VALORANT is a game that’s been built from the ground up to run smoothly, 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 in VALORANT 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 top tier build, one price/performance build, 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
|Minimum Requirements||Recommended Specs|
|Operating System||Windows 7/8/10 64-bit||Windows 7/8/10 64-bit|
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 / AMD Athlon 200GE||Core i3-4150 / Ryzen 3 1200|
|GPU||Intel HD 4000 / Radeon R5 200||GeForce GT 730 / Radeon R7 240|
|Storage||20 GB hard drive space||20 GB hard drive space|
Running VALORANT isn’t difficult. According to Riot, an Intel HD 4000 processor graphics card is capable of running the game at 30 frames per second on low settings. 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 compete with the best.
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 isn’t feasible if you’re using a budget build, but luckily Riot made good on their promise of making the game accessible to everyone. 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 on 144Hz monitors.
With a game that’s so easy to run, we do see that the ‘competitive standard framerate’ shifts upwards, however. Instead of 144Hz gameplay being the competitive minimum, we see that 95% of VALORANT pros are using a 240Hz or 360Hz monitor, meaning that you’re going to need a beefier PC than what Riot has listed if you want to reach those levels.
For this guide, we’ve listed three different systems at three different price points. We’ve got a top end system meant for people who want to get the best of the best, we’ve got a price/performance PC for people who want to get the best back for their buck when it comes to VALORANT performances, and we’ve got a budget PC for people who can’t or won’t spend a ton of money on their gaming PC. We also list three prebuilt alternatives for gamers who aren’t interested in building their own PC.
Top Tier System
It might be easy to list all the latest and greatest components as our top tier system 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 going high and mighty with the latest processors from Intel’s Core i9 lineup, we’ve selected the Intel Core i7-13700K processor that offers the perfect balance between price and performance.
Coupled with an RTX 4080 graphics card with a whopping 16GB of VRAM, we have gone pretty much all out on getting high framerates. Since the GPUs and AIO coolers are getting bigger with each passing day, we’ve also selected an E-ATX-sized case that offers a roomy interior to mount all the parts without any hassle.
An RTX 4080 combined with a Core i7-13700k will absolutely slay this game on higher resolution screens and higher fresh rates, and it’s needless to say that it’ll deliver more than enough frames at 1080p to satisfy all current high refresh rate monitors.
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 build that’s focused on value a little more.
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 out there, 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 AAA games out there) and will run VALORANT like a charm at all settings.
There are a couple of dollars to be saved here by going for a less premium case (but bear in mind that cases aren’t just for looks: airflow and design matter a lot too) but overall this is a nicely balanced build which utilizes one of our favorite GPUs along with the Ryzen 5 5600X CPU which is a fantastic bang for the buck CPU.
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 isn’t graphically demanding, so even with this budget build, you should be comfortably satisfying a 144Hz monitor at almost all times.
This means that you can go even cheaper if you don’t mind playing at 60 frames per second, but that’s not exactly something that we’d recommend. If you’re absolutely certain that you’re only going to be running VALORANT for some casual games then 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.
Prebuilt PCs for VALORANT
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!
This is sold as a VR gaming PC, but of course a PC that’s ready for VR gaming is also ready for games such as VALORANT. Regardless of the settings you’re playing at, you’ll be getting at least 300FPS all the time, meaning that this PC is perfect for demanding VALORANT gamers.
Although 16GB of DDR5 memory perhaps isn’t suitable for the latest AAA titles on higher resolution screens, it is more than enough for VALORANT, and it’s got a very interesting case design to boot.
If you’re after a mid-tier PC that’s enough for VALORANT and all the other AAA titles in the near future, the Skytech Shiva Gaming PC is an excellent pre-built PC. Featuring a combo of an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and an RTX 3080, the PC is more than capable of pulling 200+FPS on VALORANT.
The spec sheet of the Sytech Shiva further includes 16GB DDR4 memory and a 1TB NVMe SSD to store all your favorite games. Moreover, with a 750W PSU, there’s more than enough room to upgrade the essentials without having to buy a new PSU.
Skytech Shadow 3.0 is the perfect sweet spot between price and performance. This pre-built is laden with some high-end components which include a Ryzen 5 3600 processor that is backed by an RTX 2060 graphics card. This is more than enough to run VALORANT at very acceptable framerates regardless of which settings you’re using.
Best PC for VALORANT – Conclusion
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!