Riot Games’ hit tactical hero shooter Valorant has been out for almost a year now and while it has the mechanical depth and staying power to be a big player in the larger FPS genre, players don’t really have much to sink their teeth into in terms of its story or loreーat least that’s what I thought until I actually started digging.
In my research, I’ve found that not only have other players and content creators already have the majority of the world and its events pretty much mapped out, but there are still a few holes and dark spots that haven’t been fully explored yet.
Mysteries such as: What is the First Light? What are those mysterious rifts above certain maps? What is Radianite? What is the purpose of the Spike? and What is Kingdom?
Here are all our best guesses at all this Valorant lore and more!
I theorized and dug around a fair share of these on my own but a huge part of the work had already been done and had been reported by content creators like Constant Valorant, Hammeh, and Skin Spotlights who have done an incredible job sourcing information through game files and badgering the Valorant dev team themselves so I’ll frequently refer to them throughout the article.
What we know: Radianite is a mysterious and powerful resource that can be harnessed to create and supply power to highly advanced machines. Most of Valorant’s maps feature Radianite containers being processed and shipped, being collected and experimented on (Haven), and providing power to facilities, weapons, and even entire city blocks (Split). The exact capabilities and limitations of Radianite have not been quantified but all we know so far is that it makes a lot of the world of Valorant’s technological achievements possible.
Radianite Generator supplying power to homes and buildings in Split
Radianite is also connected to the Valorant agents unique abilities and weaponry. Some of the agents such as Killjoy, Cypher, Brimstone, Breach, and Raze all seem to use Radianite-powered technology. Other agents with seemingly supernatural abilities like Sage, Omen, Phoenix, Jett, Reyna, Yoru, Viper, and Skye are Radiants, human beings that have manifested extraordinary powers through experimentation or exposure to Radianite during the First Light event.
The mineral is also extremely unpredictable and volatile causing massive destruction and altering the landscape drastically if improperly handled such as in Haven.
Whatever it Radianite is exactly, it’s a precious commodity that the whole world of Valorant revolves around.
Our best guess: It may be a little fantastical but stick with us on this oneーRadianite is the Earth’s natural mineral that stabilizes its plane of existence. It is the frame that holds the fabric of their Earth’s reality together. This might also be why the Radiants have such incredible abilities that defy the laws of physics, wielding the elements as weapons and seemingly bending reality to their will.
Radianite lay dormant underneath Valorant’s Earth until it was discovered, excessively mined, and integrated into the world which probably caused the catastrophic, world-altering event called First Light.
What we know: The earliest and most base-level lore we’ve uncovered comes from this GameInformer article speaking with Valorant Game Director Joe Ziegler.
It describes an alternate, near-future version of Earth that has been fundamentally changed by a global event of unknown origins called First Light. This brought about massive transformations in almost every conceivable aspect of modern society from technology, to energy, lifestyle, warfare as well as politics and government.
Whilst there is very little known about the nature, origin, or cause of the First Light event is also widely believed to have been responsible for the birth of the Radiants.
We also know that despite the huge advancements in technology and society that the First Light event brought about, it also represents a massive threat to the world at large as evidenced by several voice lines from different agents, like Sova mentioning “annihilation” and Yoru hinting about an “apocalypse” at stake as also shown in the Duelists cinematic where the effects of Radianite/Spike interaction causes the literal upheaval of Venice (Ascent)
That’s not where that’s supposed to be | Duelists Cinematic
This leads to the formation of Valorant, an elite special ops team, founded by a shadow organization that brings together Agents from all over the world to counteract the effects First Light event
Our best guess: The First Light event was brought about by greedy corporations and entities seeking to harvest and control the Radianite supply in the world. In their voracious greed for Radianite, these entities destabilized the fabric of their reality, creating the Dimensional Rifts that are in various maps such as Ascend which opened up gateways into a multiverse of parallel Earths. This explains why Valorant Agents acknowledge the fact that there is another version of themselves in the other team with voice lines like “Who’s this other Phoenix Guy?” or Viper’s “Rest you tired woman” after killing an enemy Viper
With this shortage of Radianite, fragmenting and fracturing their Earth’s reality and causing catastrophic destruction, the solution appears to be to acquire more Radianite from the other parallel universe Earths to stabilize their home but leave the other to die. Therefore, a war for Radianite ensues across the multiverse.
This leads us to the purpose of Spikes.
What we know: Each match of Valorant revolves around the Spike, through either its detonation or defusal. It’s essentially the analogue of bombs and defusers in other tactical shooters such as CS:GO and Rainbow 6: Siege. The game model of the Spike and defusal kit also appears to be made by the mega-corporation Kingdom.
YouTuber Constant Valorant also uncovered from Riot developers that the Spike’s explosion, the Ultimate Orbs as well as the Dimensional Rifts all look similar on purpose—because the Spike is powered by Radianite energy. This is the very same energy that causes the rifts to open as well as the Ultimate Orbs that power up the Agents abilities and weapons.
Constant Valorant also put forth the idea that because Spike Planting sites are always near Radianite deposits, the Spike doesn’t actually blow up the Radianite but actually steals it. This was gathered from an earlier version of the tutorial area where Brimstone says this himself. They further support this claim with the fact that the Ult Orbs disappear from the map, once the Spike is planted because they’re sucked into the device.
Our best guess: There isn’t much guesswork involved here as Constant Valorant has provided a solid argument already including sourcing the information directly from the devs themselves. We’ll just reiterate our pet theory that each round of Valorant is a dimensional incursion to steal one world’s life force for another world’s survival. This is supported by lines such as Jett’s “This is our home keep them out” (Defense) and “Let’s take what they have” and Viper’s “Venice is Gone but our World stays afloat”. DARK.
What we know: Kingdom is a mega-corporation in the Valorant Universe. It’s got its mitts on a lot of the world’s industries including but not limited to energy, clothing, food and beverage, and even the military. Most of the Valorant Agent’s Weapons and Equipment are manufactured by Kingdom themselves as well.
We also know that Kingdom is a prime controller and provider of Radianite and Radianite energy with its multiple refineries and power stations present in Valorant’s various maps. Constant Valorant also uncovered the process by which Kingdom mines, processes and harnesses the Radianite at an industrial level.
Radianite Refinery on Bind | Image Credit: Valorant
As often lumbering megacorporations are want to do, their growth usually tramples a lot of things underfoot as evidenced by the mastication of the traditional Japanese area into a bustling, sterile cyberpark in Split or the industrialization of Temples and Cities like in Haven and Bind. As such they aren’t exactly universally adored by the people in the Valorant Universe. Especially considering this latest tease by the Valorant Creative team.
Our best guess: It stands to reason that Kingdom might have been one of the greedy corporations that caused the First Light catastrophe as earlier discussed. What’s even more nefarious is that Kingdom might be the “shadowy organization” that founded the Valorant Protocol in the first place to counteract their mistakes. It does seem like a heartless, corporate move to just flat out steal Radianite from dying worlds to solve your own world’s problems, which we’ve established is pretty much the actual purpose of Valorant itself.
Agent Killjoy using a Kingdom Laptop | Killjoy Reveal Trailer
Additionally, that would explain why the majority of the agents rock Kingdom-made equipment and weapons. Even the Valorant’s first Agent and Commanding officer Brimstone is decked in Kingdom body Armor and uses a Kingdom grenade launcher to fire his Molly ability.
A greedy megacorporation named Kingdom extensively mined the mineral that keeps the fabric of reality intact to the point that it caused the First Light event that ravaged the planet and opened portals to other similarly dying worlds. Then Kingdom founded Valorant, a black-ops unit composed of fierce combatants to invade other Earths, stealing their Radianite, leaving them to potentially face extinction, in order to save their own planet.
If we get this right, we Riot.
Is that PS5 Controller looking better already? Got any other crazy controllers that you’ve come across? Let us know in the comments below! For more game stuff check out The Games That Defined Our 2020 and VALORANT Art Breakdown: What does Yoru’s Concept Art tell us?
And while you’re at it leave us a like on the GG Network Facebook Page so we can keep you entertained with more videogames and geek stuff! Take care and stay safe out there!
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