Best Gaming PC for VALORANT – The Ultimate Guide
VALORANT is a game that's been built from the ground up to run smoothly on even low-grade hardware but that doesn't mean that you should cheap out on your gear. Getting a great mouse, mousepad, and monitor is a great way to start your journey to Radiant but you definitely don't want to gimp your performance by attaching the newest peripherals to an old, worn out PC. Getting as many frames as possible is the name of the game with these competitive titles so you should absolutely focus on squeezing out every drop of framerate if you want to compete at the highest levels.
Of course there's such a thing as a 'budget' so for most people it's not as easy as grabbing the latest and greatest hardware and running with it since that stuff can cost an absolute fortune.
This is where we come in. We've been scouting the market and have come up with three builds for VALORANT: one for gaming at 240+ frames per second, one for 144Hz gaming, and one budget build. This guide should be a nice baseline for you to come up with your own system to get the maximum out of your game and budget.
VALORANT System Requirements
Running VALORANT at the minimum specs is very, very easy. According to Riot 8400 along with Intel HD 4000 graphics to run at 30 frames per second. That framerate might be fine for games where you're just relaxing and enjoying the game from your couch but it's absolutely not sufficient if you want to be competitive in a shooter game.
Consider the following: all of our analyzed VALORANT professionals use a high refresh rate (144Hz+) monitor along with a system that can reliably push enough frames to that monitor. This of course isn't feasible if you're using a super budget build, but luckily Riot made good on their promise of making the game easy to run. The 'high-end specs' listed on Riot's website require an i5-4460 3.2GHZ CPU along with at least a GTX 1050 Ti GPU. That's pretty modest, all things considered, so you won't need an insanely beefy PC to game at 144 frames per second.
With a game that's so easy to run we do see that the 'competitive standard framerate' shifts upwards, however. Instead of 144+ being the competitive minimum we see that 95% of VALORANT pros are using a 240Hz monitor, meaning that you're going to need a beefier PC than what Riot has listed as their high-end system.
240 Hz System
For going all out
It might be easy to list all the latest and greatest components as our 240Hz system (after all those should give you the highest frames) but there comes a point where you're venturing into overkill territory so instead of the RTX 2080 Ti (which is currently the most powerful GPU on the market) we went for a 2080 Super.
We have gone pretty much all out, though, and if you want to save some cash you can definitely go for a cheaper case, or perhaps 16GB of RAM instead of 32GB. An RTX 2080 combined with an i7-9700k will also absolutely slay this game as far as framerates go but since most gamers who opt for a dedicated 240Hz build want some kind of futureproofing and/or want to use their rig to get the most out of the latest singleplayer games we've chosen for the combination below. We also love the value proposition that these Super cards offer.
With this build you'll never drop below the 240 frames per second mark, making it perfect for just focusing on the game without any distractions.
240 Hz System
144 Hz System
Going all the way with your system is cool and all, but it also costs a lot of money. If you're just getting into (competitive) PC gaming odds are you're not going to want to spend top dollars on something you're not even sure you're going to be using in a few years so that's why we've got this 144Hz build.
This is a fantastic 'middle of the road' system that provides you with plenty of power to play VALORANT at higher framerates while also having enough juice to let you enjoy some more demanding games for those times when you want to play something else. This isn't the most future-proof build there is but regardless it should serve you very well for the next couple of years (provided you don't mind turning down the settings in some of the more demanding games out there) and will run VALORANT like a charm at all settings.
There are a couple of dollars to be found here by going for a less premium case (but bear in mind that cases aren't just for looks: airflow and design matters a lot too) or 16GB of RAM but overall this is a nicely balanced build which utilizes one of our favorite GPUs along with the Ryzen 5 3600 CPU which is a fantastic bang for the buck CPU.
144 Hz System
We would always recommend going for a build that's capable of pushing at least 144 frames per second with ease for a game that's so easy to run as VALORANT but of course we do understand that budgetary restrictions can prevent people from going for these kinds of systems. Luckily VALORANT really is very easy to run, so even with this budget build you should be in the vicinity of the 144 frames per second mark pretty much all the time.
This means that you can go even cheaper, but that's not exactly something we'd recommend. If you're absolutely certain that you're only going to be running VALORANT you can drop a couple of these components down a bit but if you want to dabble in some other games and/or futureproof your build at least a bit we do recommend going with more or less what we've listed out here. All of these components provide fantastic value for money so it's not like you're going to be buying subpar products from dodgy brands: this is very much a quality gaming PC, it's just not as powerful as our other options.
We're well aware of the fact that building a brand new (expensive) gaming PC from scratch is a very daunting task for most people, and even if you're familiar with the process you perhaps want the piece of mind of having a functioning computer delivered right on your doorstep without having to pray for all the individual components to work.
Whatever the reason may be: a lot of people prefer a prebuilt system so we've found three alternatives to our three different builds just for you!
Conclusion: The best gaming PC for VALORANT
Watching all these streamers with their top tier RGB-covered builds can lead one to think that you need a top tier PC in order to play at the competitive level, but that's not true at all. VALORANT is a game that's very easy to run so if you want to stay above that 144Hz mark you don't need to spend a whole lot of money at all.
With this guide you should have an ideal baseline for you to come up with your own system based on your budgetary reality while still having a reliable system that won't let you down in the middle of a hectic fight. As always you can reach us on Twitter or Discord if you have any questions or remarks.
Thanks for reading!