The menus of Valorant are incredibly clean, visually, but actually finding things is a bit harder than it may seem. There’s also the issue of unlocking characters which, again, despite being a simple system isn’t made particularly clear by the game. This guide will cover the character unlock process, EXP system, and how to buy the Valorant Battle Pass that Riot refuses to call a Battle Pass.
We’ll start with the foundation of all of these processes, the EXP system. EXP in Valorant is simple, play games and you get EXP. Completing daily and weekly challenges (which you find by hovering over the little circle in the top left of your screen) also provide a huge amount of EXP. This is then distributed to your Battle Pass level and to your current contract. When you first start playing you’ll have the introductory contract that has 10 levels, with a new character unlock at levels 5 and 10 respectively. You’ll find your current contract in the circle to the right of the other circle I mentioned previously.
To actually buy the premium progression of Act 1: Ignition (they use Episode and Act interchangeably for… reasons), click on the rightmost of the three circles and then go to the bottom right of your screen where you’ll find a 1,000 Valorant Point box, option, thing. Click on that, give Riot your 1,000 monopoly dollars (equivalent to $10 in grown-up money) and you’ll have unlocked what is, all things considered, a really good Battle Pass. The Couture, Kingdom, and Dot Exe skin sets both absolutely whip and, compared to how much most skins cost, are a great deal here.
If you want to skip levels, er, chapters, you can do so by jumping ahead to your desired level, and clicking the same box you used to purchase the premium track itself. These levels cost 300 Valorant Points each, so if you want to skip the whole Battle Pass to just get the goods it’ll run you a total of 16,000. This is equivalent to well over $150. I do not recommend this.
Once you have your Battle Pass bought and a few games under your belt, you should have both of your free characters unlocked. At this point things start to take a lot, and I mean a LOT, longer. Go to where the old intro contract was (that middle circle) and you’ll have the option to select an individual agent contract.
Agent contracts allow you to unlock agent specific cosmetics and, eventually, the agent themself. The first level costs 20,000 EXP, so basically two out of your three weekly missions. This number then increases with every level. What I’m saying is, it takes a while to get all the way to level 5 where you actually unlock the agent you’ve been working towards. Or you could, again, give Riot $10 worth of Nintendo eShop coins and they’ll just give you the character and half of the total cosmetics. The other 5 levels you have to earn yourself, so get to bootstrap pulling and topfragging (this felt bad to type for a lot of reasons) otherwise we’re gonna be here for a while. If, at any point, you want to switch Contracts to another character, you can do so by hopping into your collection, selecting the Agents tab, and activating the contract of said agent.
Finally, there are the prime weapon skins. These will always cost a lot of Valorant Points, about $60 worth, but they’re very cool is the issue. They also have their own progression system with, you guessed it, another currency. To unlock the cool parts of these skins; VFX, Reload Animations, Kill Animations, and alternate color schemes, you’ll have to spend Radianite, which you get from completing specific Battle Pass levels or you could buy them with a few thousand Valorant Points. Don’t do this. It is a bad deal. Most weapon levels cost 10 points, and 20 points costs about $15 worth of Fun Bux. Just play through the Battle Pass! You’ll get plenty of Radianite to make your favorite gun go “pew pew” instead of “bang bang.”