomb sites.

  • Look at references for some fun shapes. 

  • Built the separate sites first, then worked outwards from there. 

Minimap for VALORANT levels Ascent and Split. Source: Riot Games

Minimap for VALORANT levels Ascent and Split. Source: Riot Games

Screenshots depicting attackers' POV when entering bomb sites.
Source: Riot Games

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