Valorant has taken the hero shooter genre by storm, with its free-to-play nature and massive expansion into esports seeing many fans of shooters looking to play it. But one may ask himself is Valorant CPU or GPU intensive?
Valorant is CPU intensive and can run on relatively cheap or older hardware. However, to get the most out of the game and be competitive as a player, you’ll want to make sure you hit the recommended specifications and have a dedicated GPU as well.
Let’s look at the recommended specifications from Riot regarding Valorant and also consider some possible hardware combinations that work well for the various resolutions possible. We’ll also look at some other things to be aware of to make sure the game runs well.
Valorant System Requirements
A free-to-play first-person hero shooter officially released in June 2020, the game is developed for Microsoft Windows.
For best performance, you’ll need to have a decent to high end gaming computer, as with most shooters you want consistent frames per second.
The hardware requirements are 64-bit Windows 7, 8, or 10. You’ll need at least 4GB of RAM and an additional 1GB of VRAM, essentially the RAM on your graphics card.
The minimum specifications as recommended by the developer Riot Games, are an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 or an AMD Athlon 200GE.
While these processors will get the game running, you’re not going to have more than 30 FPS and this is another way of saying that the game is unplayable.
For a minimum specification graphics card, you’ll want to look at an Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics motherboard or a Radeon R5 200 or 230.
For the recommended specifications, you’ll want to look at getting an Intel i3-4150 or a Ryzen 3 1200 for a processor, and for a Geforce GT 730 or a Radeon R7 240.
This can run the game at around 60 FPS, although you’ll want to bump up the RAM from 4GB to at least 8GB.
For the high-end specifications that will get the game running like the pros at 144 FPS, you’ll need to get an Intel i5-9400F 2.9GHz or an AMD Ryzen 5 2600X.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re using enough RAM to deal with this type of system, so you’re looking at somewhere around 16GB or 32GB, such as the G.SKILL Trident Z RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3600.
RAM is crucial for running the game at a consistently high FPS, particularly if you want to have other programs running at the same time, such as screen capture software or a voice communication program such as Discord.
Otherwise, if you’re on the minimum specifications you’ll need to close everything down on the computer before running Valorant.
It may also be worth looking up a recent FPS guide for Valorant so that you can optimize all the settings on your computer to best run the title.
Is Valorant a CPU Intensive Game?
Valorant is considered a CPU intensive game. However, even that is a slightly inaccurate way to characterize it, as it is more that Valorant is CPU dependent. It can run on older CPUs with almost no problem.
This means it is much more intensive on the CPU rather than the GPU.
Being a modern game, however, it is built and coded using certain methods which means it is optimized very well. This means that it can run on older CPUs.
The CPU is going to be the main bottleneck through which FPS is going to be held back.
The amount of CPU cores Valorant needs to run at 144 FPS according to above listed specifications is six cores, while the amount of cores needed to run the game at 30 FPS is two cores.
If you’re finding that you have a CPU that is similar to the ones listed above but are getting nowhere near the performance you should be, you can grab a monitoring program to check the temperature and performance of your PC to see if it is not operating well.
If you have temperature issues, look at getting a self-contained water cooling system such as the EVGA CLC 280 Liquid/Water CPU Cooler.
Is Valorant a GPU Intensive Game?
Valorant is designed to run on integrated graphics cards, meaning the ones that come on certain motherboards will be enough to run the game.
However, this is only going to meet the minimum recommended requirements and won’t be performing that well.
You’ll still want to get a dedicated graphics card to improve performance. Outside of Valorant, many games and programs won’t run very well at all unless you can offload some of your performance to a dedicated GPU.
While you may only want to play Valorant, overall your computer experience may not be the best if you rely entirely on an onboard graphics display card.
If you want to get the best performance at certain resolutions, you’ll need to get a graphics card especially if you have a multi-monitor setup, and certainly if you want to stream.
For the standard high definition resolution of 1920×1080 (1080p), go for an AMD Radeon RX 550. For higher resolutions of 2560×1440 or 1440p) then go for at least an AMD Radeon RX 560.
For 4K resolution, or 3840×2160, go for at least a GeForce GTX 1650.
However, it’s not strictly necessary for the lower resolutions to get a great GPU, given how well Valorant runs on a CPU, but it is still worth getting one if you’re going to splurge on a nice CPU and computer anyway.
So, is Valorant a CPU or GPU intensive game? The aim of Riot is to make a game that is free-to-play and accessible to many different players with differing computer hardware.
You can get Valorant running on a variety of computer setups, even those without a dedicated GPU. The specifications listed by Riot are also going to be slightly conservative, meaning you may get slightly better performance.
To get the best out of performance, you’ll want to make sure you at least invest in a good CPU with at least six cores. To get the game running at a more consistent and higher FPS, you’ll also want to make sure you get a decent GPU as well.
Boosting up your RAM is also a common way to get the most out of performance, with you wanting at least 8GB but, ideally, 16GB would be best.
When building a PC, you can get a prebuilt computer that is likely going to already have compatible parts put together which can be more efficient and give you solid performance.
Otherwise, use a PC building website that will only let you select PC parts that are compatible with each other. This will also make sure you can budget properly and also get parts that are currently available.
With the popularity of cryptocurrency, certain parts are very hard to get, especially in the realm of graphics cards.
For many modern gaming monitors, they have a refresh rate of over 120 or even over 144, and you’re never going to get the most out of it unless your computer can get to this amount of FPS consistently.