New deterministic map selection system

Stuck with Split five times in a row? VALORANT players have long been asking for a way to choose which cards they get when loading into a game. The development team listened to these concerns and introduced a change to increase the variety of cards players can successively obtain. . The new map selection process – dubbed the “deterministic map system” – will supposedly reduce the number of repeating maps, but it still won’t let players choose the maps they want themselves.

Ever since the game launched, VALORANT players have been asking for a system that allows them to pre-select maps while queuing. Play the game enough times and you’d be tired of the same seven cards, after all. Not to mention that randomization sometimes ends up giving you Fracture twice in a row or Icebox three times in four or five games, for example. On the Riot side, the development team cited issues with competitive integrity and not wanting to extend wait times (ahem, see League of Legends wait times for higher elos).

As a compromise, VALORANT is now introducing the new Deterministic Map Selection system, which launched globally on March 4. The new process has been refined based on initial testing on Latin America (LATAM) servers, but now the global community will be able to experience how well the system works and if it can appease fans. The idea is to reduce repeat cards based on recent player history.

How does deterministic map selection work in VALORANT?

Card selection will take place after a full hall was found. The system will first take note of all the cards players have obtained in their last five matches for that game mode. Then it will discard cards if the player has already played there twice. From the remaining options available, the system will select the least played map to load.

However, there is an exception given the already limited number of cards available. It is likely that all cards will be disqualified by the “played twice” rule. In this case, the system will ignore this rule and simply choose the card that has been played the least by lobby users. In case of a tie, the cards will again be randomly selected from the remaining options.

These rules have a chance to give players a card they played in the previous game. After all, elimination is based on the last five games played, not just the previous one. So you can still get Split twice in a row if it happens to be the least played among matched players, but no more than twice in five consecutive matches.

Still, some players say they want to be able to select which map to queue for, suggesting listing multiple options so everyone isn’t waiting to get the most popular maps like Ascent or Haven. However, others also acknowledge that they would not want wait times to stretch to around half an hour.

Ultimately, the system is simply meant to increase variety, not really to cater to individual preferences. For now, the VALORANT devs will be monitoring how well the new deterministic system works and whether it can provide players with the map diversity they seek.

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